Paul Robeson at Musée du Quai Branly - Jacques Chirac
Through October 13, 2018, and coinciding with the Madagascar exhibition that is profiled elsewhere in this issue, the Musée du Quai Branly – Jacques Chirac is training a spotlight on a major figure in the English-speaking art scene of the first half of the twentieth century. Paul Robeson: Une Homme du Tout-monde (Paul Robeson: A Man of the World) looks at the life of a multifaceted man. At various times a slave, fugitive, sportsman, lawyer, singer, actor, and artist, he struggled throughout his life for universal liberty and for the advancement of the Black man in American society through the force of his many-sided identity, the product of his heritage, his nationality, and his life encounters. He has been largely left by the wayside of history, overshadowed perhaps by figures such as Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr. Nonetheless, Robeson was an archetype of his century, a committed and passionate fighter that the museum is seeking to honor and give the long overdue credit he deserves by emphasizing his rightful place in history between art, politics, and the African diaspora.
Coco Fronsac's new exhibition
Coco Fronsac will be presenting her new work at the LA Joallerie Mazlo Gallery, part a plural exhibition rue Guénégaud in Saint-Germain-des-Prés in Paris. Always revisiting the art of photography, collage, a mix techniques, Coco Fronsac presents a new work related to Taino's ritual and magical culture. Reinterpreting the dialogue between the artist and the hereafter she stills adventures herself in the eternal quest to give back to photography its material, mystical and precious character. Combining magic with technique, Coco becomes shaman and tries to get out of the frame the souls of its frozen protagonists. The show will be on from September 11th to October 13th.
The Allan Stone collection on sale at Rago
Over the course of fifty years, the eminent New York art dealer and collector Allan Stone amassed an art collection unrivaled in diversity and depth. A self-proclaimed “art junkie,” Stone was little influenced by price nor swayed by opinion in his pursuit of art, focusing instead on works that spoke to him. Rago Auctions is planning a sale of tribal art from the Stone Collection to be held on Friday, October 19, 2018. Vetted and catalogued by John Buxton, the sale encompasses more than 300 lots, mostly African in origin, but also Oceanic, Asian, and North and South American. Selected property from various other owners is also included. This sale continues an ongoing relationship with Rago representing property from Stone’s collection across multiple categories. Among the sale’s highlights are the Flores Island couple featured as the frontispiece in The Eloquent Dead: Ancestral Sculpture of Indonesia and Southeast Asia; a well-known Fiji figure formerly in the James Hooper Collection; many fine objects from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, notable among them a Kongo nail fetish collected between 1907 and 1909 and an important Songe kifwebe mask.
Find out more at : https://www.ragoarts.com/auctions/2018/10/19/tribal-arts-stone/info
The Art of beads in Africa - The Mottas collection
Used for exchange and trade, as a covering for statues, as body ornaments for both men and women, or on figures with sacred charges, beads in Africa have many denominations and many symbolic meanings. They were originally produced in Europe for the African market—in other words, for trade—and in this sense they serve as a reminder of a colonial past. But beads were quickly appropriated by African artists and became an integral part of their works, even if they did derive from a foreign continent. Their colors and vivacity made them immediately attractive and popular, but it is too often forgotten that those colors are actually indicators of a complex code of identity. Beads carry messages about the age, gender, and status of the people that wear them—all messages that this exhibition deciphers and explains. Beads have had many and varied uses: They appear on royal Bamileke fi gures and on the necklaces or bracelets of fetish fi gures, as well as on more mundane and everyday objects such as ornaments and jewelry produced by African craftspeople. Beads have been a vector of globalization visible on the panoply of objects of which they are part. The flexibility of their use is illustrated through the juxtaposition of traditional beaded objects that recently came to the Rietberg Museum from the collection of François Mottas—a passionate collector who assembled over 400 African artworks with detailed documentation—with contemporary objects, such as a planisphere of worldwide commercial routes created entirely with beads by artists Anna Richerby and Laurence Kapinga Tshimpaka. The exhibition which will be open from June 7 until October 21, 2018, makes a special effort to honor the work of female artists, too long ignored in the history of the African continent’s art despite their long having been such an important creative force there.
Sale @ Lempertz : "A Sculptor's Eye"
BRUSSELS—Lempertz auction house has announced that it will hold a sale on October 24, 2018, of nearly 200 lots of African and Oceanic material from a single collection. The sale is titled The Sculptor’s Eye and will feature primarily Melanesian works. Apart from utilitarian objects like shields, the offerings will include Marquesas Islands ear ornaments and interesting pieces from New Ireland, such as two tatanua masks and a malangan sculpture, the latter formerly in the collection of Wilhelm Heinrich Solf, who from 1900 to 1911 was the fi rst governor of Samoa. Africa will also be well represented with a fine selection of ceremonial objects. Highlights of these include a Cameroonian Fang fi gure with an inscription that attests to its having once been in an old British collection and an Ekoi dance crest from Nigeria formerly in Stuttgart’s Linden- Museum and collected by Captain Hans Glauning while he served in Cameroon between 1901 and 1908. A special preview of the objects in this sale will be held in Paris from September 7–14 at Artcurial. The regular presale preview will take place in the Lempertz showroom in Brussels from October 19–23.
The Ramanyana narrated by the masks Rajbanchi
From 22 December 2017 until 28 October 2018, this exhibition takes you on a journey through the northern regions of India and southern Nepal. It was born from a dream: to create a museum in Nepal that celebrates the arts of Nepalese or neighboring ethnic minorities. A set of 90 ancient masks evokes the Ramayana. This long mythological epic tells of Rama's struggle to recover his wife, Sita, abducted by Ravana, 10-headed demon of Ceylon, with the help of Hanuman and his army of monkeys. It is commemorated during shows performed by inhabitants who, for several days, play the major events of this story by climbing or masking. Some paintings of the Mithila and a series of textiles from Bhutan enrich the collection which offers a wide panorama of the artistic production of a people too often ignored. The exhibition is held at the Bernard and Caroline de Watteville Foundation in Crans-Montana, Switzerland. More information about tne exhibition available on : www.art-et-collections.ch
So Far and So Near
An exhibition opening March 20, 2018, at the Barbier-Mueller Museum juxtaposes works in the Swiss museum’s collection with those of contemporary artist Silvia Bächli, who is also curating the exhibition. Conceived of as a creative game with the museum’s staff, So Far and So Near: Tribal Arts Through the Eyes of Sylvia Bächli will present the artist’s gouaches on paper along with about sixty works she has selected from the museum’s collection. The juxtaposition of contemporary art and non-Western works is intended to provoke reflection on the form, status, and function attributed to art objects of any origin, whether from the West or elsewhere. The forms of the Barbier-Mueller Museum’s masks, figures, vessels, and shields are intended to serve as a formal counterpoint to the sense of movement and line created by the Swiss artist, and unexpected responses are born of these aesthetic encounters. The role of each participant in the transformation of the object into an artwork—the expert, the dealer, the anthropologist, the collector, the curator, and the display designer—will be detailed in the catalog that accompanies the show.
Tribal Art Fair Amsterdam 2018
From October 26–28, 2018, aficionados of African, Asian, Oceanic, and Native American art will converge on Amsterdam’s beautiful De Duif church, the venue for the city’s tribal art fair, now in its sixteenth year. The charm of the fair’s location has, of course, contributed to its success, but its convivial atmosphere, which is always conducive to acquisitions and new discoveries, quite likely is what its audience appreciates most. This year, Galerie Lemaire, which organizes the show, has announced it will be offering nearly 2,000 pieces, widely diverse in terms of their geographic origins, functions, and price ranges. There is sure to be something for everyone who appreciates beautiful artworks.
Taíno: Native Heritage and Identity at the Smithonian
Across the Caribbean, there is growing interest in the historical, cultural, and genetic legacies of Native peoples. Over the past forty years, a diverse Taíno movement has taken form, and increasing numbers of individuals, families, and organizations are affirming their Native ancestry and identifying themselves as Taíno. This movement challenges the prevalent belief that Native peoples became extinct shortly after European colonisation in the Greater Antilles, which are populated by the racially mixed and culturally blended societies of Cuba, the Dominican Republic, and Puerto Rico, as well as other areas of the Caribbean. Taíno: Native Heritage and Identity in the Caribbean, at the National Museum of the American Indian, Smithsonian Institution, July 28, 2018–October 2019, will explore the rural roots of the Taíno movement and provide insight into the legacy of Native peoples throughout the Spanish-speaking Caribbean islands and their American diasporas.
The regrettable closing of the Musée Africain de Lyon at least has allowed the collection of the Société des Missions Africaines to travel a bit. Some of the works from this collection are being displayed at the Musée des Arts d’Afrique et d’Asie de Vichy until October 31, 2018. The question of how they got to France is the subject being addressed. The Catholic missionaries sent to Africa were the first European collectors, owners, and caretakers of African art. They were witnesses to a unique period in history and they would greatly influence Western perceptions of the objects and artifacts from the continent. The exhibition seeks to reverse the stereotypes that still haunt these artworks today by giving them their rightful voices and places. It focuses on so-called fetishes, the cult objects used in traditional religious rites that Europeans perceived as superstition and sorcery. The failure of these very different cultures to understand one another became a driving force behind major cultural shocks and resulted in the large-scale and sometimes forced collection of African art objects. However, the fact that they were removed from their societies of origin was the guarantee that those objects would be preserved. Such are the contradictions that those who are interested in African art must face and deal with today.