Thursday, April 30, 2015

Tribal Art Sale at Sotheby's

Sotheby’s will hold its spring sale of art from Africa, Oceania, and the ancient Americas in New York on May 15. It will be led by a rare Pende helmet mask that was featured in the 1984 Primitivism show at MOMA. Also featured will be highlights from the New York estate of the late Helena Segy and, by extension, the personal collection of her noted husband, Ladislas Segy. Significant among these are a rare Ngbandi ivory spoon and an unusually early Kota reliquary. A large and fine Lobi couple from the collection of Karl-Ferdinand Schaedler and an Mbembe figure once owned by Georg Baselitz will also be offered. An unusual highlight of the sale is an extremely early Kanak stone figure from New Caledonia collected by the missionary Père Pierre Lambert between 1856 and 1863. 

View the online catalogue.

Male figure  -  Luba, D.R. Congo

Monumental head  -  Kanak, Bismarck Archipelago, Papua New Guinea

Helmet mask  -  Luluwa, D. R. Congo
Male reliquary figure,  eyema byeri  -   Fang-Ntumu, Gabon
 Images courtesy of Sotheby's

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Tribal Art Sale at Bonhams

Bonhams will hold a sale of tribal art and artifacts in San Francisco on May 5 featuring a large and varied assortment of works from Africa, Oceania, and the Americas. Impressive wood carvings from New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, and D.R. Congo comprise just a few of the highlights on offer.  

View the online catalogue.

Standing male figure  -  Admiralty Islands, Papua New Guinea

Canoe prow  -  Maori, New Zealand

Male figure  -  Hemba, D.R. Congo
 Images courtesy of Bonhams

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.