The Colors of Djibouti - Photographs by Peter Bonnén

The Colors of Djibouti
Photographs by Peter Bonnén

November 23rd, 2016, to April 16th, 2017


“This is where I found the colors and color combinations that I had always sought. There they were. I took picture after picture. So here are the paintings that I have never been able to paint.” (Peter Bonnén, 2016)

A new photo exhibition
The Colors of Djibouti – Photographs by Peter Bonnén presents large-scale color photographs taken by the artist on a journey to the little Muslim land of Djibouti on the Horn of Africa. The motifs, all from the capital, Djibouti City, are house facades of corrugated iron with skew lines and bright colors.

Perhaps it wasn’t possible to build structures with right angles when the dilapidated houses in Djibouti City were constructed, and perhaps not all colors were available. Nonetheless, the buildings and colors meet the needs at that specific place and that specific time.

In Peter Bonnén’s photographs, the shapes and colors work in a new way. They become aesthetic compositions like the dreamlike travel photographs of Bruce Chatwin or the smoldering fields of color of Mark Rothko. But the real world is not far away. In a corner is a sign in French and Arabic for an eatery. A score of gaudy brassieres hang from a line in a window. And human traces like these can be found in all the photographs.

Photo exhibitions at the David Collection
With this special exhibition, the David Collection continues its series of photo exhibitions from and about regions linked to the museum’s permanent holdings, featuring both vintage photos and work by contemporary artists. This time the artist is a man who is actually not known for his photographs. Since the 1960s, Peter Bonnén has primarily concentrated on sculpture, and his work can be found throughout Denmark in both private and public spaces.

This special exhibition will be shown from November 23, 2016, to April 16, 2017. Admission to both the museum and the exhibition is free. A little catalogue in Danish and English can be purchased for DKK 20. A poster can be purchased for DKK 40.


Admission to the museum and the exhibitions is free.

For further information about the special exhibition, please contact:

Peter Wandel, curator