African Art
African art, everyday and ritual objects alike, embody the expressive powers of Africa?s artists, in which regional and local styles, and occasionally the work of a specific workshop or even the hand of a particular artist can be recognized. African art blends beauty with functionality. Many sculptures provide a link with the world of gods, ancestors and nature spirits.At the beginning of the twentieth century, artists like de Vlaminck, Picasso, Braque, Matisse, Modigliani, Leger and Klee became aware of, and inspired by, African art. These artists saw in African art a formal perfection and sophistication combined with an incredible expressive power. This inspired an interest in the abstraction, organisation and reorganisation of forms that ultimately changed visual arts forever.

?I have felt my strongest artistic emotions when suddenly confronted with the sublime beauty of sculptures executed by the anonymous artists of Africa. These works of a religious, passionate and rigorously logical art are the most powerful and most beautiful things the human imagination has ever produced.?

(Quote attributed to both Guillaume Apollinaire (manuscript, archives Doucet, 1979, pp 596-98) and Pablo Picasso (Flam, J. and Deutch, M. (editors), Primitivism and twentieth-century art: A Documentary History, University of California Press, p 419)

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