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African Masters : Art from the Ivory Coast (Hardcover) (Eberhard Fischer & Lorenz Homberger)
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West Africa has a rich and long artistic tradition. In particular, Ivory Coast is home to a vast number of sculptors, some of which have created work that bears comparison with masters of European art, such as Michelangelo or Picasso. Yet the view still prevails that no aesthetic principles can be found in traditional African art, nor that independent artistic personalities have ever emerged from this tradition. Only “tribal workshops” with anonymous artist are identified.
African Masters proves this simplistic and patronizing verdict wrong. Essays by renowned scholars investigate the role of the artists in traditional, and modern, society, their ideal of beauty and its transformation into works of art. The book also offers the first comprehensive overview of the most significant sculptors from Ivory Coast and its neighboring countries. It discusses the oeuvre of ancient masters from the people of Guro, Senufo, Dan, Baule, Lobi, and from the lagoons and puts them in context with local contemporary art. African Masters features around 200 masterpieces from private and public collections, including that of Museum Rietberg Zürich, all in full color and many of full-page plates.
Amsterdam, Nieuwe Kerk: 25 October 2014 to 15 February 2015
Paris, Musé du Quay Branly: 7 April to 26 July 2015
African Masters corrects this oversight with a comprehensive overview of the most significant sculptors from the Ivory Coast and neighboring countries, including works by artists from among the Guro, Senufo, Dan, Baule, and Lobi. Works from ancient masters are juxtaposed with those of important contemporary artists and essays by renowned scholars who investigate the role of artists in traditional and modern societies, their ideals of beauty and its transformation into works of art.
Featuring more than two hundred full-color masterpieces from public and private collections?including many never before published?the book marks a milestone in research on West African art.