Seydou Keita, Untitled, Bamako, 1949-64, black and white photograph, print, Philippe Salaün, 57,6 x 73,6 cm, collection of the Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain, Paris (acq. 1995). © Seydou Keita. Picture © Seydou Keita.

Exhibition overview

On the occasion of the Month of Photography, the Fondation Cartier presented presents the first personal exhibition of Seydou Keita’s work, including 40 previously unseen photographs made during the 1950s and 1960s and forming part of the Jean Pigozzi collection.

Artists and contributors of the exhibition:
  • Seydou Keïta

The exhibition in detail

Seydou Keita and André Magnin, opening of the exhibition Seydou Keita, Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain, Paris, 1994. © Keita / SKPEAC, Courtesy CAAC – The Pigozzi Collection. Picture © Philippe Salaün.

Seydou Keita opened his studio in the early 1940s in Bamako. Keita’s ‘customers’ pose at will, alone or in groups, in couples, in family groups, full length or torso, sometimes with an object that symoblises their craft (pen and inkwell, sewing machine) or that simply belongs to them (radio, bike, moped).

A perfect mastery of light and composition and a sharp eye for staging make these portraits into exemplary artistic works. Keita’s work constitutes an irreplaceable and authentic memory of Malian society via an inventory of costumes, jewellery, poses, attitudes and expressions.