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Malick Sidibe, the African photographer, had two shows open in Chelsea last night. Sidibe is truly a master of his craft. His portraits and candid pictures, taken in Mali over the last three decades, are at Jack Shainman Gallery and in the backroom at Marianne Boesky Gallery. Sidibe’s work is purely photographic, as opposed to so much current photography that leans heavily on a conceptual framework. This type of traditional B & W photography often feels stale or rote, but Sidibe pulls it off. The prints at Shainman are unique, in that they are one-of-a-kind pictures in small cardboard frames. The work at Boesky is more traditionally framed, but much larger. Both shows are must-sees.

- Asha Schechter [Sunday, January 12th, 2003]

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