African Art: Its Background and Traditions
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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African art ancestor figure animal antelope Antwerp artistic asantehene Ashanti Bambara Bamileke Bantu Baule Benin bronze Buffalo mask C. P. Meulendijk Collection Cameroun Cameroun grasslands carved ceremonial clan clay Congo-Kinshasa cult objects culture Dahomey dance dead death ritual decorated developed divine Dogon Dogon Mali drums Ethnographisch Museum eyes feast female figure fetish figures fibres forehead Gabon glass beads hair-style head headdress Helmet mask horns human face human figures Ibibio Ivory Coast Jokwe king kingdom Kofler Collection Koninklijk Museum Krinjabo Kuba lower Congo Luba magic male Mali mouth Musée de l'Homme Museum Rietberg Museum voor Land Museum voor Midden-Afrika neck Nigeria nose Olokun orisha painted pieces portrait represent Rietberg Rotterdam round sacred seated secret societies Senufo shape snake sometimes stool style stylized symbols Tervuren tribes village Volkenkunde West Africa Wood wooden Yoruba Zande Zurich