Norbert Ghisoland, Seydou Keïta
To launch its 20th year of existence, Gallery FIFTY ONE is delighted to present its upcoming duo-show including studio portraits by Norbert Ghisoland and Seydou Keïta. Both coming from different backgrounds and eras, they share quite a few similarities. The studio portraits of ordinary people, taken in different social contexts, give us a glimpse of how both photographers captured the surrounding society within the small constraints of their studios.
Seydou Keïta (Mali, 1920 - France, 2001) has been introduced to the art world by the gallerist in 1995 - even before the official opening of the gallery in 2000. Keïta has been a part of the represented artists ever since. He belongs to a generation of African photographers who enjoyed an international recognition only at a later stage of his life. This exhibition will only feature life-time prints signed by the artist.
Norbert Ghisoland (Belgium, 1878 - 1939) comes from the coal-mining region of "Le Borinage", in Belgium where he opened his shop and studio. He was able to attract a whole crowd of people wanting to be photographed either as individuals or in groups. Not only local miners came by but also middle-class people, military men, clergymen, sportsmen, young and old. Norbert Ghisoland chose the setting and poses of his models, either in a specific decor or in front of a white backdrop, always capturing them in a most positive way.
This exhibition creates an interesting dialogue between two studio-photographers from different time periods and locations, but aiming to achieve the same goal: to create a moment of peace and quiet in the rough day to day lives and entertaining their models using accessories such as watches, hats, bikes, etc., that weren’t available to everyone at that time.