Malick Sidibé

Malick Sidibé  born in1935 and died in 14 April 2016 was a celebrated Malian photographer. Working primarily in black and white, his photographs captured lively portraits and scenes of celebration and popular culture.

Sidibé had a long and fruitful career as a photographer in Bamako, Mali, and was a well-known figure in his community. In 1994 he had his first exhibition outside of Mali and received much critical praise for his carefully composed portraits. Sidibé’s work has since become well known and renowned on a global scale. His work was the subject of a number of publications and exhibited throughout Europe and the United States. In 2007, he received a Golden Lion Award for Lifetime Achievement at the Venice Biennale, becoming both the first photographer[4] and the first African so recognized. Other awards he has received include a Hasselblad Award for photography, an International Center of Photography Infinity Award for Lifetime Achievement, and a World Press Photo award.

Sidibé’s work is held in the collections of The Contemporary African Art Collection (CAAC), the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles, and the Museum of Modern Art in New York

No African artist has done more to enhance photography’s stature in the region, contribute to its history, enrich its image archive or increase our awareness of the textures and transformations of African culture in the second half of the 20th century and the beginning of the 21st than Malick Sidibé.

Malick Sidibé African Contemporary photographer MoMAA
Malick Sidibé

“We were entering a new era, and people wanted to dance. Music freed us. Suddenly, young men could get close to young women, hold them in their hands. Before, it was not allowed. And everyone wanted to be photographed dancing up close.”

– Malick Sidibé


Sidibé’s negative collection, in his studio in Bamako, Mali
Sidibé’s work is held in the following public collections:

The Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois
The Contemporary African Art Collection (CAAC) of Jean Pigozzi, Geneva
J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, CA
Museum of Modern Art, New York
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco
Baltimore Museum of Art, Baltimore, MD
Birmingham Museum of Art, Birmingham, AL
Studio Museum in Harlem (New York)
High Museum of Art, Atlanta, GA
International Center of Photography, New York
Moderna Museet, Stockholm
The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Houston, Texas

2003: Hasselblad Award for photography
2007: Golden Lion Award for Lifetime Achievement, Venice Biennale
2008: Infinity Award for Lifetime Achievement, International Center of Photography (ICP), New York
2010: World Press Photo award – first prize singles, Arts and Entertainment[

Solo exhibitions
1995: Malick Sidibé: Bamako 1962–1976, Fondation Cartier pour l’Art Contemporain, Paris
1999: Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, IL
1999: Malick Sidibé. Photographie, Dany Keller Galerie, Munich
1999: Cool Cats and Twist Club, Australian Centre for Photography, Sydney, Australia
2000: Centre d’Art Contemporain Genève, Geneva, Switzerland
2001: Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna, Rome, Italy
2001: Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, Netherlands
2002: HackelBury Fine Art Limited, London
2003: Hasselblad Center, Gothenburg Museum of Art, Gothenburg, Sweden
2004: CAV Coimbra Visual Arts Centre, Coimbra, Portugal
2004: Museet for Fotokunst, Brandts Klaedefabrik, Odense, Denmark
2005: Photographs: 1960-2004, Jack Shainman Gallery, New York, USA ]
2007: Malick Sidibé. C’est Pas Ma Faute, Musee des arts derniers, Paris
2007: Malick Sidibé. Los Sabena Club, Fifty One Fine Art Photography, Antwerp, Belgium
2008: Malick Sidibé. Chemises, Foam Fotografiemuseum Amsterdam, Amsterdam, Netherlands
2009: Malick Sidibé. Bamako Nights, Musée Nicéphore Niépce, Chalon sur Saône, France
2010: “Studio Malick”, Tristan Hoare, London
2011: Malick Sidibé. The Eye of Bamako, M+B Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
2015: Studio Malick. Gares de Bretagne et Montparnasse, Frac Bretagne, Conseil régional and SNCF
2014: Malick Sidibé, Jack Shainman Gallery, New York, USA
2016: It’s Too Funky In Here! By Malick Sidibé, FIFTY ONE TOO, Antwerp, Belgium
2017: Malick Sidibé. The Eye of Modern Mali, Somerset House, London. His first solo exhibition in the UK.

Group exhibitions and festivals
1995: Seydou Keita & Malick Sidibe: Photographs From Mali, Fruitmarket Gallery, Edinburgh, Scotland
1996: Double vie, Double vue, Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain, Paris, France
1996: By Night, Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain, Paris, France
1999: 6th International İstanbul Biennial 1999, International Istanbul Biennial, Istanbul, Turkey
2000: Africa: Past-Present, Fifty One Fine Art Photography, Antwerp
2001-2003: You look beautiful like that: The Portrait of Photographs of Seydou Keïta and Malick Sidibé, Fogg Museum, Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, MA; UCLA Hammer Museum, University of California, Los Angeles, USA; Norton Museum of Art, West Palm Beach FL; National Portrait Gallery, London; Williams College Museum of Art, Williamstown, Massachusetts, USA
2004: Photography: Inaugural Installation, Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), New York, USA
2004: Seeds and Roots, The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York, USA
2005: African Art Now – Masterpieces from the Jean Pigozzi Collection, National Museum of African Art, Washington, USA
2007: Why Africa? The work of 13 photographers including Sidibé, Frédéric Bruly Bouabré, Bodys Isek Kingelez, Chéri Samba, Makonde Lilanga, and Keita Seydou, Pinacoteca Giovanni e Marella Agnelli, Turin, Italy.
2009: Masters of Photography, Fifty One Fine Art Photography, Antwerp, Belgium
2009: Some Tribes, Christophe Guye Galerie, Zurich, Switzerland
2010: Posing Beauty in African American Culture, Art Gallery of Hamilton, Hamilton, USA
2010: Un Rêve Utile: Photographie Africaine 1960-2010, BOZAR – Palais des Beaux-Arts, Brussels
2010: Represent: Imaging African American Culture In Contemporary Art, Hagedorn Foundation Gallery, Atlanta, USA
2010: African Stories, Marrakech Art Fair, Marrakech
2011: Paris Photo, Grand Palais, The Walther Collection
2012: Afrika, hin und zurück, Museum Folkwang, Essen
2012: Gaze – The Changing Face of Portrait Photography, Istanbul Modern, Istanbul, Turkey
2012: Everything Was Moving: Photography from the 60s and 70s, Barbican Centre,
2014: Back to Front, Mariane Ibrahim Gallery, Seattle, USA
2014: Ici l’Afrique, Château de Penthes, Pregny-Chambésy, France
2015: The Pistil’s waitz, Gallery Fifty One, Antwerp, Belgium
2015: Making Africa. Un Continente De Diseño Contemporáneo, Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, Bilbao, Spain
2016: VIVRE !!, Cité nationale de l’histoire de l’immigration, Paris, France
2016: Regarding Africa: Contemporary Art and Afro-Futurism, Tel Aviv Museum of Art, Tel Aviv, Israel
2017: Back Stories, Mariane Ibrahim Gallery, Seattle, USA
2017: Il Cacciatore Bianco / The White Hunter, FM Centro per l’Arte Contemporanea, Milan, Italy
2017: Rhona Hoffman. 40 Years: Part 3. Political, Rhona Hoffman Gallery, Chicago, USA
2020: Through an African Lens: Sub-Saharan Photography from the Museum’s Collections, The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Houston, Texas

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