Expired: … Of Dance and of War…
The exhibition features about fifty Melanesian spears from New Caledonia, the Bismarck Archipelago, New Guinea and Vanuatu, all used ritually by valiant warriors or acrobatic dancers. The men who brandished these spears did so proudly, and the power that inhabited the objects made those who carried them invincible. An eponymous catalog accompanies the exhibition. Exhibiting at Galerie Michel Giraud, 33-37, rue de Seine.
Expired: Leiris & co.
Known mostly for his poetry and his circle of prestigious friends, Michel Leiris, a major twentieth century intellectual, is also the author of seminal works on African art, including Afrique Noire, la Création Plastique. A new exhibition at the Centre Pompidou-Metz titled Leiris & Co. Picasso, Masson, Miró, Giacometti, Lam, Bacon ... offers an opportunity to see a group of African and Caribbean artworks, a rich corpus of original documents and archives on the subject, and some 350 masterpieces by the artists the poet was close to, whose names are mentioned in the show’s title. Bringing together elements of ethnography, art, and literature, this exhibition at the Centre Pompidou-Metz, was produced in partnership with the Musée du Quai Branly and the Bibliothèque Littéraire Jacques Doucet. It is the fi rst major show dedicated to this fascinating individual.
Expired: Warriors and Mothers: Epic Mbembe Art
A landmark exhibition now at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Warriors and Mothers: Epic Mbembe Art reunites what are among the earliest wood sculptures preserved from sub-Saharan Africa. The creations of master carvers active on the frontier of Nigeria and Cameroon some three hundred years ago, these imposing representations depict men and women engaged in roles of universally recognizable resonance. Poised to defend, fortify, and sustain their communities, their subjects are formidable warriors and nurturing mothers. On view at the Metropolitan Museum of Art until September 2015.
Expired: Fowler in Focus: The Art of Hair in Africa
This exhibition presents an array of finely sculpted combs and hairpins from Africa and its diasporas, along with the film Me Broni Ba/My White Baby by Ghanaian-American filmmaker Akosua Adoma Owusu. It explores the notions of ideal beauty and social status associated with hair among many African cultures. The juxtaposition of traditional hairpins and combs made from rare materials with an avant-garde contemporary film raises questions about constructions of identity in Africa from the colonial period to today.
Expired: Devils and Gods
Les diables et les dieux (The Devils and the Gods), on view at Château de Tanlay until September 20, creates a dialog between contemporary art and traditional works from non-Western cultures. Its approach is simple but sincere, and it uses curiosity as an engine to explore works that share a “savage” inspiration. Without the imposition of any cultural hierarchy, the works of Bengt Lindström, Barthélémy Toguo, Coco Fronsac, and Cyprien Tokoudagba are confronted with some fifty pieces from traditional cultures of Africa, Oceania, and the Himalayas to form a lively aesthetic conversation that is lighter in tone than the exhibition’s title might suggest.
Expired: L'Inca et le conquistador
L’Inca et le conquistador (The Inca and the Conquistador), a new exhibition at the Musée du Quai Branly, uses artistic creations by the Inca and by the Spanish to tell both sides of the story of the conquest of Peru and to illustrate the confrontations that resulted from contact between two radically different worlds. Conceived by curator Paz Núnez-Regueiro, the exhibition focuses on two protagonists, the Inca sovereign Atahualpa and the Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro, whose interactions provoked a profound political, economic, cultural, and religious revolution in both of their empires. The paintings, weapons, textiles, gold objects, ceramics, maps, and engravings, mostly from the museum’s own collection, together tell this epic story and shed light on this mutual encounter with the “other.”
Expired: New Worlds
Located on the French coast just south of Calais, Boulogne-sur-Mer has traditionally been a town of seafarers and adventurers, and its fine museum collection has been enriched over time by the donations that many of these colorful figures have made to it. Nouveaux Mondes (New Worlds), on view until September 21, honors these donors, who, in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, traveled the world’s seas in search of unknown lands and peoples. The exhibition focuses on the voyages themselves (the risks involved in these expeditions, the ships, and life on board them), as well as on the influences and cultural pressures associated with them (evangelization, the evolution of beliefs, and the transformation of styles), and it decrypts the notion of the “savage,” which these travelers brought home to Europe with them and related to their countrymen. With more than 130 objects including drawings, travel journals, paintings, maps, and traditional indigenous sculptures, drawn from Boulogne-sur-Mer collections, as well as from those of many other French museums, the exhibition provides an opportunity to consider the legacy of these expeditions, which helped build Western understanding of the world and the peoples in it.
Expired: Missionaries and Idols in Polynesia
An exhibition currently at the Brunei Gallery of the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London documents the early years of the London Missionary Society (LMS), from its formation in 1795 until around 1825, the time of its initial “success” in central Polynesia, a triangle in the Pacifi c encompassing the Society Islands, the Cooks, and the Australs. The fi rst half of the exhibition shows forty archival items—paintings, engravings, prints, books, imprints, and a miniature “peep show”—that together illustrate the formation of the LMS, the missionaries themselves, the voyage of the missionary ship Duff, and the society’s Missionary Museum in London. The second half of the exhibition, in the words of missionary Rev. John Williams, puts on view an “ocular demonstration” of forty idols and non-idol artifacts that the LMS missionaries collected and sent back to their headquarters.
Expired: Brussels Art Square
On September 25 and 26, the Sablon neighborhood of Brussels will be home to the Brussels Art Square (BAS), an art show that has been held annually since 2005. The focus of the event is to raise awareness of the neighborhood’s central activity, which has been ongoing since the nineteenth century—the art and antiques trade. About fi fty local dealers with specialties in a variety of disciplines will be participating. Of these, Joaquin Pecci, Serge Schoffel, and Patrick and Ondine Mestdagh (whose show will also feature Japanese art) will be presenting tribal art. For the second time, the BAS will host galleries from a particular invited country. Last year it was the United Kingdom and this year it will be Spain. Twelve galleries are coming from there, including Galerie Guilhem Montagut, which is well known to African art afi cionados. BERBER
Expired: Time Exposures: Picturing a History of Isleta Pueblo in the 19th Century
An exhibition currently at the Heard Museum looks at Isletan history from the residents’ perspective, particularly focusing on the lasting effects of nineteenthcentury changes on their lives today. Time Exposures: Picturing a History of Isleta Pueblo in the 19th Century uses historic photographs and a variety of other media to tell the story of the pueblo and its evolution. It opens with a look at the cycle of the traditional year as it was observed in the mid-nineteenth century and then traces the arrival of the Americans, the ways this influx disrupted the Isleta way of life, and how the Isleta people fought changes and eventually “learned to become members of America on our own terms.” The final part examines the historic photographs as products of white culture, exploring the underlying ideas and values, asking “what kind of record they truly represent of our people and our ways.” Time Exposures will be on view until September 27, 2015.