African Art: Its Background and Traditions

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Portland House, 1988 - Art, Primitive - 285 pages
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The impact of the art of African tribes on Western art in the 20th Century is incalculable. It has not only influenced Picasso's Cubist and Primitive periods, but its forms and contents have also inspired the surrealist, dadaists and expressionists. Through its vigor, its marvelous geometric forms and its evocative power, African art has taken its place, in a relatively short time, among the world's great forms of artistic expression. However, the greater part of its devotees have little knowledge of the African cultures that gave rise to its forms. In these cultures, art is intimately bound to religion and magic, and at the same time plays a purely functional part in every day life. An understanding of these relationships is essential to a full appreciation of the artistic tradition. This work attempts to analyze the various aspects of this tradition by placing the art within its cultural context.

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Art in its relationship to culture

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