<strong>Julien Sinzogan</strong>, <em>Dechainage</em>, 2012.
Coloured inks on paper, 111 x 130.5 cm.<strong>Julien Sinzogan</strong>, <em>Terre en vue! (Land Ho!)</em>, 2010 (right panel of triptych). Giclée print on paper, 56 x 40 cm. Ed. of 25.<strong>Julien Sinzogan</strong>, <em>Sales of Return IX</em>, 2012. Coloured inks on paper, 112 x 77.5 cm


Julien Sinzogan.
Photo: © Jonathan Greet, 2007.
Julien Sinzogan, Armada, 2009.
Coloured inks on paper, 94 x 104 cm.

Julien Sinzogan studied architecture in Paris at the Ecole Speciale des Travaux Publics, before turning to painting professionally. His use of pen-and-ink on paper displays the astonishing, technical sophistication of a master draughtsman. His work is as much about the transmigration of the African ‘soul’ and the persistence of dreams, visions, ideas and unique cultural identities, across the Atlantic to the New World, as it is about the return of the spirits of former slaves, to the African shores from which they were seized.

Sinzogan first showed with October Gallery in the group show Rendering Visible: Contemporary Art from Benin in 2000. His work has been exhibited throughout Europe and Africa, including a specially commissioned large-scale painting for the atrium of the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, UK, during the exhibition, Uncomfortable Truths, in 2007. Sinzogan’s work has been acquired by several important collections, including the Newark Museum, Newark, USA; the Iris & B. Gerald Cantor Center for Visual Arts, Stanford University, Stanford, USA; the Tropenmuseum, Amsterdam, the Netherlands; Zeitz Collection of Zeitz MOCAA, Cape Town, South Africa; and Scheryn Art Collection, Cape Town, South Africa.

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View below for career highlights and works for sale by the artist.









Born in 1957, Porto-Novo, Benin. Lives and works in Cotonou, Benin.
1978-79   Preparatory Faculty, Art School Tashkent, Uzbekistan
1979-82   B.T.S. de l’Ecole Spéciale des Travaux Publics, Paris, France
1983-87   Head of Images Section, Laboratoire International de Calcul et d’Informatique Appliquée (L.I.C.I.A.), Paris, France
Selected solo exhibitions
2010  Spirit Worlds, October Gallery, London, UK
2009   Chemins d’esclaves, Museum of Angoulême, Angoulême, France
2008   Journées ébène, Voyages: la porte du retour, Musée de la peinture de Grenoble, Grenoble, France
2003   French National Assembly, Paris, France
Selected group exhibitions
2018   Investec Cape Town Art Fair, Cape Town, South Africa with October Gallery, London, UK 
2016   1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair, with October Gallery, London, UK
2015   Africa Africans, Museu Afro Brazil, São Paulo, Brazil
2013   1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair, with October Gallery, London, UK
2012   Masters of the Transvangarde, October Gallery, London, UK
2010   L’Art Actuel d’Afrique, Collégiale Saint-André, Chartres, France
    Jo’burg Art Fair, October Gallery, Johannesburg, South Africa
2009   Jo’burg Art Fair, October Gallery, Johannesburg, South Africa
2008   Jo’burg Art Fair, October Gallery, Johannesburg, South Africa
Angaza Africa, African Art Now, October Gallery, London, UK
Spring Show, October Gallery, London, UK
2007   Uncomfortable Truths: the shadow of slave trading on contemporary art and design, Victoria and Albert Museum, London, UK
2006   17th Salon International, Château de Beauregard, Caen, France
2005   Aux Grain d’Argent, Angoulême, France
    Agence Française pour le Développement (AFD), Paris, France
2004   Artists from Around the World, October Gallery, London, UK
2003   Transvangarde: Zeitgenössische Kunst aus der Welt (Contemporary Art from Around the Planet), Kulturbrauerei, Pferdestall Gallery, Berlin, Germany
2002   The Royal Museum and Art Gallery, Canterbury, UK
    Permanent exhibition, Atelier de l’Yvette, Epinay sur Orge, France
    A Thousand Ways of Being: Memory and Presence in the Arts of Diasporas, October Gallery, London, UK
2001   Journées Béninoises, Dourdan, France
    The Power of the Word Exhibition, Archive Centre, Churchill College, Cambridge, UK
2000   Rendering Visible, October Gallery, London, UK
1999   Maison de l’Ile, Auvers sur Oise, France
    D’Afrique et de Cuba, André Malraux Cultural Centre, Le Bourget, France
Couleurs Vodun, Lille Town Hall, Lille, France
1997-99   Permanent exhibition, Centre Français du Cadre, Paris, France
1997   7th Plein Sud Festival, Cozes, France.
1996   Hôtel Novotel, Cotonou, Benin
1994   Espace Kauffman-Eiffel, Paris, France
1993   Petit Palais, Cotonou, Benin
    Ouidah ‘92: First Internationl Festival of the Arts and Cultures of Vodun, Ouidah and Cotonou, Benin
1992   Ecole pour l’Informatique et les Techniques Avancées (E.P.I.T.A.), Paris, France
1991   Ministère de l’Education Nationale, Paris, France
1990   Gallery Gabor Uzvesky, Bussy Saint-Georges, France
2009   From Slave Trade to the Abolition of Slavery, Colloquium, Museum of Angoulême, France.
    Art, Education and Politics, Conference, IUFM Poitou-Charentes / Poitiers University, Angoulême, France.
2006   The Vodun, Lille Town Hall, Lille, France.
    Art and Symbolism in the Vodun Religion, UNESCO, Paris, France.
1991   The Power of the Word / La Puissance du Verbe, Colloquium, Churchill College, Cambridge, UK.
UNESCO, Paris, France.
World Bank, Washington, D.C., USA.
Museum of Angoulême, Grenoble, France.
Cantor Center for Visual Arts, Stanford University, USA.
Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie,Paris, France.
Newark Museum, Newark, New Jersey, USA.
The Presidential Palace, Republic of Benin,Cotonou, Benin.
Embassy of the Republic of Benin, Paris, France. Various private collections throughout the United States, Europe and Africa.