« It is through modern art that I discovered « art nègre » at 20, and eventually became an ethnologist » says, Michel Leiris (1901-1990).
who is the focus of an exhibition of 350 works at Centre Pompidou Metz. He is one of those extraodinary characters who wrote poetry, went on long expeditions from Dakar to Djibouti (1931-33) while he worked at Musée de l’Homme (for almost 50 years), and surrounded himself with the most interesting painters (Picasso, André Masson, Miro, Wilfredo Lam, Giacometti, Francis Bacon…) and writers (Max Jacob and Georges Bataille).
A writer himself, he published many books on Africa whose vaudou rites he studied, (l’Afrique fantôme) and Dogons and Ethiopians, but also an autobiographical work « l’Age d‘homme ». His wife Louise Leiris was the daughter of the Kahnweiller and ran an art gallery.