Pre-Columbian Art auction at Binoche and Giquello
Building on the success of its previous sales of pre-Columbian art in 2018, Binoche and Giquello presents a new and very diverse sale of South American archaeology, which will satisfy small and large collectors with a weighed mixture of ceramics, hard stone works, small figurines and some notable examples of Colombian goldsmithery. Among the masterpieces of the sale are the imposing and geometric Mezcala statues (lots 106 and 83), the zoomorphic hacha of Veracruz, the Chupicuaro statuettes, or the figurative Mayan ceramics, here illustrated by a beautiful expressive jaguar (lot 128) and a beautiful black Mayan vase with glyphs (lot 80). The price records will probably go on the side of Jalisco ceramics with a very good example of a wrestler (lot 88), but we can also note, more off the beaten track, some rare pearls like a very nice couple of statuettes Chorrera (lot 18), a particularly original Mayan hacha (lot 19), or an expressive warriors head from Veracruz (lot 120). Finally, novice collectors should be be satisfied with a large number of pieces at reasonable prices that easily allow entry into the acquisition market with fine items. The pre-Columbian market is far from moribund.
The musée Royal de l'Afrique Centrale in Tervuren Reopen !
On December 9, the Musée Royal de l’Afrique Centrale in Tervuren, Belgium, will reopen after having been closed for fi ve years for renovation. Still in its original building, the museum now boasts more than 100,000 square feet of gallery space for its masterpieces of African art. Moving forward, it will present a dialog between living African artists and iconic masterpieces of the past. The annual special issue of Tribal Art magazine is dedicated to this milestone event. You can have a first look at it by browsing the following link : http://www.tribalartmagazine.com/issue-666608-sample-2. Or Receive FREE of charge our Special Issue no. 8 "An Unrivalled Museum" by subscribing to Tribal Art magazine.
Asen Arts of Dahomey at the Musée Barbier-Mueller
For the Winter coming, the Musée Barbier-Mueller in Geneva will present a special exhibition focused on the West African tradition of iron altars known as asen, specifically those of the former kingdom of Dahomey. Titled Asen: Mémoires forgés à fer dans l’Art Vodun du Dahomey (Asen: Forged Memories of Iron in Dahomey Vodun Art), it will explore an array of issues important to our understanding of these striking sculptures like artist hands, questions of use, the history of these arts which were found in particular in Benin, Nigeria and Togo populations. The various asen motifs referencing the deceased help to recall the memory of these important figures. Transformed through related offerings, they becomes the means for further engagement with these critical ancestors. This collection, representing some of the finest iron sculptures anywhere in Africa—or elsewhere—offers a unique occasion for close looking at these remarkable works.
Kuba: Fabric of an empire at the Baltimore Museum of Art
On the southern edge of the Congolese River Basin, nestled between the Kasai and Sankuru Rivers, a remarkable kingdom flourished in the latter half of the second millennium CE. Known to their neighbors as “Kuba,” these “people of the king” developed one of the greatest civilizations in the history of central Africa. Art and design were central to life in this kingdom. In addition to developing an elaborate and varied masquerade tradition, Kuba men and women were prolific textile artists. Houses were woven, currency was embroidered, and an individual’s wealth and power were reflected in the intricacy of the patterns sewn, dyed, and embroidered onto their clothing. Like words on a page, these dazzling designs tell the history of the polity as clearly as any written account or oral history. This is the story the Baltimore Museum of Art is trying to tell us with its new show titled Kuba: Fabric of an Empire. The Museum is providing also a whole research studies on the Kuba textile, trying to determinate a chronology, a symbolism, making the first proper studies on the subject.
Gauguin: A Spiritual Journey
Central to the career of Paul Gauguin (1848–1903) were intimate relationships and professional friendships that defined his life and work as well as his quest to understand his own spirituality and that of other cultures. Gauguin: A Spiritual Journey, on view at the de Young Museum until April 7, 2019, presents the progression and scope of his oeuvre from an early drawing of his wife, Mette Gad, c. 1873, to late and well-known works painted in Tahiti or inspired by his time in the Pacific. It does so through a stunning array of Gauguin’s paintings, ceramics, wood carvings, and works on paper counterpointed by Oceanic sculptures. Period photography and excerpts from Gauguin’s letters and writings highlight key periods of his travel, relationships, and creativity. More than fifty of the Gauguin works are on loan from the renowned collection of the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, Copenhagen. Also included is a new video work, First Impressions: Paul Gauguin, by interdisciplinary artist Yuki Kihara, which was commissioned by the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco and the Glyptotek and addresses the colonial gaze represented by Gauguin and turns it back toward Western culture. The exhibition includes rare artworks from the de Young’s collection, each corresponding to the time of Gauguin’s travel and work in the region. Together these provide context for the Pacific histories, beliefs, and art forms that captured Gauguin’s imagination and inspired his work.
Grey is the new pink: moments of ageing
How do we deal with the political, social, and scientific problems that the world’s ever-increasing older population gives rise to? How can this inexorable aging process be approached from a multicultural perspective? And how can it be interpreted in an artistic and, most importantly, optimistic perspective? Artists all over the world are exploring the possibilities, each according to their own traditions, points of view, and the cultural baggage they carry. Every culture has its own conceptions of aging and of the stages of life. Will there eventually be a universal notion of “age” and in particular of advanced age? What can we learn from our neighbors about ways to manage our elderly population? These are questions that Grey is the New Pink: Moments of Aging, on view until September 1, 2019, at the Weltkulturen Museum addresses through the presentation of works by more than fifteen multinational artists. It invites reflection upon cultural contradictions and places the museum squarely in the realm of social discourse.
Artistic Encounters with Indigenous America
An exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art will explore how European and American artists represented Indigenous North Americans in drawings, prints, watercolors, photographs, and popular ephemera from the seventeenth to the early twentieth century. Through forty-five examples from the Met collection, the display will trace the evolution of this complex imagery over time, highlighting the ways in which it contributed to the creation and dissemination of myths and misconceptions about Native peoples, often justifying their dispossession, cultural destruction, and genocide. From formulaic depictions of so-called savage warriors and Indian princesses to romanticized representations of a “vanishing race,” these works reveal the pervasive influence of indigenous America on the Euro-American imagination. Artistic Encounters with Indigenous America can be seen from December 3, 2018–May 13, 2019, and serves as an interesting counterpoint to Art of Native America: The Charles and Valerie Diker Collection, which is discussed elsewhere in this issue.
Rapa Nui in Hawaii
The Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum is presenting a new exhibition that delves into the wonders of Rapa Nui, or Easter Island. Showcasing the Bishop Museum’s extensive cultural and natural science collections from the island, Rapa Nui: The Untold Stories of Easter Island draws upon recent studies conducted by Bishop Museum researchers and collaborators to highlight some lesser-known stories about the island. More than 150 cultural treasures and never-before- seen biological specimens from the museum’s collection will be on display together for the fi rst time. In the installation, a number of iconic moai are joined by the largest collection of artifacts in a single collection etched with the island’s enigmatic rongo rongo glyphs. This form of writing, which has eluded decipherment, was carved into wooden tablets and staffs. Chiefl y adornments such as ua (ceremonial staffs), rei miro (breastplates), and intricate feathered headdresses attest to the skill and artistry of Rapanui artists, and a highlight of the exhibit will be the museum’s entire collection of thirty kai kai, or string fi gures, used to recount oral traditions and tell stories. These were collected in 1934–35 by ethnographer Alfred Métraux from Amelia Tepano, the most knowledgeable cultural expert in this practice at the time of his visit to the island. Rapa Nui: The Untold Stories of Easter Island is accompanied by the complementary Bishop exhibit Ka U‘i: Contemporary Art from Rapa Nui, featuring works by eight Rapa Nui–based artists who explore Rapanui identity, politics, the environment, and ancient art forms through contemporary media, including sculpture, photography, and painting. Another concurrent exhibition, Hare Tao‘a, Hare Tangata, is at the Museo Antropológico Padre Sebastián Englert (MAPSE), the local museum on Rapa Nui, where it can be seen until February 2019.