The Sculptors Tame, Si, Tompieme and Sõn Their Personalities and Work
Life and work of four West African sculptors from the Dan people.
1st edition, 2014
144 pages, 22 color and 129 b/w illustrations, 1 DVD
23 x 30 cm
In 1960, Eberhard Fischer had the opportunity to accompany his father, the art ethnologist Hans Himmelheber, on a major expedition to West Africa. He was actually only meant to film the Dan mask carvers as they worked, as well as their festive performances. Yet the strong personalities of these sculptors impressed the young man deeply and he began to document their life stories, record their artistic work methods in detail, and also to collect their works.
The biographies and many of the photographs shown in the book of four mask carvers from the Liberian hinterland are unique in the study of African art, as masks are carved in secret in many of these cultures. Until recently, the works were recognized by art ethnologists and collectors, but rarely the people who created them.
The new book presents Fischer’s essay, originally published in German in 1963, for the first time in English. For the new edition the text is supplemented by additional images and an epilog. A DVD with the historic film recordings of the artists at work rounds out the book.
«A world of dreams and spirits – There is not only beauty but also great raw power in the masks made by the Dan artists of Africa.» B.N. Goswamy, The Sunday Tribune, India