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Modou Dieng: A Postcolonial Landscape

December 1, 2020 - January 30, 2021

A diptych of rectangular, portrait orientation paintings. Each painting is a features a loose grid, with some of the grid's cells either cut out of the canvas leaving a void or layered over other cells. The individual cells are painted with a combination of gestural, grasslike lines, grids and checkerboards in various colors, and photographs collaged on a black paint background.

Exhibition Tour + Conversation with Modou Dieng & Mack McFarland
Livestream via Facebook Live and YouTube >
Thursday, December 3, 2020, 5:30 – 6:30 pm

Elizabeth Leach Gallery is pleased to present A Postcolonial Landscape by Modou Dieng, featuring paintings that explore themes of Black representation and erasure in a globalized society. Dieng reimagines his own experience through dazzling, idiosyncratic mixed media artworks that engage in dialogue with personal narratives and Eurocentric art history.

The title of the new series alludes to a symbolic location of physical sites and psychological states, an accumulation of Dieng’s experiences beginning in his native Senegal to present day life in the United States. Pictures of anthropological African masks, people and places, as well as his own photographs, are layered onto the paintings, combinations that reiterate themes of identity, location, and the hand of the artist. Dieng’s brightly colored architectural facades resonate with strength and vulnerability, adorned with stacked windows or undulating, multi-tiered archways that invite the viewer inside the picture frame’s imagined interior realm.

Dieng incorporates representational and abstract modes of expression in this recent body of work, and in several large-scale paintings, cut-outs reveal exposed, hand-painted stretcher bars that signify the absence of Blackness in the history of painting. Every work contains exuberant lines and brushstrokes that express the artist’s intuitive style of mark-making and prismatic color palette through grids, zig-zags, circular loops, and geometric shapes.

Modou Dieng was born in Saint-Louis, Senegal. He is a multidisciplinary artist exploring the symbolic and mythological power of pop culture through mixed media and hybrid materials. His work constructs a mural of archetypal cultural imagery filtered through the perspective of a split identity between Blackness and Western Philosophy. Dieng has exhibited internationally and is the co-founder of Blackpuffin, a curatorial company based in Chicago, Illinois. Dieng holds an MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute (San Francisco, CA).



Wheelchair accessible, Service Animals allowed
BIPOC artist(s), Women-owned
Event Type
Gallery, Visual Art
Pandemic Info
By Appointment


Elizabeth Leach Gallery
417 NW 9th Avenue
Portland, OR 97209 United States
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