A Companion to Modern African Art by Gitti Salami

By Gitti Salami

Offering a wealth of views on African glossy and Modernist paintings from the mid-nineteenth century to the current, this new significant other positive factors essays through African, ecu, and North American authors who determine the paintings of person artists in addition to exploring broader issues reminiscent of discoveries of recent applied sciences and globalization.

  • A pioneering continent-based overview of recent paintings and modernity throughout Africa
  • Includes unique and formerly unpublished fieldwork-based material
  • Features new and complicated theoretical arguments concerning the nature of modernity and Modernism
  • Addresses a largely stated hole within the literature on African Art

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Extra resources for A Companion to Modern African Art

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35 Mozambique is not included, nor is Angola, nor the art scene in Gabon. Although international arts festivals held in Mali and Burkina Faso are cited by Katchka, the national arts institutions of Mali, and many fascinating local adaptions of modernism in those nations, are omitted. Perhaps the bottom line is this: throughout the African continent, art that reflects experiences of modernity deserves to be recorded by art historians, but has not yet been the subject of serious study. Despite the broad stretches of time covered in these studies, enormous chunks of history are also missing.

She describes how these artists simultaneously “capitalized on modernist notions and ­disavowed them,” and why such histories may have situated their national art world on the periphery of global discussions. “From Iconoclasm to Heritage: The Osogbo Art Movement and the Dynamics of Modernism in Nigeria,” by Peter Probst, also ­reevaluates a canonical body of African modern art. He looks at the iconoclasm of the 1950s that made the creative ferment of Osogbo possible in the 1960s, and discusses its current status as a locus of cultural heritage and pilgrimage.

Women’s experiences as artists need to be more fully discussed not as a nod to feminism (in many ways a Western construct), but because female artists have made very specific contributions to our understanding of modernism. We should note that the lack of space (and even the lack of respect) afforded female artists in some African art worlds today may not be due to cultural bias (as African women have often held social and religious positions that were equal or even superior to those of men), but may instead result from imported or appropriated practices – such as the legacy of colonial education.

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