Kunstmuseum aan zee Collecties van
de Vlaamse Gemeenschap
Stad Oostende



Like Constant Permeke’s, the works of Farah Atassi and Tramaine de Senna manifest a keen interest in folkloric motifs. The artists copy and mix the imagery of objects that are often situated in an ethnographic or design context, such as carpets, masks or toys. In the first half of the twentieth century, Permeke and several of his contemporaries adopted the forms of African masks and sculptures. They were motivated by a fascination with the aesthetic qualities of the objects. Subsequently, more and more artists began to study the context of the objects, as well, and they became aware that their view of ‘the other’ was not unbiased. Artists like Farah Atassi and Tramaine de Senna analyse similar motifs that are found in various places in the world, on both artistic and functional objects. They investigate the layers of meaning within the generally recognisable imagery. By making forms from different periods and parts of the world their own, Farah Atassi and Tramaine de Senna create a universal folkloric language of forms containing multiple external and substantive references, thereby re-evaluating objects that are not considered to be art and rejecting a division into high or low art, or ethnographic or artistic contexts. Farah Atassi’s paintings, for example, simultaneously contain references to eighties postmodernist design, European abstract art, Moroccan carpets, tile ornaments from Eastern Europe, Native American patterns, and so on. Tramaine de Senna’s sculptures and paintings refer, amongst other things, to skyscraper architecture, the designs on cowboy boots, Navajo sand drawings and the forms of – yes, really – My Little Pony.


Farah Atassi (°1981 BE) lives and works in Paris

Tramaine de Senna (°1981 USA) lives and works in Antwerp

Please note :

The Universal Folklore exhibition will be closed on Friday 21 September to Sunday 23 September. The main building of the Permeke Museum and the garden can be visited!

Overview past exhibitions »

03/06/2018 - 21/10/2018