The Māori Portraits: Gottfried Lindauer's New Zealand
This exhibition features for the first time in the United States over 30 Gottfried Lindauer’s portraits of the Māori. A key cultural figure in New Zealand, Lindauer was one of the country’s most pioneering and prolific painters. His historical portraits of Māori leaders, community elders, warriors and politicians painted between 1874 and 1903 capture the fascinating personal stories of his subjects as well as the complex intercultural exchanges occurring at the time of colonisation.
This exhibition also explores how a Czech painter, trained in the European style of 19th century portraiture became the most celebrated portraitist of Māori in New Zealand. The Māori see these paintings as ‘living connections to the past’. The remarkable life stories of their ancestors are remembered and shared by their descendants today through these paintings.
Photo: Gottfried Lindauer, "Pare Watene," 1878. Oil on canvas. Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, Gift of Mr H E Partridge, 1915
Peru Before the Incas
This exhibition features nearly 293 archaeological objects, most of which were unearthed in the course of the important excavation projects that have taken place on the northern coast of Peru since 1987 until today. It spans the time from the 8th century BC to approximately AD 1470, the time of the arrival of the Inca on the northern coast of Peru and of the conquest of the kingdom of Chimor. This time span of more than 2,000 years saw the rise of many civilizations, including the Cupisnique, Salinar and Virú, Moche, Lambayeque, and Chimú. The exhibition focuses primarily on the ways in which the complex societies of the north coast were formed, an examination that is framed as a reflection upon power. This approach casts light on how the Inca were the product of the social development prior to Spanish colonization. The installation is divided into five sections: 1) the role played by geography; 2) celestial power; 3) power expressed through architecture; 4) terrestrial power; and 5) high-ranking and powerful women in coastal societies over the course of more than a millennium.
This exhibition titled "Swish: Carved Belts & Fibre Skirts of Papua New Guinea" focuses in part on the sculpted belts and fiber skirts of the inhabitants of the southeastern coast of Papua New Guinea. Traditionally worn by men and boys, these belts are no longer part of everyday life. They are made of bark, and the decorations that were often incised in them indicated the social status of the wearer. Conversely, skirts were reserved for use by women and girls. Unlike the male belts, they are still worn for dancing at ceremonies, which mark special occasions such as the arrival of an important person, the reception of a dignitary in the country, or even an important international sporting event. The manner in which they are manufactured has changed over time. For example, plastic has replaced palm and pandanus leaves. The exhibition demonstrates how these new ways are not a loss of authenticity, but rather are an evolution in the continuation of an ancestral tradition.
Living with gods
"Living with Gods: Peoples, Places, and Worlds Beyond" explores religious practice and expression in the lives of individuals and communities through time and space. The installation examines the risks and benefits of these behaviors in terms of coexistence and conflicts within and between societies, placing special emphasis on the cases of seventeenth- and eighteenth-century Japan, China and the Soviet Union, and modern Europe. It analyzes the mystical and sociological aspects of religious beliefs as well as the neurological and psychological implications they may have. Objects that illustrate a panoply of spiritual practices are displayed, ranging from a Pende mask from the Congo used to keep women and the curious away from young men’s initiation ceremonies to a memento mori pendant from the end of the late Middle Ages intended to remind men of character of the ephemeral nature of material riches.
Beads: A Universe of Meaning
The exhibition traces the history of imported glass beads as a medium of exchange, artistic expression, and identity for indigenous peoples throughout North America. It features garments, articles of adornment, and works of art dating from circa 1850 to the present, and it examines the ways in which makers of beadwork have simultaneously sustained tradition, engaged with popular culture, and developed a uniquely native art form.
Creatures of the Earth, Sea, and Sky
Here is a rare opportunity to see a selection of extraordinary painted ceramics from the LACMA’s permanent collection, supported with loans from Drs. Alan Grinnell and Feelie Lee! "Creatures of the Earth, Sea, and Sky: Painting the Panamanian Cosmos" focuses on depictions of animals, real and mythical, which inhabit the different levels of the cosmos—the sea, earth, and sky. Artists disassembled legible images and merged them into hybrid combinations that are so abstract that identification is frequently impossible—and probably unnecessary. The Panamanian aesthetic deemed naturalism as being far less important than the significance of unifying diverse cosmological beings into a multilayered image that captured a snapshot of the cosmos as experienced in shamanic vision quests. The dizzying slip painting that covers every inch of these ceramic vessels with swirling patterns in strong and distinctive colors is unique to ancient Panama.
Since it was discovered at the beginning of the twentieth century, the Nazca civilisation has fascinated the world. Its geoglyphs, aqueducts, textiles, and elaborate polychrome ceramics have riveted the attention of archaeologists. "Nazca. Peru" traces the history of this pre-Inca people of southern Peru and reveals their way of life and the challenges of survival in the region, as well as the techniques they used to create their art, the rituals of their funerary rites, and their mythology. The 300 objects on display include a group of five hitherto unseen textiles discovered by archaeologist Giuseppe Orefici at Cahuachi, a major Nazca ceremonial center. Not surprisingly, part of the exhibition is devoted to the astonishing geoglyphs of Palpa and Nazca. The exhibition concludes with an examination of the work of artist Elena Izcue, revealing the influences that Pre-Colombian textiles have had on modern art and ceramics.
Another India, Explorations and Expressions of Indigenous South Asia
Over one hundred artefacts, paintings and photographs from the collections of MAA, many of which have never been exhibited before, will be complemented by artworks by contemporary artists from the communities represented, commissioned with support from the Art Fund. Focusing on communities known variously as Indigenous, ‘Tribal’ or Adivasi (literally ‘original inhabitants), the exhibition will showcase extraordinary and fascinating objects, many of which tell equally intriguing stories. From the Nagas and other peoples in the hills of Northeast India to the Gonds, Todas and Chenchus of the South and the Santhals and Bhils in the East and West of the country, the displays will present strikingly diverse stories of India, collecting, colonialism and British involvement in the subcontinent.
Oceania: Voyages through the Immensity
Take a plunge into the unknown with a voyage to Oceania on the far side
of the world! This exhibition will take you along the
routes traveled by the first inhabitants of this fascinating
region, and then on those blazed by European explorers
in the eighteenth century by presenting the Oceanic collections
of the Musées Royaux d’Art et d’Histoire and of
the Musée Royal de l’Afrique Centrale. The show consists
of more than 200 objects from every corner of Oceania,
supplimented by old maps, model ships, and archival
documents. It also examines the stone and wood works
of Tahitian artist-sculptor Jean-Paul Forest, a master of
“land art,” that is, artworks in natural environments. His
creations call into question human relationships with the
"Oceania—Voyages dans l’immensité" is the brainchild of Belgian
archaeologist Nicolas Cauwe, who is widely known for
the digs and research he has done on Easter Island, as
well as for his book "Île de Pâques, le grand tabou: dix
années de fouilles reconstruisent son histoire".
Tribal Art magazine is a partner of the exhibition.
AFRICA, Artists of Yesterday and Today
After the closure of its public museum in Paris last June, the Dapper Foundation is opening on January 21, 2018 "Afriques, Artistes d’hier et d’aujourd’hui" ("Africa - Artists of Yesterday and Today") in Martinique, working in partnership with the Clément Foundation. The exhibition features nearly 100 major pieces from the Dapper collection. A Punu mask from Gabon, a Dogon figure from Mali, a Yoruba dance staff from Nigeria—these and other works have been carefully selected for the strength with which they represent the artistry of the great cultures of sub-Saharan Africa. These objects had tremendous influence on the evolution of European art at the beginning of the twentieth century, particularly on the works of Matisse and Picasso. More importantly, they represent the history of peoples, as well as their rites, their beliefs, and their worldviews. Part of the exhibition is devoted to contemporary African art and features works by seventeen living artists. While their approaches and techniques vary, including sculptures, collages, paintings, and photographs, among other things, these artists all face the same challenge of creating new forms of reflection and engagement. Slavery, colonization, identity, and war are some of the subjects they focus their attention on. This first partnership of the Dapper outside of Europe reflects the extraordinary creativity and dynamism of African art of both yesterday and today.