Ndokalé Gorée / Homage to Gorée is an exhibition of recent mixed media work by the Senegalese-born artist Souleymane Keita. This is his first New York show since his last appearance in the 1990 landmark exhibition Contemporary African Artists: Changing Tradition at the Studio Museum in Harlem.
Widely regarded as one of Africa’s most accomplished artist of his generation, Souleymane Keita has consistently explored the expressive possibilities of abstraction in his encounters with history and global transformation over the past three decades.
Keita has always worked in series: this selection builds on recent exhibitions in Dakar (Senegal) and Abidjan (Cote d’Ivoire), and he pays homage to the Island of Gorée, his birth place, situated off the coast of Dakar. They possess tactile qualities that are imbued with both personal and collective meanings. Also included is Homage to Al Loving, 2007, a hung and un-stretched canvas sewn into geometrical shapes and saturated with color that makes a compelling venture in a trans-Atlantic dialogue and a fitting paean to the late African-American abstract expressionist artist Al Loving whose work also thrived on experimentation and improvisation.
Souleymane Keita was born 1947 in Gorée Island, Senegal and studied Fine Art at the Ecole des Arts du Senegal in Dakar 1960-64 and proceeded to the Atelier de Céramique, Senegal 1964-67 for further studies. His instructors included the late Senegalese modernist painter Iba Ndiaye. He is a widely traveled artist and lived in New York in 1979-85, a period during which he further strengthened his philosophical and improvisational approach to art-making.
He has exhibited extensively in Africa, Europe and the Americas. Awards include the Chevalier de l’ordre des Arts, République Française, 2003, Pa Académie des Arts et lettre du Sénégal, 2003, Chevalier de l’ordre Nationale des Mérites, 2006, Membre du Conseil d’Administration de Gorée Institut, Membre du conseil scientifique de la Biennale de Dakar and Coréalisateur du drapeau de la tolérance de l’UNESCO, Paris.
Souleymane Keita's work is represented in several private and public collections at home and abroad, and presently lives and work in Dakar, Senegal with his family.
Skoto Gallery Website
Please click here for the Culturekiosque article, "One of the Dark Places of the Earth": Virtual Visit to Gorée's 'House of Slaves' .