Souleymane Keïta

In 1960, the year Senegal gained independence, Souleymane Keita (1947-2014) was admitted to the Ecole Nationale des Beaux-Arts in Dakar, where he would study fine arts and ceramics. In his early paintings, Keita depicted mask-like faces and figures like many artists of the first generation working within the context of the cultural policy set up by Senegal's first president, Léopold Sédar Senghor. Over time, however, he became increasingly drawn to non-figurative compositions. He started to make collages and to paint on different supports and formats, including round canvases, at times blurring the lines between painting and sculpture. From 1980 to 1985, he spent five formative years in New York City, before finally moving back to his birthplace of Gorée, a small island close to Dakar and a memorial site of the Atlantic slave trade.

Works in the collection