Etiyé Dimma Poulsen

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Etiyé Dimma Poulsen (born 1968) is a Danish sculptor known for her work in ceramics.


Until she was six, Poulsen lived in Ethiopia, moving to Tanzania and then Kenya with her adoptive parents. They were Danes, and moved the family to Denmark when she was fourteen. There she studied art history in college and taught art in various youth programs. Initially focusing on painting landscapes using oil on canvas,[1] her interest in creating primitive art spurred her move to France[2] at 23 and began working with clay; currently, she lives and works at a studio in Antwerp, Belgium.

Her inspiration comes from traditional statues or tribal styles but with her own feelings and memories worked into them.[2] "What really seduces me is the different variations of human features," Poulsen remarks. "The more simple and sober my forms are, the more expressive they seem. If you take a close look at the sculptures, you'll be surprised to find that the expressions on the faces are actually generated merely by a cracked line that traces an eye or a wrinkle....It seems as if exactly through corrosion and fragmentation, the opposite--life--emerges."[2]


Poulsen is most known for creating filiform ceramic sculptures. "Her technique consists of applying a thin layer of clay on an iron mesh to produce, when fired, worn-out looking ‘primitive’ figures. The cracks that occur form an eye or a wrinkle, contributing to the expressions on the faces; thus strong and delicate features are achieved simultaneously."[3]

Poulsen's work is in the collection of the National Museum of African Art in Washington, DC.


Since 1990, Poulsen has done individual exhibitions in Denmark, France, the USA, Côte d'Ivoire, Cameroon and Switzerland. Then, starting in 1992, she started doing group shows in Spain, Palma de Mallorca, Belgium, United States, and France.[4]

Solo exhibitions[edit]

  • 2010: Galerie d'Haudrecy Knockke, Galerie Claudine, Legrand Paris
  • 2009: Galerie Geneviève Godard Lille, Willem Elias Woluwe Belgium, Galerie Strenger Tokyo Japan, Centre d'Art André Malraux Colmar
  • 2008: Galerie Strenger, Tokyo, Japan, Joie Lassiter Gallery Charlotte U.S.A, Pappirfabrikken Silkeborg Denmark, Parlement Européen, Charteaux d'Hardelay Les Herbiers, Womanhood Hood Museum New Hampshire, Worldbank Washington U.S.A
  • 2007: UNESCO Paris, Kolonienpaleis Tervuren Belgium, Musée Maurice Denis, Paris, D'Haudrecy Art Gallery Knokke Zoute Belgium, Wertz Contemporary Gallery, Atlanta Georgia, Galerie Claudine Legrand Paris, Galerie Elfie Bohrer Banstetten, Zurich, Switzerland
  • 2006: Skoto Gallery, New York, Galerie Capazza, Nancay, France, Centre Culturel Scharpoord Knokke, Belgium, Galerie des Emibois, Switzerland
  • 2005: Galerie Claudine Legrand, Paris, Wertz contemporary Gallery Atlanta, USA, Gallery Knud Grothe Charlottenlund, Denmark, Gallery Marc Van Meensel, Holland Art Fair Den Haag, Galerie Hamlin Honfleur, France, Galerie Claudine Legrand, Paris, Lineart Gent, Belgium, Galerie 23 Amsterdam
  • 2003: St’art 2003, Strasbourg, Gallery Knud Grothe Charlottenlund, Denmark, Smithsonian Museum of African Art,Washington, Galerie des Emibois, Switzerland, Galerie Hamelin Honfleur, France, Gallery MAM, Douala, Cameroon, MOBA Gallery, Belgium
  • 2002: Alliance Française, Ethiopia, Galerie Claudine Legrand, Paris
  • 2001: Gallery MAM, Douala, Cameroon, St’art 2001, Strasbourg, October Gallery, London, Château des Carmes, La Flèche, France
  • 2000: Biennale Dakar, Hamelin Gallery, Honfleur, Galerie Capazza, Nancy, France, Galerie Claudine Legrand, Paris
  • 1999: Galerie Geneviève Godar, Lille, Galerie des Emibois, Switzerland, Maison de la Céramique, Mulhouse
  • 1998: Arts Pluriels, Abidjan, Ivory Coast, MAM, Douala, Cameroon, Galerie Claudine Legrand, Paris
  • 1997: Bomani Gallery, San Francisco, Afrique en Création, Ministry of Cooperation, Centre Wallonie, Brussels, Galerie Claudine Legrand, Paris
  • 1996: Centre Culturel, Meudon, Paris, Galerie Hamelin, Honfleur, Galerie Geneviève Godar, Lille
  • 1994: Centre Culturel La Nacelle, Aubergenville, France
  • 1989: Industrial Space Dong, Copenhagen, Denmark
  • 2004: Museum of World Culture, Göteborg, Sweden, Lille Art Fair, Galerie Hamlin, Galerie Geneviève Godar, Lille, Galerie Claudine Legrand, Paris, St’art 2004, Galerie Hamlin, Strasbourg

Joint exhibitions[edit]

2010: Beddington Fine Art Bargemon, Joint Exhibition with Christian Destieu 21 August - 16 October 2010, Group Sculpture Beddington Fine Art 10th Anniversary Exhibition Gallery Garden Bargemon from the 26th of June 2010, Galerie Elfie Bohrer Zurich

2007: Terre Noire "Ousmane Sow et les tendances de la sculpture africaine d'aujourd'hui", Musée Départemental Maurice Denis, St- Germain- en Laye

2006: Les 4 Saisons, L'Hiver Inge Horup & Etiyé Dimma Poulsen Beddington Fine Art Bargemon

Museum collections[edit]

The Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, USA, The Hans Bogatzke Collection of Contemporary African Art, Germany, The Smithsonian National Museum of African Art, Washington, Newark Museum, New Jersey, Hood Museum, Hanover, New Hampshire, La Piscine, Roubaix, France[5]


  1. ^ "Poulsen, Etiyé Dimma". Oxford Art Online. Retrieved 6 March 2015.
  2. ^ a b c "Etiye Dimma Poulson". Ceramics Monthly. 49 (2): 20. February 2001.
  3. ^ Konjit, Seyoum. "Poulson, Etiye Dimma". Oxford Art Online. Oxford University press.
  4. ^ Seyoum, Konjit. "Poulsen, Etiyé Dimma in Oxford Art Online". Oxford Art online. Oxford University Press. Retrieved 4 March 2016.
  5. ^ "Etiye Dimma Poulsen". Beddington Fine Art.

External links[edit]