Artist's portraits: "Little Bighorn", the monumental work of Ousmane Sow exhibited in France.

I discovered his colossal works in 1999 when it was exhibited on the Pont des Arts in Paris. The African series and the “Little Big Horn Battle” series were on show, attracting almost 3 million visitors.

At that time I have been impressed by these monumental statues but knowing neither the meaning nor the history of the works, I had not perceived their power.

"Little Bighorn" at Mont Dauphin in France...

The Little Bighorn series consists of 24 characters and 11 horses in real or augmented size. The work of the Senegalese sculptor illustrates the famous battle between the Sioux and Cheyenne Indians and the United States Federal Army in 1876 along the Little Bighorn River.

These sculptures will be the centerpieces of an exhibition on the Mont Dauphin site (Hautes-Alpes) from July 2021.

They are real giant statues with an iron frame covered with clay and each weighing between 90 and 200kg! All the works were sculpted using a technique specific to the artist: concrete structure - melted and modeled plastic straw, then burlap coated with a material of its composition.

This exceptional exhibition, which pays tribute to the universality of Ousmane Sow's work, will be presented for a period of 10 years. The site of the Fort de Mont-Dauphin, a stronghold founded in the 17th century by the military architect Vauban, is now listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

(Exposition réalisée avec le soutien d’Eiffage Sénégal, de la Fondation Crédit Agricole Alpes Provence, de CMA CGM Sénégal, de Bolloré Transport & Logistics et d'Odcvl.)

Ousmane Sow, from physiotherapist to sculptor...