Konaté first studied painting at the Institut National des Arts in Bamako and then at the Instituto Superior des Arte, Havana, Cuba, where he lived for seven years before returning to Mali.
Today, his work primarily takes the form of textile-based installations which explore socio-political and environmental issues, as well as showcasing his aesthetic concerns and formal language. The artist questions the way in which societies and individuals, both in Mali and beyond, have been affected by factors such as war, the struggle for power, religion, globalisation, ecological shifts and the AIDS epidemic. Employing material native to Mali, namely woven and dyed cloths which are sewn together, the artist creates large-scale abstract and figurative compositions. Konatérefers to the West-African tradition of using textiles as a means of commemoration and communication, balancing global political and social reflections with a reference to his own local and cultural history.
In 2008, Konaté was nominated for the Artes Mundi 3 prize, Cardiff. He has received several awards, including the prestigious Léopold Sédar Senghor Prize at the Dak’Art Biennale in Dakar (1996), the Officier de l’Ordre National du Mali (2009) as well as the Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres de France (2002). He is the Founding General Director of the Conservatoire des Arts et Métiers Multimédia Balla Fasseké Kouyaté in Bamako.