Art from the Ivory Coast
A groundbreaking overview of traditional and contemporary art from the Ivory Coast.
1st edition, 2014
240 pages, 262 color and 42 b/w illustrations
24.5 x 28.5 cm
In cooperation with Museum Rietberg Zürich
West Africa has a rich and long artistic tradition. In particular, Ivory Coast is home to a vast number of sculptors, some of which have created work that bears comparison with masters of European art, such as Michelangelo or Picasso. Yet the view still prevails that no aesthetic principles can be found in traditional African art, nor that independent artistic personalities have ever emerged from this tradition. Only “tribal workshops” with anonymous artist are identified.
African Masters proves this simplistic and patronizing verdict wrong. Essays by renowned scholars investigate the role of the artists in traditional, and modern, society, their ideal of beauty and its transformation into works of art. The book also offers the first comprehensive overview of the most significant sculptors from Ivory Coast and its neighboring countries. It discusses the oeuvre of ancient masters from the people of Guro, Senufo, Dan, Baule, Lobi, and from the lagoons and puts them in context with local contemporary art. African Masters features around 200 masterpieces from private and public collections, including that of Museum Rietberg Zürich, all in full color and many of full-page plates.
The book is published to coincide with exhibitions at the Nieuwe Kerk in Amsterdam (25 October 2014 to 15 February 2015) and the Musée du Quai Branly in Paris (7 April to 26 July 2015).