Sunday, April 28, 2013

Crossing Cultures at the Toledo Art Museum

Crossing Cultures: The Owen and Wagner Collection of Contemporary Aboriginal Australian Art at the Hood Museum of Art features more than 120 works of indigenous art from Australia in the collection of the Hood Museum of Art at Dartmouth College. Spanning five decades of creative activity, the works were produced by artists from outback communities as well as major metropolitan centers. They represent the many art-making practices of Aboriginal peoples across the Australian continent, including acrylic paintings on linen and canvas, earthen ochre paintings on bark, and sculpture in a variety of media.

Information and images courtesy of the Toledo Museum of Art

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Earth Matters: Land as Material and Metaphor in the Arts of Africa

Earth Matters: Land as Material and Metaphor in the Arts of Africa is the first major exhibition and scholarly endeavor to comprehensively examine the rich relationship between African artists and the land upon which they live, work, and frame their days. On view until January 5, 2014 at the National Museum of African Art in Washington, DC, the exhibition brings together approximately 100 exceptional works of art from the late eighteenth to twenty-first centuries.

Buti or nkiba figure  -  Teke, DR Congo  -  Late 19th to early 20th century

Reliquary ensemble  -  Punu, Gabon  -  19th century

Kidumu mask  -  Teke, DR Congo  -  Early 20th century

Nkisi nkondi  -  Yombe, Congo or Angola  -  19th century

Storage vessel  -  Kurumba, Burkina Faso  -  Mid-20th century

Tchif  -  Sunshineland, 1973

Information and images courtesy of the National Museum of African Art

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Métissages: Les collections Denise et Michel Meynet

A new exhibition at the Musée des Beaux-arts de Lyon dedicates itself to works from the collections of Denise and Michel Meynet, moving its focus seamlessly from African art to Japanese furniture to twentieth-century prints. These works complement and mirror one another in a constantly changing display setting. 

Beaded dolls  -  Nigeria  -  Twentieth century

Bracelets for a vodou priestess  -  Benin, Nigeria  -  Early twentieth century

Ikebana basket  -  Japan  -  Twentieth century

Information and images courtesy of the Musée des Beaux-Arts de Lyon

Friday, April 19, 2013

Threads of Identity: Contemporary Maya Textiles

Maya peoples of Guatemala and southeastern Mexico are renowned for their time-honored tradition of magnificent attire. Today’s repertoire of Maya traditional clothing, called traje, developed primarily during the Colonial Period (1521-1821 C.E.) as a forced adoption of European dress. Today’s fashions, as adaptations of imposed, foreign modes to indigenous couture, are testimony to Maya perseverance in spite of hundreds of years of colonization, enslavement and genocide. [i]Threads of Identity: Contemporary Maya Textiles[/i], now on view at The Mint Museum, is dedicated to these historically rich and visually stunning garments. This exhibition features fashions of the Kaqchikel, Ixil, K’iche’, Mam, Tz’utujil, Chuj, Awakatek, Jakaltek and Poqomchi’ from Guatemala, and Tzotzil and Tzeltal from Chiapas, Mexico.

Information and images courtesy of The Mint Museum

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

The Transformed Self: Performance Masks of Mexico

Public performances of epic tales, historical events and religious narratives are a key part of modern life in Mexico. Dance dramas, presented in city streets and church plazas, embody a community’s essential beliefs and common human problems while imparting moral lessons. The Transformed Self: Performance Masks of Mexico, a long-term exhibition at The Mint Museum, showcases a range of compelling works from the primary mask-producing regions of Mexico where dance performances commonly accompany religious rituals and civic events. Particularly rich in pageant traditions and variety of performance masks are the states of Veracruz, Puebla, Tlaxcala, Sonora, Sinaloa, Michoacán, Hidalgo and Guerrero.

Information and images courtesy of The Mint Museum

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Arts of Africa at the Mint Museum

The African continent has remarkable diversity in topographical features and ecology: three enormous rivers – Nile, Niger, and Congo – with countless tributaries; large, dense forests and hilly grasslands; huge deserts; and snowcapped mountains. Social and political systems, equally varied, range from great empires to small villages: large kingdoms and city-states, small chieftaincies, and nomadic bands of hunters or semi-nomadic herders. Thus there are many different Africas, and consequently, great diversity in the arts and their histories. Art forms date from 27,000 BCE to yesterday, with countless interactions among native Africans themselves over time; with Muslims, beginning around 1000 BCE; and with Europeans, beginning in the late 15th century. This exhibition is organized by The Mint Museum.

Royal cap  -  Yoruba, Nigeria  -  20th century

Mask  -  Yaka, DR Congo  -  20th century

Antelope effigy  -  Edo, Nigeria  -  20th century

Information and images courtesy of The Mint Museum

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Picture This! Navajo Pictorial Textiles

The Heard Museum's collection of Navajo pictorial textiles runs rich and deep, and selections from its holdings are showcased in a current exhibition entitled Picture This! Navajo Pictorial Textiles. Many Navajo weavers draw on important imagery from traditional culture, while others work in a popular folk-art style that infuses images from the modern world into a distinctively Navajo perspective.Textiles by the family of Louise Y. Nez, one of the leading families of Navajo pictorial weavers, will be featured in this exhibit. In addition to those by Nez, weavings from her daughters Florence Nez RiggsLaVerne Nez Greyeyes, and Jane Hyden will be displayed. Also included in Picture This! are several examples from the fantastic gift of Navajo weavings donated to the Heard in memory of Dr. Doren Indritz of Scottsdale.

Jane Hyden, The First Shoe Game, 2008

Sadie B. Begay, Jonah and the Whale, 1995

Information and images courtesy of The Heard Museum

Friday, April 5, 2013

Shangaa: Art of Tanzania

Some 150 works from Tanzania are on view now at the QCC Art Gallery (City University of New York) as part of the first major exhibition outside of Germany to focus on that nation's traditional arts. Shangaa: Art of Tanzania showcases items from domestic and international lenders, including notable museums in Europe, that highlight the diversity of art and culture throughout Tanzania. 

Information and images courtesy of QCC Art Gallery, CUNY