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RW
Rago/Wright
Medium
Signature
Signed and dated

In 1948, Seydou Keïta opened a portrait studio in which he would capture a Bamako society teetering on the brink of post-colonialism. Whether of individuals or families, a sense of formality pervades each black-and-white photograph, which Keïta would take in a single shot, directing his subjects to hold distinct poses or overtly display props. Despite their staging, each photograph’s careful framework captures personality and specifics of circumstance, at once yielding intimate portraits intended for personal use and examples of Keïta’s mastery of light and composition. Following Mali’s gain of independence in 1960, Keïta was ordered to close his studio and so buried his collection of negatives; their uncovering and dissemination was only arranged several decades later when a French photojournalist met the artist in Mali and connected him with a private collector.

Blue chip
Represented by internationally recognized galleries.
Collected by major museums
Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA)
Selected exhibitions
2021
12 Rooms | Seydou Keïta: Room #3KEWENIG
2017
Seydou KeïtaGalerie Nathalie Obadia
2016
Seydou KeitaRMN Grand Palais
View all

Untitled (56 A 57, Women with Large Headpieces), 1952-1955

Gelatin silver print (printed 1997) (framed)
50 × 74 in
127 × 188 cm
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RW
Rago/Wright
Medium
Signature
Signed and dated

In 1948, Seydou Keïta opened a portrait studio in which he would capture a Bamako society teetering on the brink of post-colonialism. Whether of individuals or families, a sense of formality pervades each black-and-white photograph, which Keïta would take in a single shot, directing his subjects to hold distinct poses or overtly display props. Despite their staging, each photograph’s careful framework captures personality and specifics of circumstance, at once yielding intimate portraits intended for personal use and examples of Keïta’s mastery of light and composition. Following Mali’s gain of independence in 1960, Keïta was ordered to close his studio and so buried his collection of negatives; their uncovering and dissemination was only arranged several decades later when a French photojournalist met the artist in Mali and connected him with a private collector.

Blue chip
Represented by internationally recognized galleries.
Collected by major museums
Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA)
Selected exhibitions (3)
Other works by Seydou Keïta
Related works