We provide a preview of the exhibition, Asen: Mémoires de fer Forgé - Art Vodun du Danhomè in this two-part article. Part I explores questions of use, the history of these arts, the political changes that occurred in Dahomey in which asen featured prominently, and how asen help us to understand the changing relationships between local residents and Europeans in the pre-colonial and colonial era.
Remember at the start of the year, when we said that contemporary African art is the darling of the industry? Well, if this year's 1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair is anything to go by then we were right.
Cuban artist Wifredo Lam was a frontrunner of a cross-cultural state of style that subsumed Western modernism with African and Caribbean symbolism. His search for an artistic standpoint brought him in contact with the avant-garde movements of his age, movements that all had great significance in his work.