Plains Indian Art: Created in Community
At the Gilcrease Museum, Plains Indian Art: Created in Community explores the unparalleled talent of certain individuals and the special role of Plains artists within their communities. It highlights Plains art as an expression of cultural tradition and community vibrancy, focusing specifically on generational change in style and function and the innovative techniques used by various artists. In doing so, it explores how art is created within Native American communities as well as the shifting cultural meanings of certain artistic expressions while also recognizing different approaches—including those of curators, historians, and artists—to understanding Native American art. In the second and third quarters of the nineteenth century, Plains Indian culture reached a zenith of artistic expression and development. Some of the finest Plains art of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries can be found in the vast collection of the Gilcrease, many of which reflect the height of nineteenthcentury Plains cultural and artistic achievement. More info on: www.gilcrease.org
Face of God: Rare Masks from Central Africa
An important exhibition is presently at the Guangdong Museum. This intriguing show was produced under the supervision of Brussels art dealer and researcher Marc Leo Félix. During the course of its tour it will be shown at several other Chinese museums: the Nanjing Museum, the Gansu Provincial Museum, the Yunnan Provincial Museum, and, finally, at the Henan Museum, concluding in September 2017. The event will allow Chinese audiences the opportunity to appreciate some 120 masks, fifteen of which retain their complete fiber costumes, along with a selection of twelve musical instruments on loan from the Musée Royal de l’Afrique Centrale in Tervuren and the Musical Instrument Museum in Phoenix, Arizona, the sounds of which accompanied the masks. Two comprehensive catalogs, one in Chinese and the other in French and English, accompany the exhibition and make for stimulating reading, with enlightening essays by David Binkley, Arthur Bourgeois, Manuel Jordán, Constantine Petridis, Julien Volper, and Marc Leo Félix.
Until March 19, 2017, Huicholes: A People Walking Towards the Light will be presented at the Canadian Museum of History, after which it will move to the Textile Museum of Canada in Toronto in April. The exhibition examines the historical heritage and cultural traditions of the Huichol, a people from western Mexico, known worldwide for their magnifi cent yarn paintings and beaded embroidery. Rich in meaning, the artworks in the show reveal the depth of the worldview of this Huichol, whose history can be traced back some 15,000 years. Highlights include a series of twenty-six paintings by artist and shaman José Benítez Sánchez, various artifacts such as fabrics and objects of worship, and photographs that provide a rare window into the lifestyle and spiritual traditions of the Huichol.
The Ramanyana narrated by the masks Rajbanchi
From 8 April until 10 September, 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 Museo d'Arte Orientale in Venice before continuing at the Bernard and Caroline de Watteville Foundation in Crans-Montana, Switzerland. More information about tne exhibition available on :http://www.letoitdumonde.net/index.php/agenda
After Kota in 2003 and Fang in 2006, Philippe Ratton will dedicate a third exhibition to the arts of Gabon in his Paris gallery. Titled simply Gabon, the show will highlight the many artistic traditions that flourished there, the formal qualities of which were so readily apparent to tribal art pioneers such as Paul Guillaume. Without claiming to be exhaustive, the selection of 45 objects emphasizes the differences — and even oppositions— between the sculptural solutions that their creators made use of. The group of so-called “white masks” in the show alone is enough to demonstrate the richness of Gabonese art. The naturalism of these Punu masks is in clear contrast to the tenderness of the four faces of a Fang ngontang helmet mask, each face of which reveals different stylistic characteristics. Contrasting examples of reliquary guardian figures will also be featured. Among these are flat Kota creations, as well as the rounded volumes of classic Fang sculptures.
"Journey Through a Collection" at musée Dobrée
The Musée Dobrée holds some 135,000 artworks that it inherited, first from the collection of the Société Archéologique et Historique de Nantes et de Loire-Atlantique and subsequently from French collector Thomas Dobrée. The museum is eclectic and universal, and it continues to expand its collection through a variety of active acquisitions and gifts from the state. Until October 1, 2017, the museum is presenting the opportunity to view some 350 of its artworks. This involves ten thematically organized spaces, in which the subject matter ranges from numismatics to Mediterranean archaeology and from sculpture to graphic arts. A section devoted to non-European art includes displays of weapons, ceramics, figures, and other ritual objects from Oceania, the Americas, Africa, and Asia. Together these artworks form a fascinating journey through time and space. For more info: https://grand-patrimoine.loire-atlantique.fr
The sacred stone of the Maori
New Zealand’s Te Papa Tongarewa Museum and the Ngāi Tahu iwi (family clan) will be represented at the Musée du Quai Branly – Jacques Chirac until October 1, 2017. The subject is pounamu, the Maori term for the sacred green stone that is characteristic of their art. Innocuous looking in its native state, this stone is found in the riverbeds of Te Waipounamu, or the South Island. This five-part exhibition presents the rich and varied culture of New Zealand’s first inhabitants. The first navigators arrived there some 800 years ago, guided by the stars from other parts of Polynesia, and named their new land Aotearoa, or “long white cloud,” based on their first sighting of it. The exhibition explores the origins, composition, and different varieties of pounamu, as well as the myths and stories that are associated with it. One legend says that pounamu holds within it the infinite beauty of Waitaki, a young woman transformed into stone by her lover in order to escape the wrath of her husband.
Galerie Franck Marcelin will host an atypical exhibition devoted to ceramics by Vincent Buffile that were inspired by the art of Papua New Guinea. Now the head of the atelier his mother, Léonie Sautet, founded in 1945, Buffile discovered New Guinea art at the 2000 exhibition devoted to it at the Musée des Arts Africains, Océaniens et Amérindiens de la Vieille Charité in Marseilles. His response to it was as strong as it was fertile. Soon after he started work on a series of plates that would take years to complete. The Papuan influences in these are clear, both in the decorative designs and in the ochre and black hues with which they are colored.
Arts of War: Artistry in Weapons across Cultures
Arts of War: Artistry in Weapons across Cultures is a new exhibition at Harvard University’s Peabody Museum that presents the varied beauty and craftsmanship of weapons drawn from cultures around the world. From maces, clubs, daggers, and spears, to shields, helmets, and entire suits of armor, this exhibition highlights more than 150 striking examples of deadly objects that are also extraordinary works of art. On view until October 18, 2017, it unveils the stories behind some of the most stunning war artworks ever created and reveals the passion and purpose of the people who made them.
"Matisse in the Studio" at the Royal Academy of Arts
Using the pieces Henri Matisse collected as a starting point, this exhibition focuses on the role they played in his own artworks. Thai Buddhist statues, Bamana figures from Mali, furniture and textiles from North Africa—objects from the four corners of the world were reinvented by the artist innumerable times. Although rarely of high monetary value, they are notable in that they inspired him to go beyond the limits of Western art. Through his African masks and sculptures, Matisse found new ways to depict human faces and forms. Objects from the Islamic world inspired the sensuous curves of his odalisques, and his simplified language of signs is imbued with the precision of Chinese calligraphy and the geometry of African textiles. The exhibition juxtaposes these pieces with the paintings, drawings, and sculptures that in many cases they gave rise to. It can be seen at the Royal Academy of Arts August 5–November 12, 2017. For more info: www.royalacademy.org.uk