Monthly Archives: November 2013

BRAFA 2014

Brafa 2014


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).

Zande Tervuren Brafa

African art from the Jan Krugier Collection

Left a detail of Picasso’s “Guernica” (1937) with the head reminiscent of the Baule mask on the right.

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.

Thema Sablon III

Thema Sablon

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.

Ghost masquerades of the Benue River Valley

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

Ekwula masquerade
Idoma peoples
Igumale town
Documented by Sidney Littlefield Kasfir, 1989
Super-8 film; 31 seconds

Egwu Afia masquerade
Igala peoples
Abocho town
Documented by Olobo-Ojo and His Royal Highness, the Onu Abocho (Ayidu), Alhaji Tijani Okutachi, 2010
Video; 1 minute, 51 seconds

Akwujane masquerade
Igala peoples
Onyedega town
Documented by Constanze Weise, 2010
Video; 2 minutes, 20 seconds

Aja masquerade
Okpella peoples
Ogute town
Documented by Jean Borgatti, 2003
Video; 3 minutes, 30 seconds

Omeshe masquerade
Okpella peoples
Afokpella town
Documented by Jean Borgatti, 2003
Video; 1 minute, 50 seconds

Alabala Omo Egungun masquerade
Awori-Yoruba peoples
Ota town
Documented by John Thabiti Willis, 2004
Video; 36 seconds

Ndako Gboya masquerade
Nupe peoples
Kusogi village
Documented by Constanze Weise, 2000
Video; 4 minutes, 42 seconds

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