Saturday, 30 May 2015

Knowledge vs Power

It is never too late to be a man by Norman O'Flynn

It is never too late to be a man by Norman O'Flynn

This is from South Africa - Just Imagine...


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Knowledge vs Power

An art exhibition and critical dialogue hosted in Mangaung to celebrate Africa Day, unpacked the issue of Othering, a powerful element of social relations.If we understand it we gain clearer insight into how bigotry and intolerance work.

The University of Free State's Centre for Africa Studies in collaboration with Johannes Stegmann Gallery hosted an event with art exhibition and critical dialogue to mark Africa Day. The theme of the event was: Representation of Otherness and Resistance.

The issue of Othering was depicted on the images of different artists whose work was exhibited. It cuts across racial lines, class, gender and sexuality. Artists such as Anton Kannemeyer whose work is about the colonial representation of what is black and what is white raised a few eyebrows yet made an awareness of what contributed to creating the notion of Othering in Africa.

The two images titled, B is for Black and W is for White under his collection titled, The Alphabets of Democracy. It shows a black face represented by a man with frizzy hair and red fat lips. Underneath the image are Chambers and Oxford dictionaries meanings to define what is Black; "black, adj. opposite of white, dirty, messy, without light, dark, illegal, dim, smuggled, sombre, disastrous, dismal, obscure, sullen, bad-tempered angry, horrible, grotesque, malignant, unlucky, unhappy, depressed."

In contrast to B is for Black is W is for White which shows a decent white face with a smile, it took the same reference from Chambers and Oxford dictionaries. It says, "White, adj. colour of milk or fresh snow, innocent, unstained, pure, unblemished, bright, anti-revolutionary, auspicious, reliable, favourable, honourable, upright, without bloodshed, free from guilt."

The notion of Othering goes hand in glove with the notion of knowledge vs power in the sense knowledge was developed to empower one group while disempowering the other. In Fanonian speak, to be black is to be black in relation to whiteness.

The otherness was also embedded in different discourses such as the art work of Mary Sibande, not only the binary of black vs white. 
She refuses to be defined according to the perception of the white person who is perhaps her employer. She is at liberty to formulate a strong opinion about herself as a black artist in the midst of all biases she comes across, first of all as a woman and then as a black artist.
Mary Sibande with the image, I have, I have not, exhibited a black maid holding a flower and wearing a maid's uniform juxtaposed with a flamboyant, dramatic, elegant and sophisticated look depicted by a fancy dress. The flower represents a childhood game of she-loves-me-she-loves-me-not. She looks beyond Othering and finds solace in a moment of being. Her art work was also exhibited at Oliewenhuis Art Museum where she celebrated previous generations of her family.

Outside the frame of artistic work presented at the exhibition, Acting Dean of Student Affairs at the University of the Free State, Cornelia Fassen, asked, "How do we solve the conundrum of otherness while we need the notion of otherness? We have to have a dialogue and make students acutely aware of how they are Othering each other, but how do you resolve that notion of race-relationship between students? But while we are showing them such, we are also Othering."

In an attempt to answer her question, Director for the Centre for Africa Studies, Professor Heidi Hudson maintained that in a post-colonial condition hybridity is the order of the day where the self and the other eventually becomes known as a different we. "My own way of trying to make sense of the question of Othering is that it consists of the different sides of the same coin we need to polish and maybe... if we keep on talking about Othering we are talking about the differences and yet we have to acknowledge the differences ... 

Beyond analysing art we cannot detach ourselves from our own personal experiences which we use to pre-judge others and interpret the very artistic work we all saw during the exhibition. Hence the critical dialogue was introduced for that specific reason, to see different sides of the same coin.

Representations of Otherness and Resistance is at the Johannes Stegmann Art Gallery at the University of the Free State from 20th May to 19th June 2015. The Gallery hours are Mondays to Fridays from 08:30 to 16:30.
 South Africa

Possible Appeal of Derby-Lewis Parole

The justice ministry would explore whether it has any grounds to appeal the High Court's decision to grant Clive … see more »
Read the original article as published on The Journalist's website, including illustrations and video where applicable.

Thursday, 21 May 2015

Picasso 'stole the work of African artists'

Here is an article way back in 2006 but still holds weight today.

He was one of the greatest artists of the 20th century and also one of the most controversial. And now, 33 years after his death, the first significant exhibition of Pablo Picasso's work in South Africa has provoked a furious row after a senior government official accused him of stealing the work of African artists to boost his "flagging talent".
The Picasso and Africa exhibition, which has been drawing capacity crowds at Johannesburg's Standard Bank Gallery, contains 84 original works by Picasso along with 29 African sculptures similar to those in the artist's own collection, and is described as an "innovative dialogue between Picasso's work and his African inspiration".

In an extraordinary intervention, however, a spokesman for the South African Department of Arts and Culture has accused the organisers of deliberately downplaying the debt Picasso owed to African artists.
In a letter to a local newspaper, Sandile Memela, the department's head of communications, wrote:

"Today the truth is on display that Picasso would not have been the renowned creative genius he was if he did not steal and re-adapt the work of 'anonymous [African] artists'."

He continued:

"There seems to be some clandestine agenda… that projects Picasso as someone… who loved African art so much that he went out of his way to reveal it the world… But all this is a whitewash… he is but one of the many products of African inspiration and creativity who lacked the courage to admit its influence on his consciousness and creativity."

His letter has prompted a furious response, with one correspondent comparing his attitude to the "black fascists who were critical of Paul Simon when he collaborated with Ladysmith Black Mambazo". Simon worked with the group on his Gracelands album in 1986 and was accused of exploiting them for commercial ends. Picasso and Simon are not the only artists to have been accused of appropriating African art without giving full credit. Amedeo Modigliani, the Italian sculptor, was also said to have drawn inspiration from African masks.

Although Mr Memela made it clear he was writing in a personal capacity, opposition politicians said they believed he must have had clearance from the minister, Pallo Jordan. Dianne Kohler Barnard, of the Democratic Alliance, described the comments as "facile, party-line sentiments", adding: "I do not believe a spokesman for a ministry would say a thing like that without the tacit approval of the minister."

John Richardson, Picasso's friend and biographer, said the artist would have been upset by the remarks "because he honoured the sculptures and took them very seriously". He added: "There were four artists - Picasso, Braque, Matisse and Derain - who put tribal art on the map. It was regarded as of no cultural importance but then they started buying it at junk shops and they elevated it to the same importance as Renaissance art."

Although Picasso never visited Africa, his interest in its art is well documented, from his discovery of African masks at the Musée d'Ethnographie du Trocadéro in Paris in June 1907. Thereafter he became an avid collector of "art nègre", as it was known.  However, Picasso himself remained ambiguous on the subject, once famously declaring "L'art nègre? Connais pas" - "African art? Never heard of it". Marilyn Martin, co-curator of the exhibition, said: "Picasso never copied anything, he never stole anything. You can see the influence but there are a combination of influences."
Mr Memela said it was crucial that the debt owed to Africa should be "splashed across the sky" in this "age of African Renaissance" - a reference to President Thabo Mbeki's call for the "rediscovery of Africa's creative past" and the rejection of colonial notions of African culture as inferior to that of the West.

Wednesday, 20 May 2015


This is an Online Exhibition Open to the Entire World 
Curated by Joe Pollitt - 2014/2015

Amedeo Clemente Modigliani (Italian pronunciation: [ameˈdɛo modiʎˈʎani]; July 12, 1884 – January 24, 1920) was an Italian painter and sculptor who worked mainly in France and lived in Montparnasse, Paris at the beginning of the 20th Century. He is known for portraits and nudes in a modern style characterized by elongation of faces and figures.


Female Nude

Source: Louvre in Paris

A return to the Louvre — or a long-awaited arrival

Ngil Mask | Fang People, Equatorial Africa
Pollitt Collection
Non-Western art has not always been absent from the Louvre. In 1827, under the reign of Charles X, the Louvre housed a maritime and ethnographic museum called the Musée Dauphin, where visitors could admire “exotic” pieces brought back by great explorers such as Cook and Lapérouse—objects regarded as mere “ethnographic specimens”. After Jules Ferry’s decision to separate “the history of traditions and customs from the field of art,” a museum of ethnography was created at the Trocadéro in 1878, to house the collections of the Musée Dauphin, the Musée de Saint-Germain-en Laye, the Bibliothèque Nationale, and the Bibliothèque Sainte-Geneviève. At that time, aesthetic considerations were overlooked in favor of scientific value.

    Ngil Mask | Fang People,
Equatorial Africa
Pollitt Collection

In 1905-1906, artists in the avant-garde 
(Fauves, Cubists, Expressionists, etc) encouraged a shift in attitudes to what they called “negro art” (including African and Oceanic art). In 1909, Apollinaire expressed his desire that the Louvre should present “certain exotic masterpieces that are no less moving than the finest specimens of Western statuary.” Similar declarations were made throughout the century; Claude Lévi-Strauss, for example, declared in 1943, “The day is surely not far away when collections from distant parts of the world will leave ethnographic museums to take up their rightful place in art museums,” and in 1969, in his work entitled “L’intemporel”, André Malraux foresaw the arrival of negro art in the Louvre, asserting that many people shared this desire.

The Fang People of Equatorial West Africa
Source: The History of Fang Masks

Ngil Mask | Fang People, Equatorial Africa
Pollitt Collection
The Fang people used masks in their secret societies. Members of this male society wore the Ngil masks during the initiation of new members and the persecution of wrongdoers. Masqueraders, clad in raffia costumes and attended by helpers, would materialize in the village after dark, illuminated by flickering torchlight.

The Fang tribe are spread over a vast area along the Atlantic coast line of equatorial Africa and can be found in Cameroon equatorial Guinea and Gabon namely along the bank of the Ogowe river.
Masks, such as those worn by itinerant troubadours and for hunting and punishing sorcerers, are painted white with facial features outlined in black. Typical are large elongated masks covered with kaolin and featuring a face that was usually heart-shaped with a long fine nose. Apparently it have been linked with the dead, since white is their color. The Ngontang dance society also used white masks, sometimes in the form of a four-sided helmet shape with bulging forehead and eyebrows in heart-shaped arcs.  The So, or red antelope, was connected with initiation that lasted several months, the masks used during this ritual had long horns. Passport masks, were attached to arms of the maskers.

This great rain forest region in the Fang territory is a plateau of
middle altitude, with innumerable waters with falls and rapids rendering navigation for the most part impossible, and with a climate typically equatorial. 

Ngil Mask | Fang People, Equatorial Africa
Pollitt Collection

History: They are principally hunters   but also agriculturists. Their social structure is based on a clan, a group of individuals with a common ancestor. The ensemble of Fang peoples practice a cult devoted to ancestor lineages, the bieri, whose aim is to both protect themselves from the deceased and to recruit and aid in matters of daily life. This familial cult does not monopolize the Fang’s religious universe, for it coexists with other beliefs and rituals of a more collective character. 

The bieri, gave rise to remarkable wooden sculpture. The bieri, or ancestor figure, would be consulted when the village was to change location, or when a new crop was planted, during a palaver, or before going hunting, fishing, or to war. But once separated from the reliquary chest, the sculpted object would lose its sacred value and could be destroyed. The ritual consisted of prayers, libations, and sacrifices offered to the ancestor, whose scull would be rubbed with powder and paint each time. With its large head, long body, and short extremities, the Fang bieri had the proportion of a newborn, thus emphasizing the group’s continuity with its ancestor and with the three classes of the society: the “not-yet-born,” the living, and the dead. The relics were essentially skull fragments, or sometimes complete skulls, jawbones, teeth and small bones. The bieri also served for therapeutic rituals and, above all, for the initiation of young males during the great So festival. 



Bride and Groom
*N.B. Here is a painting by Modigliani highlighting the different styles of Fang Masks, male and female, similar to the shape of the nose in the mask above.

Chinua Achebe Talk On Conrad's Heart of Darkness 

Quote: "But more important by far is the abundant testimony about Conrad's savages which we could gather if we were so inclined from other sources and which might lead us to think that these people must have had other occupations besides merging into the evil forest or materializing out of it simply to plague Marlow and his dispirited band." For as it happened, soon after Conrad had written his book an event of far greater consequence was taking place in the art world of Europe. This is how Frank Willett, a British art historian, describes it: 

Gaugin had gone to Tahiti, the most extravagant individual act of turning to a non-European culture in the decades immediately before and after 1900, when European artists were avid for new artistic experiences, but it was only about 1904-5 that African art began to make its distinctive impact. One piece is still identifiable; it is a mask that had been given to Maurice Vlaminck in 1905. He records that Derain was 'speechless' and 'stunned' when he saw it, bought it from Vlaminck and in turn showed it to Picasso and Matisse, who were also greatly affected by it. Ambroise Vollard then borrowed it and had it cast in bronze. . . The revolution of twentieth century art was under way! 

The mask in question was made by other savages living just north of Conrad's River Congo. They have a name too: the Fang people, and are without a doubt among the world's greatest masters of the sculptured form. The event Frank Willett is referring to marks the beginning of cubism and the infusion of new life into European art, which had run completely out of strength. 

The point of all this is to suggest that Conrad's picture of the people of the Congo seems grossly inadequate even at the height of their subjection to the ravages of King Leopold's lnternational Association for the Civilization of Central Africa. 

Ngil Mask | Fang People, Equatorial Africa
Pollitt Collection


Portrait of Jeanne Hebuterne

The Ngil Mask of the Fang and Amedeo Modigliani By Barbara Steinberg

The Ngil Mask of the Fang and Amedeo Modigliani By Barbara Steinberg  
 The Fang were once an itinerant people, whose animist cult, bieri, was devoted to ancestor worship. Their statues had reliquary boxes attached, which the Fang carried with them. Without a reliquary box, a statue lost its power.

They had a secret society called Ngil (gorilla), accessible only to men. Its purpose was to initiate new members and persecute adulterers, thieves, debtors, poisoners, and those who dealt with society disrespectfully. The Ngil mask, painted with white kaolin to invoke the power of the deceased, represented a horrific spirit designed to eradicate evil. The character would appear suddenly in the dark, illuminated by torchlight. It was a terrifying experience.

 When the Europeans came, especially English, Dutch, and French traders in the 16th Century, the Fang mostly settled in Equitorial Guinea, Cameroon, and Gabon. In 1910 Gabon became part of French Equatorial Africa, which was when French colonial officers banned the Ngil mask.

However, through colonial trade ships, African art reached France.

African masks and sculpture became attendant muses to Cubism. As Picasso, a noted collector, pioneered the movement with Georges Braque from 1910 to 1920, European artists paid no attention to the original cultural significance. They were only interested in integrating African art’s simple forms, bold lines, and open designs into their own philosophy.

One of the artists most deeply influenced was Amedeo Modigliani (1884-1920). In 1909, an ambitious art dealer named Paul Guillaume wanted him to try sculpture, so he became Constantin Brancusi’s apprentice for a year. After Brancusi introduced him to African sculpture, Modigliani rejected Art Nouveau and Impressionism. Instead, he painted studio portraits with a Cubist palette of black, browns, greys, off-whites, red ochre, and burnt sienna. His style was unique.

There may never have been a Modigliani face had he not seen the Ngil masks of the Fang people of Gabon.

Indeed, Modigliani’s sculpture, “Tête,” shown at the 1912 Cubist exhibit in the Salon d’Automne, sold at Christie’s for $52.6 million on June 14, 2010.

So we have yet another story of African design being banned by European colonialists determined to replace indigenous culture with Christianity, exploit natural resources, engage in the slave trade, and conquer land, while European artists interpreted the same objects and advanced Western intellectual history.



Ngil Mask | Fang People, 
Equatorial Africa
Pollitt Collection


Female Head 1911-12 Tate

Ngil Mask | Fang People, 
Equatorial Africa
Pollitt Collection

Ngil Mask | Fang People, 
Equatorial Africa
Pollitt Collection


Stone Figure Head 1912


Portrait of Jeanne Hebuterne

Time To Give African Art Its Due Respect

featured image 
21st ⁄ April ⁄ 2015 
Knowledge Mushohwe Correspondent

Since the days of the Renaissance art movement, art historians and critics have sought to use theory as a form of classification for artworks. Though theories have given the art world a way to organise works into different categories, no one theory among scores of them is considered the most accepted or appropriate. There is no universally accepted theory or method of understanding art, therefore the area surrounding the aesthetics of artworks has been a tricky one for centuries. Some theorists have categorised art into two distinct groups – high art and low art. Depending on who is classifying, the two contrasts can never be clear-cut. African art, for example, has been termed “low art” by many when compared to European art simply because it does not have the history and legacy of the latter as documented in Europe. But is African art “low art” only because it was created by Africans who, by some European standards, have lower intellectual capacity? Or is it considered less sophisticated because it historically functioned largely as a religious or ritual tool as opposed to a symbol of beauty? Whatever the case, it would appear African art has been unfairly treated as belonging to the bottom half of art in terms of quality. Yet, for centuries, prominent visual artists including Pablo Picasso have continuously used African art as the very basis for their production. How can a kind of art that is disrespected and even ridiculed be considered a form of inspiration by those regarded as the embodiment of perfection? African-made masks have made it onto international fashion shows, exhibitions and into European museums.

Their quality is marvelled at in the same foreign lands that try to downplay their significance. When Europeans first came to Zimbabwe and found the Great Zimbabwe monuments, they just could not come to terms with the fact that it was Africans responsible for creating a mind blowing structure.
The artworks the structure contained, including the world famous Zimbabwe birds, were initially thought to have been developed by foreigners. The verdict passed by the Europeans on Zimbabwean art shows that African products of creativity are prejudged based on the foreigners’ perspective of black people in general. The Europeans must have wondered how people they rated so lowly would create such sophisticated artworks. By calling African art “low art”, European art observers were evaluating not the products, but the people themselves. Rating works of art as either high or low will always be problematic. Every artwork is presented to a variety of audiences that have a wide range of aesthetic tastes who will certainly disagree on whatever classification criteria that categorise art as high and low. Comedy, for instance, a performance art used primarily as a stimulus for laughter, has always been cast in the realm of lower art. The philosopher Plato relegated comedy into the “low art” category by suggesting that because, as he put it, it appeals to certain human weaknesses. However, comedy is regarded by its followers as just as important and valuable as other more “elevated” performance or writing. If African art is as “low” as the foreign critics purport it to be, wouldn’t their looting of it and their reluctance to return it be a mystery?

The aesthetics of African art is no doubt different from that of European art. While Renaissance painters and sculptors such as Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo emphasised realistic depictions, African art, particularly ancient rock paintings such as those at Domboshawa, were abstract from the very beginning. How can African art be “low” when the abstraction that European art strived to achieve during modernism and post-modernism was in motion in the “Dark Continent” well before the Renaissance era? African art is also looked down on in part because it was not as well documented and its creators well unknown. But African art was never meant to be documented because its use had nothing to do with legacy. No one cared who created it because African art was developed for the community and by the community. When analysing African art, European critics have not made an attempt to identify different types within the wider realm. They have instead given the umbrella verdict of “low art” to the entire genre based on the false premise that Africans are not sophisticated enough to develop quality products. Sure, there are some African artworks such as roadside and airport art that look underdeveloped and trivial. But every society has such artworks.
Ancient African art does not belong to this group because when we look at rock paintings, they form urbane creative narratives that no other art of that era can match. Failing to understand a whole people’s concept is no licence to downplay or even reject African art’s significance. The route that African art has taken for centuries is no doubt different to that taken by other societies. Its unique route and its treatment of the subject matter is unrivalled. It is high time that African art is treated with due respect.

Sol LeWitt

Source: Time Out

This event has finished

Embrace the colour in this exhibition of work by the late conceptual art pioneer
When we think of minimalism, we don’t necessarily think of the bright, bold patterns of Sol LeWitt’s wall paintings; but he was at the vanguard of the mid-’60s movement, which reinvented art as something pure, simple, concrete. It was art for the people: accessible, by dint of referring only to itself and eschewing centuries of art history. John Kaldor says of LeWitt’s work, “it was groundbreaking, he established a new vocabulary of visual expression.”

LeWitt’s primary domain was the conceptual branch of minimalism (“the idea or concept is the most important aspect of the work,” he wrote in his treatise Paragraphs on Conceptual Art). Over his career he explored art based on formulas (many of his works consisted of instructions for artists or technicians to execute) and art as permutations of a single idea or ‘form’. He was heavily influenced by music, and particularly interested in early Baroque composers and serialists such as Philip Glass and John Cage.

His work has survived better than many of his peers, largely on account of his ability to delight the eye and ignite the imagination. His art has a kind of primal appeal – from his sculptures of geometric forms to his systemic wall paintings (carried out by assistants). 
Thanks to Kaldor, who brought the artist out to Australia for projects in 1977 and 1998 and introduced him to Indigenous Australian art, the Art Gallery of NSW has a comprehensive collection of LeWitt’s work, spanning works on paper, sculptures and wall paintings. These will feature in this survey exhibition alongside Indigenous artworks from Sol’s private collection, and wall paintings never yet executed in Australia – including his final artwork, from the ‘scribble’ series, conceived in 2006.
The exhibition will show the connection between LeWitt’s works in different mediums, and even suggest connections or correlations between his work and the work of artists Emily Kam Ngwarray and Gloria Tamerre Petyarre.

Sol LeWitt 'Wall drawing #1091: arcs, circles and bands (room)', 2003, painted room on 4 walls, Art Gallery of NSW © Estate of Sol LeWitt. ARS, licensed by Viscopy.

Friday, 15 May 2015

Auctions in the Art World - Doors are Opening For AFRICA

$700 Million Sale at Christie’s Becomes ‘One of the Greatest Moments in Auction History’

The scene at Chirstie's last night.
“One of the greatest moments in auction history,” proclaimed Christie’s global president Jussi Pylkkänen after presiding over the “Looking Forward to the Past” sale at 20 Rockefeller Plaza last night. Comprised of choice 20th-century works — ranging from Impressionist classics to contemporary stunners — the 90-minute auction brought in a heady $705,858,000 for just 34 lots (only one piece went unsold) and established new price benchmarks for sculptures and paintings on the block. Even adjusting for inflation, Picasso's Les Femmes d’Alger (Version ‘O’) became the most expensive work of art ever purchased at auction.

“It was a gutsy sale, and it worked,” said Amy Cappellazzo, of advisory firm Art Agency, Partners.
Pitched to the stratospheric end of the market, the goods ranged from a 1900–01 Claude Monet Houses of Parliament sunset scene to a 2011 Urs Fischer cast-wax sculpture of his friend Rudolf Stingel studded with candle wicks for lighting. What’s more, most of the pieces assembled for the sale were believed to be unobtainable until their owners were approached, according to the house’s Loïc Gouzer, architect of the sale’s concept of cross-generational artistic dialogue.

Lightning has struck thrice for Gouzer, an international specialist in contemporary art (and Leonardo DiCaprio consort and sport spear-fisher). He was behind last year's buzzy $134.6 million auction “If I Live I’ll See You Tuesday,” which focused on 1980s artists and their aesthetic offspring. His “11th Hour” charity collaboration with DiCaprio in 2013 was just as savvy — it attracted eyes for its megawatt celeb imprimatur, basked in goodwill by supporting the actor's wildlife foundation, and raised almost $40 million. He and his boss, international head of postwar and contemporary art Brett Gorvy, share an "If you build it, they will come" attitude toward sale curation, which serves nicely as a defense against market pandering — but, well, it also kind of typifies market pandering at the same time.

As expected, a new record was set for Picasso — and for any work of art at auction — when Les Femmes d’Alger (Version ‘O’) (1955) sold for $179,365,000 (all prices include buyer’s premium) after more than 11 minutes of back-and-forth among five phone bidders, eventually winnowed to two: Gouzer versus Gorvey, two colleagues picking away at each other, the billionaire buyers lobbing bids on the horn. The painting had been estimated to earn $140 million, approaching the record $142.4 million paid for Francis Bacon’s Three Studies of Lucian Freud at Christie’s in November 2013.

Gouzer said that astronomical estimate was actually quite justified.

“We sometimes take Picasso for granted, but in this picture we see how modern, how fresh he really was," he said.

The main moment of drama in the sale came when, at $159 million, Gouzer proposed $159.5 million, forcing Gorvy to draw another $500,000 out of his client for the win. When asked at the post-sale press conference how clients sound when they’re spending that kind of money, Gorvy replied, “Tired." May that hint at the time zone that the client was calling from? Or just indicate the normal amount of fatigue involved with spending a completely outrageous amount of money on a canvas?
Les Femmes d’Alger was not the modern master’s only success of the night: The radiantly hued Dora Maar portrait Buste de Femme (Femme à la Résille) (1938), a contribution from Steve Wynn, scored $67,365,000 against an unpublished estimate of some $55 million.

A hand-painted bronze sculpture by Alberto Giacometti, L’Homme au Doigt (1947), notched $141,285,000 — making it the most expensive sculpture ever sold at auction, to underscore the excitement of last night — but only after some notably protracted deliberations. There were also new records north of $24 million for Chaim Soutine, Peter Doig, and Jean Dubuffet — the last for a canvas whispered to have been consigned by Steven A. Cohen.

As impressive as the numbers are, much of the bidding was conducted between house reps on their phones, and enthusiasm failed to grip the sale room. The days of fierce paddle-clashing amid barked figures may be over. Although attendees raised their phone cameras like lighters at a concert each time the gavel threatened to fall for Les Femmes d’Alger and clapped politely for results north of $50 million, the prevailing attitude was overwhelmingly blasé — perhaps because of the 35 lots, 18 of them carried financial guarantees, effectively making them presold.

Yet despite such confidence, for much of the sale, the bids jerked along in fits and starts, and at times Pylkkänen appeared to be wringing bids.

“Anyone else for the sponge?” he asked while pushing an Yves Klein sculpture ($4,645,000) in the aftermath of the Picasso record.

Two exceptions were a severely slashed red canvas, Concetto Spaziale, Attese (1965), by Lucio Fontana, which cleared its $15 million high estimate with a final price of $16,405,000, and Cady Noland’s steel cutout Bluewald (1989), carried aloft on a flurry of raised hands to beat its estimate of $6–8 million for a final price of $9,797,000, another artist record.

The sale’s lone buy-in was an untitled hanging mobile by Alexander Calder. Lacking any evidence of his primary palette or distinctive bowed shapes, the $5.5–7 million estimate was a stretch. One wonders whether there’s any money left for the “routine” evening sales this week, but Pylkkänen is confident that the audience of potential buyers is both broad and deep.

“The shape of the market continues to change,” he said, pointing out that a high proportion of bidders entered the market after 2009. And last night, bidders came from over 35 different countries.
“It was great to see the top end of the market tested in this way,” says Cappellazzo. “But the danger is that you can’t keep pulling rabbits out of hats, because then it doesn't look like magic. In all cases, you want to leave the market wanting a little."


This is an interesting idea for an International Exhibition - The first exhibition of the year in Japan about the usage and importance of the door.

Date: April 2 - June 1, 2015
Ethnically various characteristic doors exist in Africa, Indonesia, Philippine, or others. The majority of doors have a religious meaning of "barrier" besides the purpose of protecting people from animals, their enemies, or cold weathers. Consequently, the variety of designs depending on the people can be seen with diverse meanings on the door. This exhibition compares unique doors in Africa and other countries to introduce their characteristics along with masks and statures. 
Nominal Support: Embassy of the Republic of Cote d'Ivoire, Embassy of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Embassy of the Republic of Cameroon, Embassy of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Embassy of Burkina Faso, Embassy of the Republic of Mali, Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia, Embassy of the Republic of Philippines, Hokuto City, Hokuto City Board of Education, YBS Yamanashi Broadcast, NHK Koufu, Yamanashi Nichinichi Shinbun, The Asahi Shinbun Yamanashi-prefecture, The Mainichi Daily News Yamanashi prefecture, The daily Yomiuri Yamanashi prefecture, Yatsugatake Journal, and FM Yatsugatake.


1712-7 Nakamaru Nagasakacho Hokutoshi
Yamanashiken, Japan 408-0036 
Hours 9:30am-5:00pm
(Closed on Tuesday and Wednesday except holidays)



1712-7 Nakamaru Nagasakacho Hokutoshi
Yamanashiken, Japan 408-0036 
Hours 9:30am-5:00pm
(Closed on Tuesday and Wednesday except holidays)


museum's looks

Picasso, Black, Modigliani, Matisse, and other modern artists were all inspired by African, Oceania, or primitive art.

Their visions which came from African art give us interesting configurations’, forms, expressions, and material textures that attract people’s feelings and emotions. It has the power to influence our hearts and we become captivated by its mysterious beauty. Over several hundred years, each tribe selected forms and expressions uniquely derived from their roots. More and more their works of art were inspired by their spirit and we too can experience their hopes of surviving, existing, and living. These are the origins of their spiritual creation. We who live in modern times can be inspired by African art.

The African Art Museum was established in an area which is surrounded by the beautiful south Alps, Mount Fuji, and Mount Kaikoma in Hokuto-shi. In Japan, this is the first and the only museum to introduce the world’s important African art collections from the pre-Christian to the modern period. Moreover, African Art Museum will introduce minority tribal arts from Asia, Oceania, Indonesia, The Philippines, Taiwan, and the Himalayan region.

Tom Waits | Big in Japan

Museums and Galleries in Africa

Source: Africana

Afrique du Sud

Cape Town
South African National Gallery
Government Avenue
ma-di 10-17
Arts de la perle / Expositions temporaires

Cape Town
Gold of Africa Museum. Martin Melck House
96 Strand Street
Bijoux d'or d'Afrique de l'Ouest (coll Barbier-Mueller); objets d'or des civilisations d'Afrique australe

Cape Town - Gardens
South African Museum
25 Queen Victoria Street
lu-di 10-17
Ethnographie et archéologie de l'Afrique australe: terres cuites de Lydenburg, San (peintures rupestres), Zimbabwe, Tsonga, Khoikhoi, Sotho, Nguni, Shona, Lovedu... Exposition "Ulwazi Lwemvelo - Indigenous Knowledge in South Africa"

Cape Town - Rosebank
University of Cape Town Irma Stern Museum
Cecil Road
ma-sa 10-17
Arts de Zanzibar et du Congo: Lega, Luba ...

Art Gallery
City Hall
lu-sa 8.30-16; di 11-16
Vanneries, céramiques et ouvrages de perles Zulu

Campbell Collections - Mashu Museum of Ethnology
220 Marriott Rd.
sur rendez-vous
Ethnographie des Zoulous; peintures de Barbara Tyrell (costumes d'Afrique du Sud)

East London
East London Museum
319 Oxford Street
lu-ve 9.30-17; sa 9.30-12
Ethnographie régionale (Xhosa...); ouvrages de perles des Nguni méridionaux

Eshowe (KwaZulu-Natal)
Vukani Museum
Nongqayi Road
ma-je 9-13
Art et artisanat des Zoulous: corbeilles, perlages, poteries (Lofroth collection)
Albany Museum. Natural Sciences and History Museums
Somerset Street
lu-ve 9-13 / 14-17; sa-di 14-17
Archéologie de la Province orientale du Cap

Newtown Cultural Precinct
Bree Street

ma-ve 9-17
Histoire culturelle de l'Afrique australe. Peintures rupestres (Museum of South African Rock Art)

Johannesburg Art Gallery
Joubert Park
Klein + King George Street

ma-di 10-17
Arts de l'Afrique australe : Ndebele, Venda, Sotho, Nguni, Tsonga, Swazi, Lovedu, Bushman, Tswana, Shona, Chopi, Lozi, Kamba, Kwere, Makonde, Lwimbi ... (coll. Jaques; Lowen/Brenthurst; Horstmann)

University of Witwatersand Art Galleries - Gertrude Posel Gallery
University of the Witwatersand
Senate House

ma-ve 10-16
Expositions permanentes: "Convention, Context, Change" & "The Rock Art of Southern Africa: Changing Perceptions"
Arts de l'Afrique australe: Ndebele, Tsonga, Zulu, Pedi, Venda, Shona, Lovedu, Xhosa, Ndau, Ntwana...
Art rupestre de l'Afrique australe

Middelburg (Mpumalanga)
Botshabelo Mission Station - Botshabelo Open-air Museum
Architecture traditionnelle des Ndebele (musée de plein air)

Natal Museum
237 Loop Street
lu-sa 9-16.30; di 14-17
Archéologie et ethnogaphie de l'Afrique australe: San, Tsonga/Nguni, Sotho... Ethnographie du Ghana: Ashanti

Port Elizabeth
Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Art Museum
1 Park Drive
lu + me-ve 9-17; ma + sa-di 14-17
Arts de la perle en Afrique australe: Xhosa, Mfengu, Pondo, Tembu, Sotho...
Museum of Anthropology and Archaeology - University of South Africa
UNISA Campus
lu-ve 8-16
Ethnographie et arts décoratifs de l'Afrique australe: Sotho, Swazi, Ndebele, Venda, Tsonga (coll. Junod), Chopi, Xhosa, Pedi, Lozi... Peintures rupestres (San)

Sasol Art Museum
52 Ryneveld Street
ma-ve 9-16; sa 9-17; di 14-17
Ethnographie et arts de l'Afrique australe (Nguni, Sotho, Venda, Shona, Ambo, San, Chewa) et occidentale (Tiv)

Ulundi - Ondini
Kwazulu Cultural Museum
King Cetshwayo Highway
lu-di 9-16
Ethnographie et arts des Zulu


Chitato (Lunda Norte)
Museu do Dundo
Arts et ethnographie de la province du Dundo: Tshokwe, Lwena, Songo...

Museu Nacional de Antropologia
Avenida de Portugal 61
ma-sa 8.30-12.30 / 14.30-17
Arts et ethnographie de l'Angola: Yombe, Solongo, Yaka, Tshokwe, Songo, Ovimbundu, Nyaneka (Mwila, Humbe), Kwanyama, Khoisan...


Musée Historique / Historical Museum
Place Sing bo dji
lu-di 9-18
Architecture et arts royaux des Fon

MusŽe ethnographique Alexandre Snou AdandŽ
Arts et ethnographie du Bénin méridional: Yoruba, Fon... Instruments de musique

lu-di 8-12 / 15-18.30
MusŽe Honm - Palais royal de Xogbonou
Ethnographie du BŽnin mŽridional : Yoruba...

lu-ve 8-12 / 15-18.30


Botswana National Museum
331 Independence Avenue
Arts d'Afrique de l'Ouest: Mende, Bamana, Dogon, Bwa, Kurumba, Baule, Fon, Yoruba, Ibibio... ArchŽologie et arts du Botswana: Yei, Bobonong, Mbukushu, Herero, Tawana, Nkgalagadi, Ngwato, Subiya, Nndandzwa...

Burkina Faso

Bobo Dioulasso
Musée Provincial du Houët
Place de la Nation
ma-sa 9-12 / 15.30-18; di 9-13
Ethnographie et arts des Bobo, des Senufo et des Peul

Musée des Civilisations du sud-ouest
Colline du pouvoir
ma-di 8-12.30
Ethnographie et arts de la province du Poni: Lobi, Dagara, Gan...

Musée du Sanmatenga
Ethnographie et arts de la province de Kaya: arts du tissage et de la maroquinerie

ma-sa 8-12 / 15.30-18

Musée de la Bendrologie (Musée Belen-Yegre)
Coutumes funéraires du pays Mossi et alentours (pierres tombales Yakouga, masques, sculptures...; terres cuites de la vallée du Niger), Masques Mossi, Bwa, Nuna, Bobo, Toussian. Instruments de musique. Habitats reconstitués: Peul, Bobo, Senufo

Musée National
Avenue d'Oubritenga
ma-sa 8-12.30 / 15.30-18.30
Arts et ethnographie du Burkina Faso: Bobo, Bwa, Gurunsi, Kurumba, Lobi. Marka, Mossi, Samo, Senufo...


Musée Provincial
Arts et ethnographie des Duala

Foumban - Njiyom
Musée des Arts et Traditions Bamoun
Ethnographie et arts des Bamum

Musée du Palais Royal
Arts royaux des Bamum

Mont Febe
Musée des Bénédictins du Mont Febe
Arts du Grassland

Musée National
Arts du Cameroun: Bamoun, Bamileke, etc.
Centrafricaine (République)
Musée des Arts et Traditions populaires Barthélémy Boganda
ma-sa 8-12 / 14-19
Rites et coutumes de la Rép. Centrafricaine; instruments de musique traditionnels

Congo (Brazzaville)

Musée National de la R.P. du Congo
Avenue Patrice Lumumba
Arts et traditions des ethnies du Congo: Teke, Vili...

Congo (Kinshasa)

Institut des Musées Nationaux du Congo
Archéologie et arts des ethnies du Congo: Ndibu, Mboma, Woyo, Yombe, Zombo, Teke, Lula, Nkanu, Yaka, Suku, Holo, Mbala, Pende, Mbuun, Dinga, Lele, Kuba, Tshwa, Ndengese, Binji, Biombo, Salampasu, Lwalu, Tshokwe, Luba, Zela, Hemba, Songye, Boyo, Bembe, Lengola, Kumu, Mbole, Zande, Boa, Ngbaka, Mbanza, Ngombe...

Musée national
Arts du Shaba: Tabwa...

Côte d'Ivoire

Musée National des Civilisations de Côte d'Ivoire
Boulevards Nangui Abrogoua & Cadre 32 ma-sa 9-12 / 15-18
Arts des ethnies de la Côte d'Ivoire: Ubi, Dan, Mau, , Niabwa, Bete, Guro, Baule, Yaure, Senufo, Lobi, Kulango, Akye, Anyi, Adyukru...


Musée National des Arts et Traditions du Gabon
Bord de mer lu-ve 8.30-18
Arts du Gabon: Fang, Kota, Tsogo, Sango, Galoa, Punu, Lumbo, Vuvi, Aduma, Njabi, Tsangui (MusŽe virtuel:


National Museum of Ghana
Barnes Road
ma-di 9-17
Arts et ethnographie du Ghana: Ashanti...

Volta Regional Museum
43 Glama Street
ma-di 9-18
Arts et ethnographie de la région voltaïque

University of Ghana. Museum of Archaeology
University of Ghana lu-ve 9-16
Arts et archŽologie du Ghana: Ashanti, Akan...


MusŽe National de GuinŽe
Sandervalia - 1re Avenue ma-sa 9-15 / 16-18; di 16-18
Arts et ethnographie de la GuinŽe: Baga... (1 salle d'exposition)


National Museum of Kenya
Museum Hill
lu-di 9.30-18
Arts (Swahili...), ethnographie et préhistoire du Kenya. Aquarelles de Joy Adamson "Peoples of Kenya"

Kitale Museum
lu-di 9.30-18
Ethnographie des peuples de l'ouest kenyan: Kusu, Luo, Turkana, Elgon Maasai
Oloor Karian Maasai Cultural Centre
Village masa•, avec prŽsentation de la culture et de l'artisanat des Maasai


Centre de recherche et d'Žtudes archŽologiques
lu-ve 8-11.30 / 14-16
Arts décoratifs (objets anciens)

Musée d'art et d'archéologie de l'Université
Isoraka, 17 rue Dr Villette
lu-ve 8-11.30 / 14-16
Ethnographie des peuples de Madagascar; instruments de musique

Toliara - TulŽar
Musée des Arts et Traditions Populaires du Sud Malgache
Arts et ethnographie des Mahafaly


MusŽe National du Mali (site du musŽe)
Route de Koulouba
ma-di 9-18
Archéologie du Mali (Djenne, Thial, Bankoni, Tellem...)
Arts du Mali (Bamana, Bobo, Dogon, Senufo...); textiles et céramiques du Mali


Museu de Hist—ria Natural
Praça da Travessia do Zambeze
Arts et ethnographie du Mozambique: Makonde...

Museu de Nampula
Av. Eduardo Mondlane
Art régional: Makonde, Makua... (masques)


National Museum of Namibia. Owela Display & Education Centre
Robert Mugabe Avenue
Ethnographie et arts de la Namibie


MusŽe National du Niger (site du musŽe)

9-12 / 16-18.30
Arts, archŽologie et ethnographie du Niger: Boura, Djerma, Peul. Touareg, Hausa...


Benin City
National Museum
King's Square
Arts anciens du royaume de Benin

National Museum of Esie (House of Images)
Arts anciens d'Esie (34 statues volŽes en 1993 et 1995)

Museum of the Institute of African Studies (University)
Arts anciens (Dalma...) et traditionnels du pays yoruba

National Museum of Ife Antiquities
Arts anciens d'Ife et arts traditionnels régionaux: Yoruba, Bini...

Obafemi Awolowo University Art Museum
Arts anciens (Ife) et arts traditionnels régionaux: Yoruba

National Museum
Arts anciens (Ife, Nok) et arts traditionnels du Nigeria: Afo, Yoruba, Ibo...

National Museum
Ali Road
Arts anciens (Ife, Yelwa) et arts traditonnels régionaux: Igala...

National Museum
Arts anciens du Nigeria: Jebba, Tada, Benin, Owo, Ife, Igbo-Ukwu, Nok
Arts des tribus nigérianes: Mama, Ekoi, Ijo, Ogoni, Ibibio, Oron, Ibo, Urhobo, Eket, Igala, Idoma, Basa-Nge, Yoruba


Musée d'Art Africain (IFAN - Institut Fondamental d'Afrique Noire)
1, Place Soweto
Arts d'Afrique occidentale: Rao, Toucouleur, Baga, Mende, Bamana, Minianka, Djenne, Dogon, Gurunsi, Bobo, Senufo, Kono, Ubi, Wè, Dan, Bete, Baule, Yaure, Adyukru, Anyi, Fon, Yoruba, Ejagham, Bamileke, Bamum - Arts du Congo: Vuvi... Arts, artisanat et traditions du Sénégal

Musée de la Culture Diola
Evocation de la Culture Diola

Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone National Museum
Pademba Road
Arts de la Sierra Leone: Temne...


Provincial Museum (bombardŽ en 1989)
Vanneries et bijoux de Somalie

National Museum

lu-di 8-17
Ethnographie des Swazi. Mantenga Cultural Village (musŽe de plein air sur l'habitat traditionnel)


Dar es Salaam
National Museum
Shaaban Robert Street
Art et artisanat des peuples de Tanzanie; préhistoire de la Tanzanie

Sukuma Museum
Regalia et ethnographie des Sukuma


Musée National tchadien
Fort Archambault
Arts anciens du Tchad: Sao


Choma Museum and Crafts Centre
Ethnographie de la Province méridionale: Tonga

Livingstone Museum
Mosi-o-Tunya Road
lu-di 8.30-16.30
Archéologie, ethnographie et arts traditionnels de Zambie: masques Mbunda, Mbalango...

National Museum
Independence Avenue
lu-di 9-16.30
Histoire, ethnographie et artisanat de la Zambie

Moto Moto Museum
Archéologie, ethnographie et arts de la Province du Nord et de la Zambie centrale

Mongu - Limulunga
Nayuma Museum and Heritage Center
Ethnographie de la Province occidentale


Art Gallery
Artisanat du Matabeleland

National Gallery of Zimbabwe
20 Julius Nyerere Way
Arts décoratifs du Zimbabwe. Arts du Congo (Zande) et d'Afrique occidentale (Senufo, Ashanti, Yoruba...),.Répliques en plâtre de bronzes de Bénin.

National Museum
Arts du Zimbabwe: Kami