October 15, 1999 |
Chris Ofili's 1996 painting, "The Holy Virgin Mary," now on exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum, made of acrylic, oil, paper collage, resin and elephant dung on linen, has been traced to the artist's African descent. Especially so because of the consistent use of elephant dung in his work. There is the popular belief, especially in the West, that Africa is all jungle, and the elephant is king of the jungle. In most parts of Africa, the elephant is a symbol of strength, and its dung could be seen as regenerative because it is manure and can fertilize.
November 29, 1987 |
At its heart, every art object is indefinable; if it weren't so, it wouldn't be art. It's this indefinable essence that artists attempt to convey, as an alternative to spoken and written language. As a language, however, art is maddeningly imprecise. There are rewards in this ambiguity, however, for art stimulates the imagination, the intellect and the emotions in a rich variety of ways. Susan Vogel, executive director of the Center for African Art in New York, demonstrates this in a novel and refreshing way through an exhibition called "Perspectives: Angles on African Art," on view at the center, 54 E. 68th St., through Jan. 3. "Perspectives" is not about African art per se; it's about the art audience.
June 16, 2001 |
In a sale of unusual significance, Associated Auctioneers will sell the contents of an out-of-state museum devoted to the art of central and western Africa. Beginning at noon next Saturday at the Rivers Edge Memorial Center near the Tacony Palmyra Bridge, more than 500 lots will be offered, several of them of historic significance and two of them expected to sell for as much as $150,000. Important African art is not often sold at auction, certainly not locally and certainly not by an auction company more often involved in industrial liquidations.
July 25, 1993 |
Bryn Mawr College has turned its eye on African and Pacific art this season with an exhibit to commemorate a major gift of 100-plus pieces it recently received from the Neufeld Family Foundation, Beverly Hills, Calif. Hollywood film producer Mace Neufeld and his wife, Helen Katz Neufeld (Bryn Mawr, Class of 1953), both then New Yorkers, began collecting pre-Columbian art 40 years ago while still at college. Attracted to the sculptural form such pieces had, they soon turned to African art. Initially they bought slowly, started studying, and built an art library on the subject, while visiting collections of such material here and in Europe.
August 9, 2000 |
For various reasons, African art hasn't been a priority at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, but four promised gifts of top-quality African objects have catalyzed a move to create such a display. The gifts have come as part of a campaign to celebrate the museum's 125th anniversary next year with donations of "collection-transforming" gifts of art. The four African gifts consist of two Baule masks, a Dogon door, an Ashanti king's stool, and a Bakota reliquary figure. The masks and the door are promised gifts of trustee Harvey S. Shipley Miller, chairman of the anniversary gift committee, and J. Randall Plummer.
September 5, 1993 |
Since early in this century, Western artists and art historians, following the example of Picasso and Modigliani, have been enthusiastic over the visual complexity and invention of African sculpture. They have been far less considerate of its spiritual aspect, however. The task of placing African sculpture and ritual objects in their proper social context has been left to anthropologists. This is curious, because no art historian would regard the iconography of Christian altarpieces or Dutch still-lifes as being beyond his or her ken. Yet African art has been treated differently.
December 10, 1995 |
Some exhibits mark a significant point in the life's journey and achievement of an art collector. The display of 30 traditional tribal masks and sculptures, along with newer pieces and textiles, from the African art collection of Donald Wheeler Wyatt of Winter Park, Fla., is such an exhibit. Nearly a third of Wyatt's holdings are on view at Swarthmore College in the collection's first showing outside Florida. Wyatt, 89, is a professor emeritus of sociology and a lecturer in African studies at Tennessee's Maryville College.
May 29, 1995 |
No other shop in Glenside has a pink and turquoise sign. No other has two tall stone sculptures outside the door. But Galerie Hamid isn't like other shops in this Montgomery County community. The huge sign, with its striking pastels, is a landmark for customers who are looking to buy African art. "It's really unusual to find one place that has a high concentration of African art - especially masks," said Roxane Mandel, who lives in Holland and works in Elkins Park. "And what I really like about the store is the variety - just look at the choices," she said.
January 5, 1996 |
Prolific as a philosopher's observations, and intricately detailed and rhythmic as nature itself, the multimedia works by artist Barthosa Nkurumeh are a synthesis of style and substance that pay respect and homage to his native Nigeria, where he grew up in two Igbo villages. On display at the Berman Museum of Art at Ursinus College, "Home Stories: The Art of Barthosa Nkurumeh" is a sophisticated and technically proficient solo exhibition that is rich in symbolism and broad-based in its universal messages.
April 11, 1993 |
Only two American museums devote themselves exclusively to African art. When I came across that fact recently, I thought that certainly there must be others, and I tried to think of where they were. But no, there really are just two, the National Museum of African Art in Washington, which is part of the Smithsonian Institution, and the Museum for African Art here, which is private. (We're not taking about museums that collect and exhibit art made by African Americans, such as the Afro-American Historical and Cultural Museum in Philadelphia.