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Heroic Africans: Legendary Leaders, Iconic Sculptures

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Heroic Africans: Legendary Leaders, Iconic Sculptures Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Over the centuries, artists across sub-Saharan Africa have memorialized eminent figures in their societies using an astonishingly diverse repertoire of naturalistic and abstract sculptural idioms. Adopting complex aesthetic fromulations, they idealized their subjects but also added specific details—such as emblems of rank, scarification patterns, and elaborate coiffures—in order to evoke the individuals represented. Imbued with the essence of their formidable subjects, these works played an essential role in reifying ties with important ancestors at critical moments of transition. Often their transfer from one generation to the next was a prerequisite for conferring legitimacy upon the leaders who followed. The arrival of Europeans as traders, then as colonizers, led to the dislocation of many of these sculptures from their original sites, as well as from the contexts in which they were conceived; thus, today, they are seen primarily as timeless representations of generic archetypes. Heroic Africans reexamines the sculptures in terms of the individuals who inspired them and the cultural values that informed them, providing insight into the hidden meaning and inspiration behind these great artistic achievements. 

Author Alisa LaGamma considers the landmark sculptural traditions of the kingdoms of Ife and Benin, both in Nigeria; Ghana and Côte d'Ivoire's Akan chiefdoms; the Bangwa and Kom chiefdoms of the Cameroon Grassfields; the Chokwe cheifdoms of Angola and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (D.R.C.); and the D.R.C's Luluwa, Kuba, and Hemba chiefdoms. More than 140 masterpieces created between the 12th and the early 20th century—complemented by maps, drawings, and excavation and ceremonial photographs—reveal the religious and aesthetic conventions that defined distinct regional genres.

Synopsis:

Challenging conventional understanding of key masterpieces of African sculpture, this important book acknowledges the eminent figures who inspired the works and the cultural values that informed them

Synopsis:

Over the centuries, artists across sub-Saharan Africa have memorialized eminent figures in their societies using an astonishingly diverse repertoire of naturalistic and abstract sculptural idioms. The arrival of Europeans as traders, then as colonizers, led to the isolation of many of these sculptures from their original sites, as well as from the contexts in which they were conceived; thus, today, they are seen primarily as timeless representations of generic archetypes. This extensively illustrated publication reexamines major landmarks of African art in terms of the individuals who inspired them and the cultural values that informed them, providing insight into the hidden meaning and inspiration behind these great artistic achievements. 

Heroic Africans considers the landmark sculptural traditions of the Kingdom of Benin and the Ife civilization in Nigeria; the Akan peoples of Ghana; the Bangwa, Kom, and related chiefdoms of the Cameroon Grassfields; the Chokwe of Angola and Zambia; and the Luluwa, Hemba, and Kuba of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Some 106 masterpieces created between the 12th and the early 20th century—complemented by maps, drawings, and excavation and documentary photographs—reveal the religious and aesthetic conventions that defined distinct regional genres of representation.

Synopsis:

This informative and beautiful volume sheds light on the enduring significance of textiles as a major form of aesthetic expression across Africa, relating long-standing cultural practices to recent creative developments. Some of the finest and oldest preserved examples of West African textile traditions are presented, and both their artistic and technical qualities are examined. Wrapped around the body, fashioned into garments, or displayed as hangings, these magnificent textiles include bold strip weavings and intricately patterned indigo resist-dyed cloths.

The influence of African textiles on contemporary artists is also explored, featuring artworks by eight individuals who work in media as far-ranging as sculpture, painting, photography, video, and installation art. A monumental metal tapestry by the Ghanaian El Anatsui that pays tribute to traditional kente prestige cloth while constituting an inventive new genre is discussed in detail.

About the Author

Alisa LaGamma is Curator, Arts of Africa, Oceania, and the Americas, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780300175844
Author:
Lagamma, Alisa
Publisher:
Metropolitan Museum of Art New York
Author:
Giuntini, Christine
Author:
amma, Alisa
Author:
LaG
Author:
La Gamma, Alisa
Subject:
African
Subject:
Sculpture
Subject:
General Art
Subject:
Art-Museums and Collections
Subject:
Art-History and Criticism
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade Paper
Series:
Metropolitan Museum of Art Series
Publication Date:
20111131
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Language:
English
Illustrations:
34 color illus.
Pages:
312
Dimensions:
11.5 x 8.5 in

Related Subjects

Arts and Entertainment » Art » African
Arts and Entertainment » Art » History and Criticism
Arts and Entertainment » Art » Museums and Collections
Arts and Entertainment » Art » Sculpture » General
Arts and Entertainment » Art » Sculpture » Technique

Heroic Africans: Legendary Leaders, Iconic Sculptures New Hardcover
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$70.75 In Stock
Product details 312 pages Metropolitan Museum of Art New York - English 9780300175844 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by ,
Challenging conventional understanding of key masterpieces of African sculpture, this important book acknowledges the eminent figures who inspired the works and the cultural values that informed them
"Synopsis" by ,
Over the centuries, artists across sub-Saharan Africa have memorialized eminent figures in their societies using an astonishingly diverse repertoire of naturalistic and abstract sculptural idioms. The arrival of Europeans as traders, then as colonizers, led to the isolation of many of these sculptures from their original sites, as well as from the contexts in which they were conceived; thus, today, they are seen primarily as timeless representations of generic archetypes. This extensively illustrated publication reexamines major landmarks of African art in terms of the individuals who inspired them and the cultural values that informed them, providing insight into the hidden meaning and inspiration behind these great artistic achievements. 

Heroic Africans considers the landmark sculptural traditions of the Kingdom of Benin and the Ife civilization in Nigeria; the Akan peoples of Ghana; the Bangwa, Kom, and related chiefdoms of the Cameroon Grassfields; the Chokwe of Angola and Zambia; and the Luluwa, Hemba, and Kuba of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Some 106 masterpieces created between the 12th and the early 20th century—complemented by maps, drawings, and excavation and documentary photographs—reveal the religious and aesthetic conventions that defined distinct regional genres of representation.

"Synopsis" by ,

This informative and beautiful volume sheds light on the enduring significance of textiles as a major form of aesthetic expression across Africa, relating long-standing cultural practices to recent creative developments. Some of the finest and oldest preserved examples of West African textile traditions are presented, and both their artistic and technical qualities are examined. Wrapped around the body, fashioned into garments, or displayed as hangings, these magnificent textiles include bold strip weavings and intricately patterned indigo resist-dyed cloths.

The influence of African textiles on contemporary artists is also explored, featuring artworks by eight individuals who work in media as far-ranging as sculpture, painting, photography, video, and installation art. A monumental metal tapestry by the Ghanaian El Anatsui that pays tribute to traditional kente prestige cloth while constituting an inventive new genre is discussed in detail.

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