Monday, May 28, 2012

Vessels and Containers at Jacaranda Tribal

A new online exhibition at Jacaranda Tribal presents a showcase of exquisite African vessels and containers.  Highlighting the diversity of form and myriad aesthetics brought to these utilitarian objects by a wide variety of traditional cultures from across the continent, Jacaranda's newest assemblage features refined lidded vessels from the Lozi of Zambia and the Hima of Rwanda; a graceful and elegant South African snuff container carved from a single piece of horn; a remarkable North African powder flask; and much more.  The images below present a selection of the exhibition's highlights.  Visit the Jacaranda Tribal website for detailed information on these items and many more.

Lidded bowl  -  Lozi, Zambia  -  First half of 20th century
Milk vessel  -  Hima, Rwanda  -  First half of 20th century
Meat bowl  -  Nyoro, Uganda  -  19th century
Lidded vessel  -  Shi, D.R. Congo  -  First half of 20th century
Lidded basket  -  Sotho, Lesotho  -  First half of 20th century
Wooden vessel  -  Tsonga or Matabele, Zimbabwe  -  Late 19th or early 20th century
Snuff container  -  South Africa  -  19th century
Powder flask  -  Morocco or Tunisia  -  19th or early 20th century

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Les maîtres du désordre

A new exhibition at the Musée du Quai Branly presents the figures of disorder, both mythic and mortal.  Shamans and other intercessors are here dubbed "masters of disorder," responsible for negotiations with the forces of chaos.  In a constant compromise between turbulence and reason, rituals are the preferred mode of propitiation toward the powers that govern human societies.  Les maîtres du désordre presents objects, costumes and representations from major anthropological collections alongside contemporary works by Annette Messager, Jean-Michel Alberola, Thomas Hirschhorn, and others.

Visit the official website.

Ndungu mask with costume  -  Kongo, DR Congo  -  19th century
Mask depicting Chinasupay  -  Bolivia  -  Early 20th century
Mask depicting a shaman in trance with auxiliary spirits  -  Northwest Coast  -  1840–1860
Magical figure  -  Loango  -  19th century
Sourvaskar costume  -  Bulgaria  -  20th century

Information and images courtesy of the Musée du Quai Branly

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Maori: New Zealand's First Inhabitants

Maori, an exhibition first organized by Museum Volkenkunde Leiden, is now on view at the Linden Museum in Stuttgart.  Through an assemblage of 140 antique and contempoary works, the exhibition explores the Maori concepts of mana and tapu, and invites visitors to sound the depth of Maori culture, both in the past and the 21st century.

View the official website.

Pendant, hei tiki  -  19th century
Whalebone club with manaia finial, kotiate  -  19th century
Flax cloak, tukukakumai  -  Kohai Grace, 21st century
War club, taiaha  -  19th century
Bone flute, nguru  -  19th century
Panel carving (poupou) depicting the demigod Maui

Information and images courtesy of the Linden Museum, Stuttgart

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Central Nigeria Unmasked: Arts of the Benue River Valley

An impressive new showcase of traditional Nigerian art will open this week at the Cantor Arts Center, Stanford University. Central Nigeria Unmasked: Arts of the Benue River Valley presents more than 150 objects drawn from international collections, offering a comprehensive view of the arts from along the banks of the Benue, the great river that flows across the center of Nigeria and joins the Niger River on its way to the Atlantic Ocean. On view through October 14, Central Nigeria Unmasked reveals arts and cultures of diverse peoples who are far less known and studied than those of the majority populations in the country’s northern and southern regions.

Visit the exhibition's official website.

Information and images courtesy of The Cantor Arts Center, Stanford University

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Strong Results at Sotheby's and Christie's

The results of the spring tribal art auctions at the New York salesrooms of Sotheby's and Christie's were sound testimony to the continuing vitality of the ethnographic art market.

The Christie's sale on May 10, which featured objects from the collection of the late Ernst Beyeler, saw the sale of a fine Santa Cruz Islands platter for $314,500; an impressive Bidjogo mask from Guinea Bissau for $266, 500; and an Australian Aboriginal shield, estimated at a mere $3,000–5,000, for $116, 500.

The large sale at Sotheby's on May 11 saw even more impressive hammer prices.  Three objects––a fantastic Bamana zigzag figure, a serene Buyu male figure, and an imposing Luluwa mask once in the collection of Dr. Werner Muensterberger––each sold for approximately $2.5 million.  An excellent Kota reliquary figure commanded just over $1 million, while a Bamana seated female figure and a Dogon female figure ended at $782,500 and $542,500, respectively.  Two major surprises came in the form of an Azande bone figure that exceeded its estimate almost tenfold at $512,500 and an unusual Lega mask, once owned by Henri Matisse, that began at an estimated $5,000–7,000 and eventually garnered a closing price of $362,500.

Platter in the form of a fish  -  Santa Cruz Islands, Solomon Islands
Mask  -  Bidjogo, Guinea Bissau
Shield  -  Australian Aboriginal
Zigzag figure  -  Bamana, Mali
Male figure  -  Buyu, D. R. Congo
Helmet mask  -  Luluwa, D. R. Congo
Reliquary figure  -  Kota, Gabon
Seated female figure  -  Bamana, Mali
Female figure  -  Dogon, Mali
Bone figure  -  Azande, D. R. Congo
Mask (with possible additions by Henri Matisse)  -  Lega, D. R. Congo

Information and images courtesy of Sotheby's and Christie's

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Events at NYC Tribal Art Week 2012

In addition to high profile sales of tribal art at Sotheby's, Christie's, and Bonhams, NYC Tribal Art Week is planned to feature a number of other exciting events. 

Foremost among these will be The AOA Tribal Art Fair, May 10–13.  Housed at the Fletcher-Sinclair Mansion and also encompassing a range of other participating New York galleries, this event will include a number of distinguished tribal art dealers, such as Pace Primitive, Tambaran Gallery, Nasser & Co., and more.

Fletcher-Sinclair Mansion
2 E 79th St. (corner of 5th Ave)
11 am–7 pm

Sharing the spotlight will be Madison Ancient & Tribal Art, an alliance of international dealers presenting at The Arader Gallery on Manhattan's Upper East Side on May 9–13.  Participating galleries will include Bruce Frank Primitive Art, James Stephenson African Art, Conru African & Oceanic Art, and more, numbering ten dealers in all.

The Arader Gallery
1016 Madison Avenue (between 78th & 79th)
Wed: 11 am–9 pm  Thurs–Sat: 11 am–7:30 pm  Sun: 11 am–5 pm

Running from May 9–14 will be another group show to anticipate: Tribal Togetherness, organized by Zemanek-Münster of Würzburg.  This event brings together five international dealers––Howard Nowes, Dave DeRoche, Sebastian Fernandez, David Zemanek and Jo De Buck––under one roof at Howard Nowes' Art of Eternity Gallery.  

Art of Eternity Gallery
303 E 81st St.
917-733-4165 or 212-472-5171
11 am–6 pm

Friday, May 4, 2012

Native American Art Auction - Bonhams - May 14, 2012

Bonhams will present a sale of Native American art and antiquities on May 14 in New York. Showcasing the collection of Nancy Sue and Judson C. Ball, the lots will comprise an impressive host of fine Hopi kachina dolls, groups of Apache baskets and Navajo weavings, and more.

Visit the official website. 

Kachina representing Sotuqnang-u, the God of the Sky  -  Hopi, Arizona, US
Kachina representing A-Ha Kachina mana  -  Hopi, Arizona, US
Painted drum head  -  Robert Davidson, Haida, Alaska, US
Child's blanket  -  Navajo, Arizona, US
Olla  - Apache, Central US

Information and images courtesy of Bonhams

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Tribal Art Auction - Bonhams - May 12, 2012

Bonhams will present a sale of fine tribal art and artifacts on May 12 in New York. The nearly four hundred lots on offer will comprise a wide range of works from traditional societies in Africa, Polynesia, Mexico, and elsewhere, including an array of southern African works from the estate of Norman Hurst.

Visit the official website.

Pendant, hei tiki  -  Maori, New Zealand
Fish hook  -  Gambier Islands
Vessel with figure  -  Jama Coaque, Ecuador
Rhythm pounder couple  -  Senufo, Côte d'Ivoire
Stone head  -  Aztec, Mexico
Bird figure  -  Valdivia, Ecuador

Information and images courtesy of Bonhams

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Tribal Art Auction - Christie's - May 10, 2012

Christie's will present a spring sale of fine tribal art and artifacts on May 10 in New York.  Highlighting objects from the collection of the late Ernst Beyeler, the lots will comprise traditional works from Papua New Guinea, New Zealand, D. R. Congo, Mexico, Australia, and elsewhere.

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

Anthropomorphic cup  -  Kuba, D. R. Congo
Stirrup-spout vessel in the form of a frog  -  Mochica, Peru
Stone mask  -  Chontal, Mexico
Spirit board  -  Era River, Papua New Guinea
Platter in the form of a fish  -  Santa Cruz Islands, Solomon Islands
Club, kotiate  -  Maori, New Zealand

 Information and images courtesy of Christie's