Untitled, #313 [Woman Seated on Chair]

Seydou Keïta Malian

Not on view

In this portrait, Keïta depicts a woman seated against one of his most popular arabesque backdrops. She rests her arms on the chair and stares directly at the viewer. Keïta has closely framed the image to foreground the woman’s precious jewelry, voluminous outfit, and intricate coiffure, privileging an aesthetic of abundance and opulence that speaks to the woman’s social status. His tendency to fill the picture plane with contrasting motifs stands in opposition to the group of photographs (exhibited at right) by Senegalese photographer Oumar Ka, whose sitters are mostly enshrouded in empty space.

Untitled, #313 [Woman Seated on Chair], Seydou Keïta (Malian, Bamako ca. 1921–2001 Paris), Gelatin silver print, 2001

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