An illustrated study of traditional and figurative art of Africa that reflects the continent's rich artistic and cultural heritage. African Art explores the continent's marvelous artistic achievements which share its roots with humanities origins. Sculpture has historically been the chief means of artistic expression. The human figure, whether real or symbolic, is almost the exclusive subject of African art. This vast world of African sculpture is the result of an evolutionary process, based on humanity's rich history and diversity deriving from migrations, wars, and alliances. During the last century, the African continent has experienced radical transformations in the fields of social and political organizations, the economy and religions. Inevitably, new artistic forms are being established simultaneously with the globalization process and the creation of works for the art market, which retain less and less ties with those of the past. African Art is an exhaustive presentation of the traditional figurative arts of Africa and concisely explains their distinguishing historical, formal, symbolic and functional characteristics. A truly valuable source of inspiration for students, collectors, and travelers alike, this book is complete with a glossary and bibliography.
The art of the Fang, the BaTeke, the BaKota, and other African peoples is extraordinarily vigorous and shows a brilliant sense of form. The substantial aesthetic impact that their works have had on the development of twentieth-century Western art--on Picasso, Derain, Braque, and Modigliani, among others--continues to this day. This classic study reveals the astonishing variety and expressive power of the art of a continent that contains more distinct peoples and cultures than any other. The revised edition has been updated throughout, incorporating recent research and additional illustrations, plus a new chapter and extended bibliography. It remains an invaluable resource for students and for anyone interested in African art.
Based on extensive research in West Africa, Christopher Steiner's book presents a richly detailed description of the economic networks that transfer art objects from their site of use and production in Africa to their point of consumption in art galleries and shops throughout Europe and America. In the course of this fascinating transcultural journey, African art acquires different meanings. It means one thing to the rural villagers who create and still use it in ritual and performance, another to the Muslim traders who barter and resell it, and something else to the buyers and collectors in the West who purchase it for investment and display it in their homes.
African Fashion, Global Style provides a lively look at fashion, international networks of style, material culture, and the world of African aesthetic expression. Victoria L. Rovine introduces fashion designers whose work reflects African histories and cultures both conceptually and stylistically, and demonstrates that dress styles associated with indigenous cultures may have all the hallmarks of high fashion. Taking readers into the complexities of influence and inspiration manifested through fashion, this book highlights the visually appealing, widely accessible, and highly adaptable styles of African dress that flourish on the global fashion market.
J. A. Green (1873-1905) was one of the most prolific and accomplished indigenous photographers to be active in West Africa. This beautiful book celebrates Green's photographs and opens a new chapter in the early photographic history of Africa. Soon after photography reached the west coast of Africa in the 1840s, the technology and the resultant images were disseminated widely, appealing to African elites, European residents, and travelers to the region. Responding to the need for more photographs, expatriate and indigenous photographers began working along the coasts, particularly in major harbor towns. Green, whose identity remained hidden behind his English surname, maintained a photography business in Bonny along the Niger Delta. His work covered a wide range of themes including portraiture, scenes of daily and ritual life, commerce, and building. Martha G. Anderson, Lisa Aronson, and the contributors have uncovered 350 of Green's images in archives, publications, and even albums that celebrated colonial achievements. This landmark book unifies these dispersed images and presents a history of the photographer and the area in which he worked.
The breathtaking skill and creativity of the African peoples are presented here in radiant color--the gorgeous stripweaves of the Ashanti and the Ewe; the lace weaves of the Yoruba and the bogolanfini mud cloths from Mali and West Africa; the Berber weaves from Algeria, Morocco, and Tunisia in North Africa; the unique, crocheted, embroidered, and feathered hats from Cameroon; the ancient weaving tradition of Ethiopia; the beadwork of the Zulu, Xhosa, and Ndebele peoples of Southern Africa; and the Asian-derived tradition of weaving silk and raphia in Madagascar.
A guide to African textile collections open to the public, a glossary, and suggestions for further reading make this volume a practical as well as beautiful guide to the rich art of African textiles.
The traumas of conflict and war in postcolonial Africa have been widely documented, but less well known are their artistic representations. A number of recent films, novels and other art forms have sought to engage with and overcome postcolonial atrocities and to explore the attempts of reconciliation commissions towards peace, justice and forgiveness. This creativity reflects the memories and social identities of the artists, whilst offering a mirror to African and worldwide audiences coming to terms with a collective memory that is often traumatic in itself. The seeming paradox between creative representation and the reality of horrific events such as genocide presents challenges for the relationship between ethics, poetics and politics. In Art and Trauma in Africa, Lizelle Bisschoff and Stefanie Van de Peer bring together multiple ways of analyzing the ethical responsibility at the heart of an artist's decision to tackle such controversial and painful subjects. Also, to study trauma, conflict and reconciliation through art in a pan-African context offers new perspectives on a continent that is often misrepresented by the Western media.
The inexpressible nature of atrocities that are the crux of how Africa is generally regarded from the outside is challenged with new art forms that in and of themselves question perception and interpretation. African artists are renewing the field of trauma studies through representing the unrepresentable in order to incessantly invigorate insights and theories. Art and Trauma in Africa examines a diverse range of art forms, from hip hop in Nigeria and dance in Angola to Moroccan films and South African literature, taking an original pan-African approach. It is in doing so that this groundbreaking volume will inspire those interested in African history and politics as well as those with an interest in trauma, cultural and artistic studies.
Between the sixteenth and the nineteenth centuries, the west central African kingdom of Kongo practiced Christianity and actively participated in the Atlantic world as an independent, cosmopolitan realm. Drawing on an expansive and largely unpublished set of objects, images, and documents, Cecile Fromont examines the advent of Kongo Christian visual culture and traces its development across four centuries marked by war, the Atlantic slave trade, and, finally, the rise of nineteenth-century European colonialism. By offering an extensive analysis of the religious, political, and artistic innovations through which the Kongo embraced Christianity, Fromont approaches the country's conversion as a dynamic process that unfolded across centuries.
The African kingdom's elite independently and gradually intertwined old and new, local and foreign religious thought, political concepts, and visual forms to mold a novel and constantly evolving Kongo Christian worldview. Fromont sheds light on the cross-cultural exchanges between Africa, Europe, and Latin America that shaped the early modern world, and she outlines the religious, artistic, and social background of the countless men and women displaced by the slave trade from central Africa to all corners of the Atlantic world.
Art World City focuses on contemporary art and artists in the city of Dakar, a famously thriving art metropolis in the West African nation of Senegal. Joanna Grabski illuminates how artists earn their livelihoods from the city's resources, possibilities, and connections. She examines how and why they produce and exhibit their work and how they make an art scene and transact with art world mediators such as curators, journalists, critics, art lovers, and collectors from near and far. Grabski shows that Dakar-based artists participate in a platform that has a global reach. They extend Dakar's creative economy and the city's urban vibe into an "art world city."