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.
All artifacts or works of art hold within them stories that range far beyond the time of their creation or the lifetime of their creator, and African textiles are patterned with these hidden histories. In Africa, cloth may be used to memorialize or commemorate something - an event, a person, a political cause - which in other parts of the world might be written down in detail or recorded by a plaque or monument. History in Africa can be read, told, and recorded in cloth. Making and trading numerous types of cloth have been vital elements in African life and culture for at least two millennia, linking different parts of the continent with each other and the rest of the world. Africa's long engagement with the peoples of the Mediterranean and the islands of the Atlantic and Indian Oceans provides a story of change and continuity. African Textiles Today shows how ideas, techniques, materials, and markets have adapted and flourished, and how the dynamic traditions in African textiles have provided inspiration for the continent's foremost contemporary artists and photographers. With a concluding chapter discussing the impact of African designs across the world, the book offers a fascinating insight into the living history of Africa.
African-Print Fashion Now introduces visitors to a dynamic and diverse African dress tradition and the increasingly interconnected fashion worlds that it inhabits: "popular" African-print styles created by local seamstresses and tailors across the continent; international runway fashions designed by Africa's newest generation of couturiers; and boundary-breaking, transnational, and youth styles favored in Africa's urban centers. All feature the colorful, boldly designed, manufactured cotton textiles that have come to be known as "African-print cloth."
The book tells the global stories of these textiles--the early history of the print cloth trade in West and Central Africa, the expansion of production following independence movements, and the increasing popularity of Asian-made print cloth today. Popular African styles from Ghana, Nigeria, Cote d'Ivoire, Cameroon, and Senegal are featured, as well as groundbreaking runway fashions by some of Africa's most talented couturiers: Ituen Basi, Gilles Tour , Lanre da Silva Ajayi, Titi Ademola, Lisa Folawiyo, Dent de Man, Adama Paris, Patricia Waota, Ikir Jones, and Afua Dabanka. Black-and-white studio portraits illuminate print fashions of the 1960s and 1970s, while works by contemporary artists incorporate African print to convey evocative messages about heritage, hybridity, displacement, and aspiration.
Contemporary photographs by Omar Victor Diop, Leonce Raphael Agbodjelou, and Hassan Hajjaj; paintings by Njideka Akunyili Crosby and Eddy Kamuanga Ilunga; and a mural by graffiti artist Docta suggest the ever-present role of fashion in African life. Throughout the volume, African-print fashions are considered as creative responses to key historical moments and the imaginings of Africa in the future.
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.
How the "unique" look of African art captured the imagination of artists such as Picasso and Stieglitz is well known. But how do art aficionados today see African objects? And how does our view compare to the way in which these objects were seen in Africa? Presenting the William and Bertha Teel Collection for the first time, this book provides a chance to think about how our vision of such objects is shaped by the "ethnographic," "primitive," or "modern" labels that have been applied in the West, and to compare it to how those same works were viewed in their birthplace. Lavish, full-color illustrations of over 100 choice objects combine forces with essays by leading African art specialists Suzanne Preston Blier, Michael Kan, and Edmund B. Gaither, and object descriptions by the collector himself, to provide a thoughtful and visually stimulating examination of these important African forms--as well as of the dynamic relationship among their creators, their original cultural contexts, and the Western viewing public.