Revisiting Seydou Keïta - Aperture Foundation NY
Celebrated for his studio portraiture in the 1950s, Bamako’s most prominent photographer mastered the elements of style.

By Julie Crenn

Julie Crenn is an art critic and curator based in Paris. Translated from the French by Caroline Hancock.

Seydou Keïta is on view at the Grand Palais, Paris, through July 11, 2016.

Seydou Keïta, Sans titre, 1949.
© Seydou Keïta / SKPEAC.
Courtesy CAAC, The Pigozzi Collection, Genève

This spring, Paris pays tribute to Seydou Keïta, a pioneering figure in West African and international photography. Along with Malick Sidibé, J.D. ’Okhai Ojeikere, Jean Depara, Philippe Koudjina, and many others, Keïta embodies the foundations of portrait photography in Africa. He belongs to the family of twentieth-century masters of photography, along with August Sander, Diane Arbus, Richard Avedon, and Helen Levitt. Even though his work has been included, since the 1990s, in major surveys connected to photography or African art at large, the Grand Palais currently presents his second Parisian retrospective exhibition. Organized by Yves Aupetitallot, the selection of works comes primarily from the Contemporary African Art Collection, as well as from the personal collection of André Magnin. By making the choice to exhibit both original vintage photographs and larger prints, the exhibition underlines the [...]

Read More