(Ivory Coast 1939-2021)
printed in 2019
silver gelatin print
signed, dated and numbered 4/8 on the reverse
sheet size: 60 x 50 cm; image size: 54 x 4 cm; framed size: 74 x 63 x 4 cm
In Camera Galerie, Paris, 'Paul Kodjo and Ananias Léki Dago', 17 September to 24 October 2020.; 1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair, Industria Manhattan, New York City, 'The Collection of Isabel S. Wilcox', 3 May to 5 May 2015.
Lawson, D. (2021). Institute of Contemporary Art/ Boston and MoMA PS1 in Association with Mack, illustrated on p.101. [Catalogue].; French Ministry of Culture with Le bec en l'air editions. (March 2020). Acquisitions from public collections, Photography, illustrated on p.37. [Catalogue].
In Camera Galerie, Paris.
Born in 1939 in Banco Forest in Abidjan, Paul Kodjo began his career in the early 1960s, during the dawn of Cote d’Ivoire’s independence. In 1967, he moved to Paris, France, to study photography at the École ABC de la photographie and cinema at the Conservatoire Libre du Cinéma Français concurrently. On completion of his formal studies, he remained in Paris working from a photographic studio at 13 bis Rue Laffitte as correspondent for the Ivorian daily Fraternité-Matin and for the Centre d’Information et de Diffusion Ivoirien à Paris. During this time he was one of the only Black photographers to document the May 1968 student protests in Paris.
In 1970, Kodjo returned to Cote d’Ivoire and founded an agency called MAMEDIS (Mass Media Service) to do work in photography, film and publishing. He started publishing his fictional photo-romans in the weekly magazine, Ivoire Dimanche. Kodjo is best known for his photographs taken during this decade in Abidjan and has often been referred to as the ‘father of Ivorian photography’. In 1973, he received the Grand Prize for International Photographic Reporting. In his later years, Kodjo taught photography at the Institut National des Arts in Abidjan.
His work has been exhibited extensively in Paris and was also shown at the Abidjan Goethe Institut during the 2nd edition of the Les Rencontres du Sud photo festival. His work is included in various public collections including the Musée du quai Branly – Jacques Chirac in France and the Art Gallery of Ontario in Canada.
A documentary on the life of Paul Kodjo, produced by photographer Ananias Leki Dago, was premiered in Cote d’Ivoire at the Abidjan Institut Français in April 2022.
Other examples from the edition are in the collection of Quai Branly Museum, France, and Art Gallery of Ontario, Canada.
The artist is represented in numerous local and international collections, notably, Musée du quai Branly, Jacques Chirac, Paris.; Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto and the collection of Isabel S. Wilcox, New York City.