MASI Lugano in collaboration with Serpentine, London, presents the largest retrospective ever devoted to the photographer James Barnor (Accra, Ghana, 1929, lives and works in London). Throughout his lengthy career, spanning six decades and two continents, Barnor has been an extraordinary visual witness to the social and political changes of his time – from the independence of Ghana to the African diaspora and the lives of London’s African community. Easily navigating different places, cultures and genres – from photojournalism to social documentary, studio portraiture and fashion and lifestyle work – the British-Ghanaian photographer has always stood out for his resolutely modern outlook and pioneering approach. Although he has influenced generations of photographers in Africa and the rest of the world, his work has only recently been rediscovered and celebrated. James Barnor: Accra/London – A Retrospective presents a selection of over 200 works from Barnor’s vast personal archive, including numerous previously unpublished images. In addition to vintage photographs, reprints and original documents, the show also presents magazine covers and record sleeves, and focuses in particular on the decades 1950-1980.


Presented in collaboration with Serpentine, London. “James Barnor: Accra/London – A Retrospective” is initiated and organised by Serpentine, London. Curated by Lizzie Carey-Thomas, Chief Curator, Serpentine and Awa Konaté: Culture Art Society (CAS), Assistant Curator.


Organised in collaboration with Clémentine de la Féronnière, Isabella Seniuta and Sophie Culière, James Barnor Archives.