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Born 1939 in Benin
Died 2012

Cyprien Tokoudagba (1939-2012)

Cyprien Tokoudagba (1939-2012) was born in Abomey to an artisan family. His formal education ended after primary school. It became clear early on where his future lay: “At school, all I could do was draw, and the teacher often praised me and paid me compliments. It’s a gift I had. I could do whatever I wanted with my hands”.

Tokoudagba’s early work consisted of decorating the walls of the vodoun temple in the compound of his family home after serving in the army. The subjects, first as murals and later on canvas, were representations of vodoun, their characteristic patterns and colours, their symbols, and occasionally popular sayings or historical scenes, such as the beheading of the miscreant Yahaze during the reign of the seventeenth-century King Akaba. In 1990 it transferred from a Tokoudagba home mural to one of his early canvases.

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Selected Works
Cyprien Tokoudagba (1939-2012)
ca. 2000s
Acrylic on canvas
70 x 88 cm
PARALLEL VISIONS with Alcides Pereira dos Santos, Cyprien Tokoudagba, Stjepan Vrbanec, Anna Zemánková
February 2 - February 24, 2024
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