Thursday, April 23, 2015

(Re)Discovering the “New World”: Maps & Sea Charts from the Age of Exploration

Featuring more than thirty European-made maps and sea charts inspired by New World exploration and published between 1511 and 1757, an exhibition now on view at the Bruce Museum in Greenwich, CT presents a fascinating study in geographic and human progress, as well as a rare feast for the eyes. The works are drawn from the collection of Jack A. Somer, who observes that “these ancient maps represent Renaissance-period attempts by European ateliers to edify their clientele by revealing our ‘new’ hemisphere and its approaches, as discoveries and claims came ashore from those daring enough to pack their sea bags and head for the unknown.” Works of art as well as documents of unknown worlds, these maps were produced through woodcut or metal-plate engraving, and most are individualized with hand-applied color.

Visit the exhibition's official website.


Gerard Mercator  -  America sive India Nova, 1595
Abraham Ortelius  -  Azores, 1584
John Speed  -  America, 1626
Images courtesy of the Bruce Museum

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Larrakitj : Aboriginal memorial poles by Wukun Wanambi

An installation by contemporary Aboriginal Australian artist Wukun Wanambi, on view now at The British Museum, addresses a series of important ideas about ancestral power, the significance of land and the search for meaning. Aboriginal Australian memorial poles – known as larrakitj – are hollow coffins created to hold the bones of the dead in secondary burial. Placed in groups on significant sites and painted with clan symbols, they are left to deteriorate with wind and weather. Contemporary artist Wukun Wanambi belongs to the Yolngu people of northern Arnhem Land and has worked innovatively with this longstanding art form for over a decade. Wukun’s work is an exploration into traditional forms with deep connections to clan, territory and ancestral stories.

Visit the exhibition's official website.

Wukun Wanambi  -  Wetjwitj (detail), 2013

Image courtesy of The British Museum


Thursday, April 16, 2015

New installation for pre-Columbian art at Princeton University Art Museum,

On February 3, 2015, the Princeton University Art Museum unveiled a new installation for its collection of the traditional arts of the Americas. The dramatic new gallery showcases the range of artistic production from the ancient American past as well as Native American arts from more recent times. Geographically, the collection ranges from the Diaquita culture of Chile to the Inuit peoples of Alaska. The majority of the material in the new installation is pre-Columbian, and within this collection the chronological and spatial ranges are marked by hallmark examples from major ancient American cultures, including a number of well-known masterpieces of Mesoamerican art, particularly from the Olmec and Maya peoples.

Find out more at the Princeton University Art Museum website.

Double-faced female figure  -  Tlatilco, Mexico  -  1500–1200 B.C.

Stele  -  Maya, 300–500 A.D.
Mask  -  Aztec, Mexico  -  1400–1520 A.D.



Images courtesy of Princeton University



Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Tribal Art Sale at Auctionata

Auctionata will present a sale of fine tribal art and artifacts in Berlin on April 21. Highlights of the sale will include a collection of African fertility dolls; an important Hemba figure from the collection of Paolo Morigi; a Bakota reliquary figure sold by JJ Klejman in the 1950s; Fang Knives from the collection of André Schoeller, and more.  

Visit the Auctionata website.


Moai kavakava  -  Easter Island

Helmet mask  -  Senufo, Côte d'Ivoire

Figure of a priest  -  Remojadas, Mexico

Reliquary figure, mbulu ngulu  -  Kota, Gabon
Images courtesy of Auctionata


Tuesday, April 14, 2015

MATA 2015

Madison Ancient and Tribal Art (MATA) 2015 will feature displays of art from Africa, Oceania, Indonesia, and the Americas arrayed on four floors of the townhouse that once housed the venerable Perls Galleries. Exhibiting dealers include Marc Assayag, Kellim Brown, Bruce Frank, Wayne Heathcote, Jacaranda Tribal, Patrick Mestdagh, Nasser & Co, Michael Oliver, Michael Rhodes, Splendors of the World, and James Stephenson. Other MATA members will be holding special exhibitions off-site on the Upper East Side. These include Arte Primitivo, Pace Primitive, and Hunt Fine Arts.

For more information, visit the official MATA website.

War club, bowai  -  Fiji

Stilt step figure, tapuva'e  -  Marquesas Islands

Power figure, nkishi  -  Songye, D.R. Congo

Images courtesy of MATA & Jacaranda Tribal


Monday, April 13, 2015

AOA New York Art Fair 2015


Now in its fifth year, the AOA NY art fair will be held at Tambaran Gallery from May 14–17, 2015. Somewhat reduced in size from previous years, this event remains a worthy destination, the more so since besides its dealer roster—which this year includes Galerie Flak from Paris and Mark Eglinton and James Trotta-Bono from New York, among others—it is cross-pollinating with contemporary art in the hope of attracting more than the usual tribal art audience. These contemporary works have been selected because of their harmonious affinity with the traditional arts of Africa, Oceania, and the Americas.


Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Indigenous Beauty

Drawn from the celebrated Native American art collection of Charles and Valerie Diker, Indigenous Beauty: Masterworks of American Indian Art from the Diker Collection at the Seattle Art Museum features 122 masterworks representing tribes and First Nations across the North American continent. These captivating objects convey the extraordinary breadth and variety of Native American experience in North America. The exhibition shows the deep historical roots of Native art and its dynamism, as well as the living cultures and traditions of Native American groups through to the contemporary era. Indigenous Beauty emphasizes three interrelated themes—diversity, beauty, and knowledge—that relate both to the works’ original contexts and to the ways in which they might be experienced by non-Native visitors in a contemporary museum setting.

For more information, visit the exhibition's official website.


Man's summer coat  -  Naskapi, Labrador  -  1840

Snow goggles  -  Ipiutak, Alaska  -  5th–10th century

Mask  -  Yup'ik, Alaska  -  1916–1918

Katsina  -  Hopi, Arizona  -  1910–1930

Images courtesy of the Seattle Art Museum