Joël Mpah Dooh

Joël Mpah Dooh, Cameroonian, b. 1956

Joël is one of the finest artists on the African continent and enjoys international critical acclaim with his paintings and multi-media works. He lives and works in Douala, Cameroon, and studied fine arts in Amiens, France. He was a visiting artist at the Bag Factory in Fordsburg, Johannesburg. Some of his exhibitions include, “Rendez vous”, which was the highlight of the 2006 Dakar Bienniale of African Contemporary Art in Senegal. He also participated in the Lines of Connections exhibition, organized by the MTN Art Foundation in 2001, alongside William Kentridge, Kendell Geers and Samuel Fosso. He has held solo and group exhibitions in Cameroon, Austria, Senegal, France, Cuba, Lebanon, Kenya and the United States.

Joël is preoccupied with art and experimentation in art. He is inspired by the tactile reality of his environment but is mostly an inner traveler. He works on paper, canvas, corrugated iron and most recently perspex, mixing earth, colors, clay, packaging, wood and chalk inscriptions and scratching. He explores the fragility of individual human identity and how it reinvents itself while moving and evolving in the city. He suggests that in the process, this delicate ‘self’ is taking control through conflict with society and its institutions, and draws his own history and destiny in the light of other human connections and relationships.

The marks and abstracted gestures of this contemporary mixed media artist reflect the synthesis of his life as a modern man, who exhibits internationally, yet chooses to live in his home nation, Cameroon. His unique artistic style and international perspective presents the viewer with both mystery and familiarity. He has an uncommon gift of synchronizing conflicting elements, balancing power and delicacy, medium and emotion, French and Doualan, the  traditional and the modern; merging a myriad of influences to create unforgettable images on canvas, paper, aluminum and perspex.

Solo Exhibitions

2016 – Since We Last Met, Gallery MOMO, Johannesburg
2016 – Time To Meet, Olmenka Gallery, Lagos
2016 – Gallery 23, Amsterdam
2012 –  Let’s Take a Walk, Gallery MOMO, Johannesburg
2010 – African by Legacy, Mexican by Birth, Angkhor Photo Festival, Cambodia
2009 –  Galerie Mam/MTN Foundation, Cameroon, Artist Proof Studio, South Africa
2009 – Sans Titre, Joao Ferreira Gallery, South Africa
2008 – Looking Glass Self, Peter Hermann Gallery, Berlin, Germany
2008 – After Taste, Afronova Gallery, Johannesburg, South Africa
2007 – African by Legacy, Mexican by Birth, Mijares Gallery in conjunction with UCLA, Los Angeles, CA
2007 – Eclipse, Maison Follies, Maubeuge, France
2007 – Eclipse, Foundation Jean-Paul Blachere, Apt, France
2007 – Piste Africaines, Les Chantiers de la Lune, La Seyne sur mer, France
2006 – Just Say Hello, Afronova Gallery, South Africa
2006 – National Black Arts Festival, Noel Gallery, United States
2006 – Rendez vous, Off Biennale Dakar, DAKART 2006, Gallery Mam, Senegal
2006 – Rendez vous, Gallerie Mam, Cameroon
2005 – Viajes Personales, Instituto Universitario de Barlovento, Higuerote, Venezuela; Biblioteca
2005 – Virgilio Barco, Bogota Colombia; UNAN-Leon, Leon, Nicaragua; Museo del Hombre, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

2005 – African By Legacy, Mexican by Birth (Series 1), Inter-America Foundation, National Council of La Raza, Inter-Agency Consultation on Race in Latin America. Washington DC.


Group Exhibitions

2011 – Paris Photo 2011, Grand Palais, Paris, France
2011 – FNB Joburg Art Fair 2011, Gallery MOMO booth, South Africa
2011 – “A Tribute to Photography,” Primo Marella Gallery, Milan, Italy Kaddou Diggen: la Parole aux
2011 – Femmes, Galerie Le Manage/French Institute, Dakar, Senegal
2010 – New African Photography, Gallery MOMO, Johannesburg, South Africa
2010 – ECO, SEGAW, ECHO, XIANG Project Row Houses Round 32, Houston, Texas
2010 – The Mothership has Landed, Rush Arts, New York, NY
2009 – 8th Bamako Encounters / African Photography Biennial, Bamako, Mali
2008 – The Shoot Out: A Lonely Crusade, Homage to Jamel Shabazz, The George and Leah McKenna
2008 – Museum of African American Art, New Orleans, LA
2007 – Post Millennial Black Madonna Paradise/ Inferno, Museum of Contemporary African Diasporic
2007 – Art (MoCADA) and Skylight Gallery, Brooklyn, NY
2006 – The Shoot Out, African American Museum, Philadelphia, PA
2005 – Visualized Rhythm,curated by Peter Hermann Gallery for Afrika Festival. Portsdam, Germany
2005 – Assembly International, Tara Herbst and Nicolas Siepen for Kulturstiftung des Bundes, Berlin, Germany
2004 – El Negro Mas Chulo: African by Legacy, Mexican by Birth, A Gathering of the Tribes Gallery, New York, NY.
2004 – Indocile Identities, Amrita Arts for Pool Art Addict, New York, NY

Residency and Award
2016 – Gallery MOMO, Johannesburg, South Africa
2010 – Gallery MOMO/Goethe Institute, Johannesburg, South Africa.
2010 – Light Works, Syracuse, NY, Louisiana Art Works, New Orleans, LA.
2009 – Cite International des Arts, Paris France,
2009 – New Jersey City University, Jersey City, NJ.
2006 – The Bakery Photographic Collective, Portland, Maine.



2011 – FNB Joburg Art Fair
2011 – Catalogue, featured artist for Gallery MOMO L’Institut Francais, Dakar, Kaddou Diggen,
2011 – La Parole Aux Femmes Exhibition catalogue
2010 – City Press (South Africa), Citizen of the World, Gail Smith.
2009 – Bamako Encounters Exhibition Catalogue.
2009 – African by Legacy, Mexican by Birth exhibition catalogue, Unilan Publishing Co.
2009 – Camera Austria Issue 107.
2007 – Sunday Times (South Africa), The Big Picture, Sean O’Toole, December
2006 – African by Legacy, Mexican by Birth Exhibition Catalogue,
2004 – SOULS: A Critical Journal of Black Politics, Culture, and Society, (Cover image) Vol. 6, #2, Spring 2004 (Colombia University)