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 GALERIE ART PREMIER AFRICAIN GALERIE ART PRIMITIF AFRICAIN AFRICAN ART GALLERY

GALERIE ART PREMIER AFRICAIN GALERIE ART PRIMITIF AFRICAIN AFRICAN ART GALLERY

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The Authenticity of African Sculptures

by Henri Kamer

The issue of authenticity of African art has been central to collectors for decades.  Henri Kamer, who was president of the International Arts Experts Association at the time, published an outstanding account of the state of the matter in Artes d'Afrique Noire, No. 12 (1974).  The text  that follows is extracted from an English translation of that article, and has been edited further.  The original includes a number of illustrations.  They are not included here because I believe the text suffices without them. 

The original version, including the illustrations, in French and with the English translation, is 

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Pol Pierre Gossiaux
 
Titulaire de la Chaire
d’Anthropologie des systèmes symboliques
et d’Ethnosémiologie de l’Art africain
Université de Liège (Belgium)
 
PP.Gossiaux@ulg.ac.be
 
 
 
 
 
Le Bwame  du Léopard
des
Babembe  (Kivu-Congo)
 
Rituel initiatique et rituel funéraire
 
Avec 52 illustrations
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
          2
     
 
 
 
Table des matières (1ère partie)
 
 
 
 
 
Avant dire. Présentation du Bwamè                                    
 
 
3
Fondements de l’anthropologie
et de l’ethnosémiologie bembe
 
10
Exorciser l’animal
 
Fondements du savoir bembe
 
 
15
Les animaux et la titulature du Bwamè
       
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Full text, digitalised by Lies Strijker and presented by the .Centre Aequatoria
Notes on the digitalisation and presentation


[Cover]

[1: empty]

[2]
IMPRIMI POTEST
Kanzenze, 12-2-1952
P. Simeon, o.m.f.
Sup. Reg.

IMPRIMATUR
Luabo-Kamina, 30-5-1952
+VICTOR PETRUS KEUPPENS
Vic. Ap. de Lulua


[3]

BANTU PHILOSOPHY
by
The Revd. Father PLACIDE TEMPELS

(Translated into English from "La Philosophie Bantoue" the French Version by Dr. A. Rubbens of Fr. Tempels' original work. The Revd. Colin King, M.A. Translator.)

With a Foreword to the English Edition by Dr Margaret Read, C.B.E.Ph. D.,M.A., formerly Professor of Education and Head of the Department Of Education in Tropical Areas, The

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Walker Evans

Walker Evans
Il est né le 3 novembre 1903, à Saint-Louis, Missouri. Il étudie au Williams College en 1922-1923 et à la Sorbonne en 1926. Evans débute la photographie en 1930. Il obtient une bourse de la Fondation John-Simon-Guggenheim en 1940, 1941 et 1959. Il entre au magazine Time en 1945 et à Fortune en 1965. Cette même année, il devient professeur de photographie à l'école d'art de l'Université Yale. Il est mort le 10 avril 1975, à New Haven, Connecticut.
On connaît notamment son travail sur la Grande dépression, participant au programme de la Farm Security Administration. Les images de métayers dans l'Alabama, au même titre que celles de Dorothea Lange, comptent parmi les icônes du monde moderne.
On remarque dans son travail les regards des sujets fixant l'objectif de Walker Evans : ici pas de doute le sujet se sait photographié, pour autant il ne se compose pas un visage de circonstance orné d'un sourire obligatoire. Ici la photographie ne se contente pas de montrer, elle interroge le spectateur, l'américain des années 1930 : si le sujet se laisse photographier dans cette posture, c'est que son regard a quelque chose à nous dire. Ce n'est peut-être plus nous qui le regardons mais lui qui nous accuse.
Cette franchise du photographe préserve une dignité humaine mise à mal par la misère qui se laisse voir dans les vêtements en loques.
Cet aspect de ses photos est
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Kongo Nail Fetishes from the Chiloango River Area
By Ezio Bassani
 
Originally published in African Arts - April 1977, Volume X, Number 3
In the nineteenth century, ethnologists who collected and catalogued objects of art from Africa were not concerned with 
discovering the names of the artists or even their ethnic identities; usually, broad indications of geographic origins, such as 
"the Lower Congo," "the region of the White Nile," or the "River Uelle" were deemed sufficient identification. In addition, 
because these objects were regarded merely as documents of a mode of life inferior to that of Western societies, no effort 
was made to categorize them stylistically. Although during the first ten years of this century, French and German artists 
revealed the artistic independence and importance of African sculpture, scholars persisted in considering the works of 
African carvers as popular,
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Image Songye people

Linguistically, the Songye form part of the Luba, world, itself part of the Bantu group. Indeed there is a century old inter relation between the Songye and Luba, and they therefore share many cultural traits. Some art forms are part of this, shared heritage, according to the oral tradition the founding chieftains of the first luba kingdom, were of songye origins, and it is the Songye who introduced the idea of social stratification to the Luba and consequently the first luba chieftains are said to be of Songye Ancestry.

 

ENVIRONMENT

The Songye used to live in a forest environment till the end of the first half of the second millennium. Slowly their habitat became more savannah-like. We can still find traces of this former forest habitat in some of the art they produce. For example the costume worn with the Kifwebe mask must be entirely made from products originating in the forest from such as bark, pelts fibers etc. Today the Songye mainly live in the savannah but pockets of forest remain in their territory.

The Songye occupy a very large area in the north of the southeastern quadrant of the republic democratic of Congo.

Due to the vastness of the songye territory, it is obvious that regional stylistic, iconic and typological, exist in the ritual art produced. Some of these are the result of cross influences with their immediate neighbors.

 

NEIGHBORS

To the North of the Songye territory, live the Sungu, Tetela, the western Kusu. In the northwest we will find a few luba chiefdoms. To the west the Luntu, Luba – kassaï Kete and Binji peoples resides; one can even find pockets of Chokwe people in the southwest of Songye territory. To the south of the Songye we find a variety of luba speacking, polities, the same is true, for eastern frontier where in addition to the eastern kusu, we find Luba, Hemba, Kunda, Lumbu and Buyu people. Judging from their

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Image African Art Exhibition of 1923

This is a copy of the catalogue of the exhibition of 1923 in Brooklyn Museum, In 1903 Stewart Culin became the founding curator of the department of ethnology at the museum of the Brooklyn institute of arts and sciences, now the Brooklyn museum Culin a self taught ethnologist built the foundation of four curatorial collections for the museum, acquiring objects representing African Asian native American and estaern European culture

 

 

 

Culin was among the first curator to recognize museum installation as an art form, he was also among the first to display ethnological as art objects, not as ethnographic specimens. This approach is evidenced in his exhibition “primitive negro art”

 

 

 

The exhibition opened in april 1923 and displayed African objects he had acquired in Europe from dealers. Along with his colleagues Culin set the parameters for cultural representation in museum through his collection decisions and innovative installations.

 

 

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Image 1923 - Brooklyn museum

This is a copy of the catalogue of the exhibition of 1923 in Brooklyn Museum, In 1903 Stewart Culin became the founding curator of the department of ethnology at the museum of the Brooklyn institute of arts and sciences, now the Brooklyn museum Culin a self taught ethnologist built the foundation of four curatorial collections for the museum, acquiring objects representing African Asian native American and estaern European culture

 

Culin was among the first curator to recognize museum installation as an art form, he was also among the first to display ethnological as art objects, not as ethnographic specimens. This approach is evidenced in his exhibition “primitive negro art”

 

The exhibition opened in april 1923 and displayed African objects he had acquired in Europe from dealers. Along with his colleagues Culin set the parameters for cultural representation in museum through his collection decisions and innovative installations.

 

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Image Exposition Fleuve Congo - les ethnies

The works are presented in a geographical journey of productions ranging from West to East, both from Gabon to Congo:

* The Fang peoples and related
* The Kwele
* The Mbede-Kota
* The Tsogho, Galwa, Aduma, Vuvi and Teke (Tsaayi)
* The Ngbaka, and Ngbandi Ngombe
* The Mbole, Yela, Metoko, Komo, Jong, Lengola and Kela
* The Lega and Bembe

THE FANG:

THE KWELE: they live on the northern border of the Republic of Congo, and have used a type of mask called Ekuk, they are flat masks, which have incised eyes, often a white face in a heart-shaped nose triangle-shaped eyes and coffee bean. these masks were hung in homes rarely worn during ceremonies, initiation Bwetes worship, their function was to conduct a village to enable forces are beneficial Bwetes capita.

THE KOTA: Living in the eastern part of Gabon, on the border with the Republic of Congo, Kota, include a number of tribes, such as Mahongwe the Sango, the Obamba, and Shamay, who practice the same rituals and shared cultural traits. They probably migrated southward during the 18th, and now live in the valley of the river, Ogonoué in a forest environment. from their economic resources, sutout hunting and agriculture. Kota the past, had the habit of leaving their dead exposed to the elements in the forest. Under the influence of neighboring tribes, they began to bury their cefs and keep their bones (mainly the skull) to place them with

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Who are the Baule?

About three million people living mainly in central Ivory Coast are defined as Baule. Yet after a closer study it semblairaient these men identify with villages or village clusters (ranging from 4 to 12) as an ethnic group. although the Baule ethnic reality remains msytérieuse can not be denying the existence of a style Baule. artists who use this style talk Baule and abroad their art is known as Baule for over a century.

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STRENGTH AND MEASUREMENT

The discovery of "primitive art": an art of strength
Shapes and shape functions
Deities and ancestors
The living wood

Force and Measurement

Develop an aesthetic of black Africa is seen as a risky business in many ways. Is it legitimate to isolate these objects, that today we call art, the general framework of their relations and their cultural constraints? Can we submit to a test that has never existed in the minds of their creators? And can we finally see in this art - if we 'take on this term - a uniform phenomenon, despite the wide variety of both regional and local styles we offer this huge continent, following lengthy Historical developments often poorly understood? Finally, remember that this approach excludes large regions, including Africa white, that is to say the Mediterranean area with its ancient history, the eastern and southern Africa whose pastoral peoples have given rise to cultures almost without images, and finally these hunting societies, which, even in our time have not passed the stage of evolution of prehistoric rock paintings which are the main evidence of an artistic production that appears at various points the continent. Similarly, we must exclude from our contribution to the aesthetics of black African art the old feudal societies, including Benin. Our discussion is therefore limited to large areas farmers, the true cradle of

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African art

African art constitutes one of the most diverse legacies on earth. Though many casual observers tend to generalize "traditional" African art, the continent is full of peoples, societies, and civilizations, each with a unique visual special culture. The definition also includes the art of the African Diasporas, such as the art of African Americans. Despite this diversity, there are some unifying artistic themes when considering the totality of the visual culture from the continent of Africa.

    * Emphasis on the human figure: The human figure has always been a the primary subject matter for most African art, and this emphasis even influenced certain European traditions. For example in the fifteenth century Portugal traded with the Sapi culture near the Ivory Coast in West Africa, who created elaborate ivory saltcellars that were hybrids of African and European designs, most notably in the addition of the human figure (the human figure typically did not appear in Portuguese saltcellars). The human figure may symbolize the living or the dead, may reference chiefs, dancers, or various trades such as drummers or hunters, or even may be an anthropomorphic representation of a god or have other votive function. Another common theme is the inter-morphosis of human and animal.

Yoruba bronze head sculpture, Ife, Nigeria c. 12th century A.D.

    * Visual abstraction: African artworks tend to favor visual abstraction over naturalistic representation. This is because many African artworks generalize stylistic norms. Ancient Egyptian art, also usually thought of as naturalistically depictive, makes use of highly abstracted and regimented visual canons, especially in painting, as well as the use of different colors to represent the qualities and characteristics of an individual being depicted.

    * Emphasis on sculpture: African artists
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Africa, Oceania and the Indigenous Americas


The Department oversees four separate collection segments: the arts of Africa, Egypt, the South Pacific and the Indigenous Americas. Reflecting current scholarship and geography, Egyptian art is now a sub-section of this department. African art thus consists of works from the rest of Africa other than Egypt.

African Art

The DIA’s African art collection ranks among the finest in the United States. It comprises some rare world-class works from nearly one hundred African cultures, predominantly from regions south of the Sahara desert. A diverse collection, ranging from sculpture to textiles to exquisite utilitarian wares, religious paraphernalia and bodily ornaments, it is heavily weighted toward the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

African art collecting is inextricably tied to the founding of the Detroit Institute of Arts at the turn of 20th century and remains one of the institution’s important hallmarks. From the late 1800s through the 1930s, generous contributions from some of Detroit’s first collectors, such as Frederick Stearns and Robert Tannahill, helped to develop the core collection. This included priceless works, such as several Benin royal brass sculptures, an exquisite 16th century Kongo Afro-Portuguese ivory knife container, a 17th century Owo ivory bracelet, a Kongo steatite funerary figure (ntadi) and a finely crafted Asante royal gold soul-washer’s badge recovered from the chamber of the nineteenth century Asante King, Kofi Karikari. Support from the City of Detroit has since aided the purchase of additional works of

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Henri Matisse

Photo of Henri Matisse by Carl Van Vechten, 1933.
Birth name     Henri-Émile-Benoît Matisse
Born     31 December 1869 (1869-12-31)
Le Cateau-Cambrésis, Nord-Pas-de-Calais
Died     3 November 1954 (1954-11-04) (aged 84)
Nice, France
Nationality     French
Field     painting, printmaking, sculpture, drawing, collage
Training     Académie Julian, William-Adolphe Bouguereau, Gustave Moreau
Movement     Fauvism, Modernism
Works     Woman with a Hat (Madame Matisse), 1905

in museums:

    * Museum of Modern Art

Patrons     Gertrude Stein, Etta Cone, Claribel Cone, Michael and Sarah Stein, Albert C.
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Art

Art

Art is the process or product of deliberately arranging elements in a way that appeals to the senses or emotions. It encompasses a diverse range of human activities, creations, and modes of expression, including music and literature. The meaning of art is explored in a branch of philosophy known as aesthetics.

The definition and evaluation of art has become especially problematic since the early 20th century. Richard Wollheim distinguishes three approaches: the Realist, whereby aesthetic quality is an absolute value independent of any human view; the Objectivist, whereby it is also an absolute value, but is dependent on general human experience; and the Relativist position, whereby it is not an absolute value, but depends on, and varies with, the human experience of different humans. An object may be characterized by the intentions, or lack thereof, of its creator, regardless of its apparent purpose. A cup, which ostensibly can be used as a container, may be considered art if intended solely as an ornament, while a painting may be deemed craft if mass-produced.

Traditionally, the term art was used to refer to any skill or mastery. This conception changed during the Romantic period, when art came to be seen as "a special faculty of the human mind to be classified with religion and science". Generally, art is made with the intention of stimulating thoughts and emotions.

The nature of art has been described by Richard Wollheim as "one of the most elusive of the traditional problems of human culture". It has been defined
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Image Alberto Giacometti
Alberto Giacometti

Alberto Giacometti (October 10, 1901 – January 11, 1966) was a Swiss sculptor, painter, draftsman, and printmaker.


Biography

Early life

Alberto Giacometti was born in Borgonovo, now part of the Swiss municipality of Stampa, near the Italian border. His father, Giovanni Giacometti, was a painter. Alberto attended the School of Fine Arts in Geneva. In 1922 he moved to Paris to study under the sculptor Antoine Bourdelle, an associate of Auguste Rodin. It was there that Giacometti experimented with cubism and surrealism and came to be regarded as one of the leading surrealist sculptors. Among his associates were Joan Miró, Max Ernst, Pablo Picasso and Balthus.

Between 1936 and 1940, Giacometti concentrated his sculpting on the human head, focusing on the model's gaze, followed by a unique artistic phase in which his statues became stretched out; their limbs elongated. Obsessed with creating his sculptures exactly as he envisioned through his unique view of reality, he often carved until they were as thin as nails and reduced to the size of a pack of cigarettes, much to his consternation. A friend of his once said that if Giacometti decided to sculpt you, "he would make your head look like the blade of a knife." After his marriage his tiny sculptures became larger, but the larger they grew, the thinner they became. Giacometti said that the final result
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The Yoruba

The Yoruba people live on the west coast of Africa in Nigeria and can also be found in the eastern Republic of Benin and Togo. Because the majority of the slaves brought to the Americas were from West Africa Yoruban descendants can also be found in Brazil, Cuba, the Caribbean, and the United States. There are also many Yoruba currently living in Europe, particularly Britain, since Nigeria was once a British colony. The Yoruba are one of the largest cultural groups in Africa. Currently, there are about 40 million Yoruba world-wide. The Yoruba have been living in advanced urban kingdoms for more than 1,500 years. They created a strong economy through farming, trading, and art production. Their outstanding and unique artistic traditions include woodcarving, sculpture, metal work, textiles, and beadwork.

West Africans, such as the Yoruba, have lived in urban societies and have produced extraordinary art work since the 5th century BC. During this time, the Yoruba began to use iron to create metal tools and weapons such as machetes, axes, and hoes. These tools made it easier for the Yoruba to farm the land. They planted crops including yams, their staple food. They also harvested the seeds from the palm oil tree. The seeds from this tree produce a vegetable oil that is used for cooking. Kola nuts were also grown and harvested. Soon the Yoruba began trading with neighboring areas for rice and sorghum. Due to increased agriculture, the Yoruba community began to grow in size and large towns were created. They arranged their communities by clan lines, or extended families. Families who had the same ancestors lived next door to each other in large compounds. An elder was put in charge as the
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The Metropolitan Museum of Art is an art museum located on the eastern edge of Central Park, along what is known as Museum Mile in New York City, USA. It has a permanent collection containing more than two million works of art, divided into nineteen curatorial departments. The main building, often referred to simply as "the Met," is one of the world's largest art galleries, and has a much smaller second location in Upper Manhattan, at "The Cloisters," which features medieval art.

Represented in the permanent collection are works of art from classical antiquity and Ancient Egypt, paintings and sculptures from nearly all the European masters, and an extensive collection of American and modern art. The Met also maintains extensive holdings of African, Asian, Oceanic, Byzantine and Islamic art. The museum is also home to encyclopedic collections of musical instruments, costumes and accessories, and antique weapons and armor from around the world. A number of notable interiors, ranging from 1st century Rome through modern American design, are permanently installed in the Met's galleries.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art was founded in 1870 by a group of American citizens. The founders included businessmen and financiers, as well as leading artists and thinkers of the day, who wanted to open a museum to bring art and art education to the American people. It opened on February 20, 1872, and was originally located at 681 Fifth Avenue.

As of 2007, the Met measures almost a quarter mile long and occupies more than two million square feet.
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Sculpture dedicated to Gou divinity of wrought iron and war
Work iron 168cm in height made before 1858 by Akati Ekplékendo
Current Republic of Benin

Lauren Papet, Ecole du Louvre


Arrival in French collections and identification problems

This statue has been reported in France in 1894 by Captain Eugene Fonssagrives following the conquest of Dahomey. It belonged to the spoils of war found in the palaces of Abomey, abandoned by the fleeing King Behanzin, who himself had perhaps made on the side in preparation for the French attack in the hope that the god help protect the kingdom on its most vulnerable border. She was then given directly to the Trocadero Museum of Ethnography, the current Museum of Man (recorded April 30, 1894).

First Fonssagrives was presented as was a representation of Ebo, patron god of Ouidah thesis refuted by Maurice Delafosse in 1894, indicating that the divinity of Ouidah is not the serpent but Ebo Dan. The name "Ebo" would have probably been given Fonssagrives response when he asked what the object (Bo meaning receptacle of supernatural forces). She was named Gou, its present name after World War II, his resemblance to the voodoo (god) of iron and protector of the forge, metal and war have been considered fairly obvious.

Technical Achievement

Government also has a variety of techniques to work with iron: forged, rolled, hammered, nailed and riveted.

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