British Academy Summer Showcase. Rediscovering the arts and heritage of South Sudan in Italian Museums. In the nineteenth century, Europeans began to travel to the territory of what is now South Sudan. They returned with over twenty thousand objects, which were deposited in museums across Europe and almost forgotten. Zoe Cormack’s research focuses on the items brought back by Italian traders and explorers. In collaboration with South Sudanese partners, she has retraced the routes of these objects and rediscovered thousands of treasures from South Sudan in Italian museums.
An exhibition at Lempertz showcases for the first time the exceptional collection of inveterate dealer Pierre Dartevelle. He spent a great deal of time in Central Africa beginning in the middle of the 1960s and was, among other things, the discoverer of Hemba statuary. The approximately 100 objects shown span areas of the Congo such as Shaba, Kasaï, and the Lower Congo. Material from the latter is among the strongest suits of his collection. Songye figures; Lega masks; Lower Congo fetishes; wood, bronze, and ivory objects; and spectacular effigies all give us insight into the mind of a man with a consuming passion for the traditional arts of Africa. Laurent Jacob, who was also co-curator for the exhibition on Edmond Dartevelle (Pierre’s father) at the Musée Président Jacques Chirac in 2010, is responsible for putting together this show. He is assisted here by Tim Teuten of Lempertz auction house, where the show is being presented, who adds his expertise to the subject.
In Their Own Form seeks to illuminate the myriad ways blackness might hope to exist without the imposition of oppression, racism and stereotypes ever-present in Western cultures, mediated through Afrofuturist themes including time-travel and escapism. Afrofuturism refers to a cross-disciplinary genre that combines science fiction, Afrocentrism, fantasy, technology, and non-Western mythologies as an intellectual and artistic strategy to reimagine and repurpose the fraught past, present, and future of the transnational black experience. Bringing together 13 artists and 33 photographic and video works that negotiate a range of Afro-Diasporic experiences, In Their Own Form prefaces personhood, both fantastical and actual, over perceived realities.
Be dazzled by over 200 gleaming gold items of regalia, colorful and intricately woven silk kente cloth, ceremonial furniture, state swords, linguist staffs, and other significant objects related to Asante royals from the 19th through the 21st centuries. Founded around 1701 with wealth derived from the gold trade with North Africa and Europe, the Asante Kingdom was a very powerful polity in West Africa. The Power of Gold: Asante Royal Regalia from Ghana, inspired by works in the DMA’s collection and featuring objects from public and private collections, reveals the splendor of Asante regalia, much of which is made of gold.
As avatars of royal power and authority in Western Cameroon, tsesah crests by Bamileke artists stand out for their monumental scale and bold interpretations of the head. In celebration of The Met's recent acquisition of a rare 18th-century masterpiece, the exhibition presents this tsesah crest along with three examples drawn from other collections. Only 15 works from this genre survive, and this presentation is the first opportunity in the United States to view a group of these epic creations together.
Over the last century, the relationship between the West and the arts referred to as “primitive,” – artificially grouping together the arts of Africa, Oceania and the Americas – has undergone a profound upheaval. No longer viewed as ethnographic curiosities, these objects are now valued as fine art, encompassing a range of styles, histories and cultures. How have ethnographic objects come to be viewed as art? How do we reconcile these two approaches today? A major exhibition of the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, From Africa to the Americas: Face-to-Face Picasso, Past and Present explores these questions by unfurling the chronological threads of the life of Picasso (1881-1973) in parallel with art history, increasing the points of view on the history of Modernism.
The exhibition on the aesthetic and meaning of beadwork focuses for the first time on women as artists. Whether in the shape of fine ornaments, impressive masks, or royal stools – bead art from southern, eastern and western Africa is admired for the delicacy of its workmanship and the diversity of styles. Manufactured in Europe for the African market from the 17th century on, glass beads are indicative of the early stages of globalisation. However, glass beads never merely served decorative or ornamental purposes; the colours and designs also convey intricate messages about age, gender, and identity of the persons wearing the pieces.
Striking Iron: The Art of African Blacksmiths, an international traveling exhibition that combines scholarship with objects of great aesthetic beauty to create the most comprehensive treatment of the blacksmith’s art in Africa to date. The exhibition will include over 225 artworks from across the African continent, focusing on the region south of the Sahara and covering a time period spanning early archaeological evidence to the present day. It features wood sculptures studded with iron, blades, and currencies in a myriad of shapes and sizes, diverse musical instruments, body adornments, an array of ritual accoutrements, tools and weapons, and other important objects that enabled Africans to forage and hunt, till the soil, and assure their own protection and prosperity. The exhibition will examine how the smith’s virtuosic works can harness the powers of the natural and spiritual world, effect change and ensure protection, prestige, and status, assist with life’s challenges and transitions, and enhance the efficacies of sacred acts such as ancestor veneration, healing, fertility, and prophecy.
Swahili coast artworks have been shaped by complex migrations across great distances, the formation of new empires, and the making and unmaking of communities and social identities. World on the Horizon explores Swahili arts as objects of mobility, outcomes of encounter, and as products of trade and imperialism. Works from different regions and time periods come together in this exhibition to reveal the movement of artistic forms, motifs, and preferences, and to reflect the changing meanings they may carry during the course of their life histories.
At MEG each exhibition is the promise of a trip. From May 18th, stopover in Africa, to discover the religious cultures of this continent. The exhibition 'Africa. The religions of ecstasy' reveals the richness of African religious practices. Throughout the journey, the public plunges into an atmosphere of mysticism and discovers the fervour of believers. More than 400 unpublished pieces from the MEG's collections are enriched by fascinating images of five internationally renowned contemporary photographers. The route of the exhibition reveals monotheistic religions (Islam, Christianity and Judaism), indigenous African religions, possession cults and magico-religious universes. Here, Africa is not seen as a geographical space, but as a cultural space. These religious practices are found even in the Americas and Europe, where they have been widely disseminated by the diaspora.
This innovative and visually compelling exhibition presents more than 130 masks from the vast Congo region of Africa. Drawn from the finest and most comprehensive collection in private hands, these masks from the 19th and 20th centuries are combined with film footage, photographs, instruments, maps, and music to evoke the sights and sounds of the Congo.
The exhibition ‘Beyond Compare’ introduces superlative works of art from Africa from the Ethnologisches Museum into the peerless sculpture collection of the Bode Museum. Pairs of sculptures from both continents will be placed throughout the permanent collection and a special-exhibition gallery will address specific themes. The experimental juxtaposition of works from two continents reveals possible correlations on various levels, including historic contemporaneity, iconographic and technological similarities, and artistic strategies. Despite stylistic differences, striking similarities appear in the ways works of art function in both contexts. Power figures from the Congo were used to protect villages and communities, just as Gothic depictions of the Virgin of Mercy were. At the same time comparisons also expose contrasts, as with depictions of motherhood, which rely on different visual languages in Africa and Europe and convey different messages.