Foreign Agent presents Didier Viodé at 1-54 New York! Booth 04, 19-22 May 2022

Foreign Agent is excited to present new works by Didier Viodé at 1-54 New York! Come visit us at Harlem Parish, Booth 04, between 19-22 May 2022.


Gbèto/Human is Didier Viodé’s first solo show in New York, after his recent successful group show at Marianne Boesky Gallery curated by Amoako Boafo and Larry Ossei-Mensah, followed by a Paris solo show and a forthcoming participation at the Dakar Biennale.

In the Fongbé and Pedah languages of Benin, the word Gbèto means human being, the one “endowed with the power of life” or the “possessor of the world”. Human beings are at the center of Didier Viodè’s work, be it painting, photography or cartoons.

Gbèto/Human is the new series of paintings in Viodé’s on-going exploration of contemporary life in a world defined by global anxiety around the pandemic, widening social inequalities and Black Lives Matter. These phenomena have prompted Viodé to return to introspection during lockdown which resulted in his Auto-Portrait d’Un Confiné (2020), as well as a continued focus on those he calls the anonymes: the ordinary women and men we see every day without really knowing them. In Viodé’s work, the unknown and the forgotten of our societies – and for that matter of art history and portraiture - are celebrated. 

In these new Gbèto studies, the figures are staged in a bold blue visual universe inspired by the winter light and skies. The storytelling is kept to a bare minimum, simple fashion accessories - sunglasses, baseball caps - which anchor the subjects in a stripped back and elemental urban setting which could be anywhere in the world. Everyone in those portraits seems somehow familiar. Ordinaire icons of today.

Foreign Agent is also thrilled to present three new self portraits by the artist. And one singular abstract work.