- Pages: 355
- Illustrations: 232 (165 in full color)
- Dimensions: 8 1/2'' x 11''
- Editors: Alisa LaGamma, with contributions by Barbara Boehm, Elias K. Bongmba, Kairn Klieman, Alisa LaGamma, Denise Patry Leidy, and Louis Perrois
- ISBN: 9780300124095
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This catalogue presents some of the most celebrated African creations, many of which were collected and studied by members of the Western avant-garde in the early twentieth century. In light of their role in altering the course of Western art, these remarkable and highly inventive sculptures are among the most influential masterpieces of the African artistic canon, and come from a dozen distinct cultures in Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, the Republic of Congo, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. This volume explores the significance of these works to their cultures of origin by revealing the underlying sources of cultural and spiritual inspiration that led to their creation. All the sculptural works examined here were created to portray ancestors as vital intermediaries. Through a range of different visual vocabularies and materials, this is evident in the dynamic depictions of the human form conceived to enhance, venerate, and amplify the power of sacred relics. Since sacred relics have served as the catalysts for some of the most exalted and revered creations in the history of Western, Eastern, and African civilizations, this volume also examines reliquaries from other world cultures alongside those produced in Africa, thereby drawing upon related works from other parts of the Metropolitan’s encyclopedic collection.
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