Malick Sidibé Exhibit

June 30th – September 10th, 2022

Malick Sidibé Exhibit Brochure

Please download an in-depth PDF of the Malick Sidibé exhibit.
Complete with the artists’ works, and stock numbers when referencing for purchase.

Throckmorton Fine Art is please to present the first exhibition by acclaimed African photographer, Malick Sidibé. He was born in 1936 in rural Mali. While at school he was hired by a French photographer, Gérard Guillat, as an apprentice. Sidibé was a quick learner. Beginning in the late 1950s, Sidibé began taking on his own documentary photography, focusing on the youth culture of the capital of Mali, Bamako. In 1960, Mali achieved its independence from France, and there was a spurt of national pride and a celebration of new-found freedoms. Sidibé captured it: he took black-and-white photographs at marriages, sports events, the beach, nightclubs, and concerts. He also took formal portraits. Sidibé’s photographs from the 1960s, and into the 1970s, reflect a loosening of social norms, and the relaxed mixing of the traditional and the modern, in everything from clothes, hairstyles, music, to dance. Sidibé offers a fascinating insight into West Africa’s modernization.

 In 1994, Sidibé had his first exhibition outside of Mali. It was held, ironically perhaps, in France. Sidibé’s carefully composed portraits received considerable critical praise. The success of the exhibit led to publications and other exhibits. In 2007, Sidibé received a Golden Lion Award Achievement at the Venice Biennale, becoming both the first photographer and the first African to receive the prestigious award. Sibidé received other awards, including the Hasselblad Award for photography, an International Center of Photography Infinity Award for Lifetime Achievement, and a World Press Photo award.

 Sidibé, unfortunately, became less active in the 1980s as inexpensive cameras led Africans to take their own photographs, including in color. Concurrently, interest in traditional portraited photography waned. Sidibé spent an increasing amount of time in the later part of his life repairing cameras. He died in 2016.
Interest in Sidibé’s classic photographs from the 1960s and 1970s, though, has flowered. His work is the subject of many publications. While Sidibé is better known in Africa and Europe than the United States, his photographs are in the collections of such august American institutions as the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA), and the Getty Museum.

 The principal of Throckmorton Fine Art, Spencer Throckmorton, was an early admirer of the work of Sidibé, and over a twenty-year period has collected 55 of his photographs. Most of these works, all of which are portraits, will be shown in this noteworthy exhibit. The photographs capture a special moment in the history of Africa—the early post-independence period. Sidibé’s portraits celebrate in the most natural of ways the pride and dignity of Africans.