Deguene studied art in Lille and Paris. A study grant enabled him to spend five months in French Sudan, Upper-Volta, French Guinea and Senegal in 1932. He exhibited his African oils and pastels at the Salon of Société Coloniale des Artistes Française in 1933. He visited Morocco and Madagascar in 1946 and 1953 respectively. His painting of the market in Fez is in the collection of the Musée d’Art et d’Industrie in Roubaix. From 1936 to 1962 he was professor of painting and drawing at the technicon in the same city. Retrospective exhibitions of his work were held in the France in the 1990s. Deguene’s still life composition comprises masks, textiles and basketry he would have encountered or collected on his travels through Central and West Africa. At the top right is a typical example of a Pende mask from the Democratic Republic of Congo; the blue and white mask with raffia in the centre of the painting is from the Yaka tribe of Southwest Democratic Republic of the Congo and Angola; the mask at the bottom of the painting and the spirit figure both belong to the Baule people of Ghana and the Ivory Coast; the cloth at the back of the painting is probably from Burkino Faso, West Africa.
We are grateful to Prof. Sandra Klopper, University of Stellenbosch, for her assistance with this catalogue entry