Born in 1961, Tivaouane, Senegal
Died in 2017, Lyon, France


Ndary Lo grew up in the surroundings of Thiès and studied languages before enrolling at the National School of Fine Arts of Dakar, option graphic design and communication, from which he graduated in 1992. After a brief experience in painting, he turned to sculpture and chose concrete iron as his preferred material. In 1995, he won the Goethe Institute of Dakar's art competition, the first of many awards for his work: the Prize for Young African Contemporary Creation at the Dakar Biennale in 1996, the Grand Prix of the Head of State for the Arts in 1999, and the Grand Prix Léopold Sédar Senghor at the Dakar Biennale in 2002 and in 2008. A well-known artist in his country, his works are also very successful in Europe and the United States where they are exhibited. Having spent all his life in Senegal, Ndary Lo joined France in 2015 to be cured. He stayed there until his death in 2017.

Ndary Lo is known for his men on the move, his tributes to Rosa Park and his great walls of trees. These are committed works that bear witness to a great spirituality because Ndary Lo believed in God and in man. A universal spirituality, assumed, open, which was reflected in all his work, throughout his life, both in content and form. His references and influences did not limit themselves to the Muslim religion that he practiced. His notebooks are the witnesses of his thoughts on other religions as well as on great figures such as Nietzche, Martin Luther King or Ghandi. A certain spirituality is evident when one observes his immense figures open to the sky, open to the world, open to God. Characters, arms raised, in a universal prayer, as the artist recalled. The flight, in the works of Ndary Lo, is a spectacle at the same time very concrete - crowds in tight rows advancing, characters arms raised towards the sky... - but also imaginary, without risk of fall or epilogue. What might seem an indecisive, utopian or vain pattern shows rather a non-depressive version of hope, a physical continuity, a quality of lightness, of deliverance from gravity almost, out of the common physical laws, an absolute desire of departure, of take-off, of transcendence, in the speculative, religious, social and political sense, and perhaps also a child's dream, the saving and victorious flight of the hero by the air, the relief of the earthly destiny, the enjoyment of a state of freedom. Death as liberation, fall as elevation. Or more prosaically, as he himself stated, "to put the Senegalese on the move" in The Long March of Change, analyzes Joelle Busca in the book "Ndary Lo, le démiurge" published in 2020.

Ndary Lo's work is constantly moving back and forth between contemplation and action, between stasis and movement, one generating the other and guiding it in a certain way. "My sculptures, I call them nit (which means character in Wolof). I don't consciously know where they are going, but what is important to me is their movement. I am obsessed with movement, it must move," explains Ndary Lo. The figures are united, "a sign of an optimistic, determined, combative Africa. Like him," Roxana Azimi stressed on June 9, 2017 in an article paying tribute to him published in the French daily Le Monde.