The Jean Pigozzi African Art Collection

Seydou Keïta, Leila Heller Gallery, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

from 22/06/2016 to 01/09/2016

Leila Heller Gallery is pleased to present an exhibition of African photographer Seydou Keïta, drawn from a selection of his black and white portraits of the residents of Bamako, Mali from 1948 to 1960.

Keïta’s work captures the essence of the historic moment when the continent undergoes decolonization from Europe and a new sense of African identity is emerging. His photographs document these changes, especially visible in the poses and gestures that his sitters adopt to assert their thorough modernity. Keïta delvelops a rich aesthetic vocabulary through his portraits staged against painted backdrops juxtaposing the distinctively vibrant and boldly-patterned African fabrics with Western props like cars, radios, and sunglasses. Renewing his props every few years, he was able to establish a chronology for his work and bear witness to the changes in urban Malian society. Keïta’s posed portraits communicate the essence of that time by combining tradition with these signifiers of modern identity.



June 22 - September 1 2016
1-87 Alserkal Avenue, PO Box 413991
Al Quoz 1, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Link to the exhibition website