From 25 January until 2 February 2014, the Royal Museum for Central Africa (RMCA) will be the guest of honour at the BRAFA (Brussels Antiques and Art Fair). Closing on 2 December 2013, the RMCA, will exhibit around fifty items, some of which have hitherto not been seen, under the title Singular Collections. A selection of themes is illustrated by items from their collection – objects that may not necessarily be the most well-known, but whose plastic qualities impress, surprise, or move the viewer because of their singularity, their rarity, and their past.
During the 59th BRAFA, eight Tribal Art galleries are also present: Claes (Brussels), Dulon (Paris), Ferrandin (Paris), Germain (Montreal), de Monbrison (Paris), Schlag (Brussels), Schoffel (Brussels) and Schoffel-Valluet (Paris).
Left a detail of Picasso’s “Guernica” (1937) with the head reminiscent of the Baule mask on the right.
As previously discussed here, Christie’s NY sold several African art objects from the collection of Jan Krugier (1928-2008) – once the world’s foremost Pablo Picasso dealer – on 4 November 2013. A Baule mask, published in Rubin’s Primitivism, belonging to André Breton before arriving in the hands of Pablo Picasso, was sold for $1,445,000 (Estimate $500,000 – $800,000) ! Since its semi-circular mouth with pointed tongue appears in several of Picasso’s paintings, most notably Guernica (1937), this African mask found its place in Western art history, resulting in this extraordinary price. The story goes, that Picasso enjoyed keeping the mask on a rocking chair in his studio, so it was always ‘charging’ and in motion. Also on sale were a Guro mask from Paul Guillaume ($ 197K), Fang bellows ($ 137K) and a Bwa mask from Hubert Goldet ($ 52,5K). Again, a good example how context defines value.
21, 22 & 23 November 2013, twenty-one galeries (all located at the Sablon in Brussels) will present a thematic exhibition during Thema Sablon III. The opening is the 21st at 17:00. The times where as a dealer you could just sit waiting at your desk until clients wandered in are definitely over – so this event might be a step in the right direction. Let’s hope the quality of the exhibitions keeps up the pace. The themes:
Pierre Loos – Ambre Congo # INRI, The Fetish
Pierre Loos – Ambre Congo # Abstraction chez les Bashi Bushoong
B.K.W. Gallery # Picasso et Costantini
Galerie Didier Claes # Couples
Kevin Conru # Stones
Georgia Chrischilles # Bracelets
Galerie Emile et Lin Deletaille # Kinga et Anatoly Stolnikoff
Galerie D & V # Cabinet de Curiosités
Kitsune japanese Art # Japan Natural and Supernaturel
Philippe Laeremans # Nigeria
Galerie Patrick Lancz # Victor Rousseau, “La beauté féminine”
Marvel Concept # Pierre Thoma # “Couleurs d’ici et d’ailleurs”
Patrick & Ondine Mestdagh # Sphères
Galerie Monbrison # Représentations féminines
Joaquin Pecci # Les Cornes de l’Afrique
François Rabier # Tissus de dignitaires Kuba
Renaud Riley, Galerie Classic Primitives # Couteaux d’Afrique
Jérôme Sohier # Les Simonnet “Sculptures polymorphes”
Galerie Rut Van Caelenbergh # Burkina Faso
Galerie Frank van Craen # Bijoux d’Afrique
Vasco Books # 200 livres d’art asiatique
Pictures on the event’s facebook page here.
In the spirit of halloween, a video featuring 7 ghost masquerades from Nigeria. Read more about them in chapter 3, The Ancestral Masquerade: A Paradigm of Benue Valley Art History, of the exhibition catalogue of Central Nigeria Unmasked: Arts of the Benue River Valley.
Details about this video:
Total Running Time: 15 minutes, 20 seconds
Documented by Sidney Littlefield Kasfir, 1989
Super-8 film; 31 seconds
Egwu Afia masquerade
Documented by Olobo-Ojo and His Royal Highness, the Onu Abocho (Ayidu), Alhaji Tijani Okutachi, 2010
Video; 1 minute, 51 seconds
Documented by Constanze Weise, 2010
Video; 2 minutes, 20 seconds
Documented by Jean Borgatti, 2003
Video; 3 minutes, 30 seconds
Documented by Jean Borgatti, 2003
Video; 1 minute, 50 seconds
Alabala Omo Egungun masquerade
Documented by John Thabiti Willis, 2004
Video; 36 seconds
Ndako Gboya masquerade
Documented by Constanze Weise, 2000
Video; 4 minutes, 42 seconds
A short technical notice; I have added a ‘share’-button at the bottom of each post. You can now share, bookmark and email my posts to over 330 of the most popular social networking and bookmarking sites (like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+ and LinkedIn).