Africa, art without artists?


The works from Africa were not created by nameless or unknown artists who worked within the frame-work of restrictive “tribal styles” without any personal stamp. Recent researches have shown that specific sculptors achieved wide poupularity just because of their unique style and they were often given commissions by patrons living far away. Sculptors such as Areogun, Olowe and Abogunde mastered conventions and in their sculptures developed their own, completely new solutions which became their personal, distinctive trademarks. In other contexts, however, the creators had to stay anonymous by ritual rules because the works were seen as “not created by human hand” but a super-natural origin. The african art were not created as “art for art’s sake” but they served for rituals or everyday purposes in local contexts.
The pieces here were produced by woman, mainly of the upper social class that did not participate to the work in fields and in the households, so they could spend their leisure time creating such works. The objects were made from thin strips of plant fiber that is very sypple. They are considered to be among the finest pieces of art from the entire African continent. To see them in the State Museum of Ethnology in Munich (in German: Staatliches Museum für Völkerkunde)

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