African Art has many characteristics, some of which include creative expressionism over realism, the prevalence of images and sculpture of the human figure, larger focus on sculpture rather than painting, abstract themes and representations, melding visual and performance arts (such as in the case of masks), and non- ...
Often depicting the abundance of surrounding nature, the art was often abstract interpretations of animals, plant life, or natural designs and shapes. More complex methods of producing art were first introduced to Sub-Saharan Africa around the 13th century, along with the spread of Islam.
African Art is much different in use from its Western Art counterparts. Western Art, is used to decorate walls and can be studied for its perspective, lines, symmetry and many other artistic forms. African Art was used as an integral part of the societies rituals, dances and ceremonies.
Traditional African art served a purpose (and does still in some cultures) as an agent of religion, social stability, and social control. Art that has a purpose is not unique to African or other non-Western cultures but occurs in Western ones as well.
The 5 Elements
- The Use of Human Figure. African art is an artwork created not just to please the eye but also to uphold religious values, and this is why the 'human figure' is given prime importance. ...
- Luster or Luminosity. ...
- Composed Demeanor. ...
- Youthfulness. ...
- Symmetry and Balance.
Because of colonialism and slavery, African art found its way around the world. First presented as curiosities of primitive cultures, objects such as masks and sculptures influenced European artists looking for a new vocabulary that didn't rely on Realism.
African arts and crafts
Africa has a rich tradition of arts and crafts. African arts and crafts find expression in a variety of woodcarvings, brass and leather artworks. African arts and crafts also include sculpture, paintings, pottery, ceremonial and religious headgear and dress.
Traditional or tribal African sculpture typically may be religious or spiritual in nature, be carved from wood, dealing primarily with the human form (and sometimes animal or mythical) and shows a creative spirit and skill that exhibits good balance, craftsmanship, attention to detail and finish and an essence of ...
How does traditional African art differ from Western art of the nineteenth century? Western art from the nineteenth century was focused on a naturalistic and realistic style of representation, while African art was typically abstract and idealized.
In many other countries, traditional art very nearly succumbed under these forces. Thus contemporary artwork is classified as African purely on the basis of the artist's nationality, rather than according to a peculiar style, subject, purpose, or medium.
African art was said to be more expressive and more spir- itual than European art because (unlike European art) it was directly linked with the unconscious. For Picasso and oth- ers its alleged spiritual quality was one of its most interest- ing features.
Most traditional African artworks are abstract. The African proclivity towards abstraction has its roots in the need of the artist to express an idea, rather than simply portray a subject. Instead of depicting animals and humans realistically, African artists distort, reshape, and creatively interpret their figures.
In general, African sculpture represents human form, occasionally animal or both, and may be spiritual in nature.
It should also be noted that a primary component of traditional African art is performance and assemblage. The combination of music, dance, dress, and bodily ornamentation—as well as sculpture and masks—is frequently what imparts both significance and dynamism to individual art objects.
Pottery, metalwork, sculpture, architecture, textile art and fibre art, are important visual art forms across Africa and may be included in the study of African art.
Sculpture - Sculpture was one of the most important types of art in Ancient Africa. Sculptures were mostly made of people and sometimes animals. African artists often used wood for their sculpture, but they also used bronze, terracotta, and ivory. Masks - Masks were an important part of art.
Africa is famous for its beautiful sights and cities, unsurpassed natural wonders, dramatic coastline, amazing wildlife, luscious forests and unforgettable architecture. The continent has a unique culture and heritage and it is full of unbelievably wide-ranging and beautiful places to visit.
Why is Africa considered the “cradle of art and civilization”? The earlier discovery of Paleolithic art revolutionized ideas of what primitive human cultures might have been capable of. The creation of art is considered to indicate an advance in both the linguistic and cultural development of a population.
Popular materials used were wood, Ivory, Stone, metal, clay and fiber. Of course, African artworks were not restricted to these materials. Early African artists used pigments for painting as far back as 73,000 years ago. The paintings are still found today on rocks throughout the continent.
Influence on Western Art
Such artists as Vlaminck, Derain, Picasso, and Modigliani were influenced by African art forms. Interest in the arts of Africa has flourished, and many modern Western artists have rediscovered the enduring qualities of African art.
'The artists who were influenced by African art form a constellation of Modern-art history: Picasso, Paul Klee, Basquiat, Bacon, Matisse,' says specialist Susan Kloman, introducing Evolution of Form: African & Oceanic Art at the Genesis of Modernism.
Picasso and Braque may have pioneered one of the most radical avant-garde movements in Europe during the early 20th century: Cubism. But African carvers were first to abstract reality. With their vital sculptures and masks, African artists invented the aesthetics that would later inspire the so-popular Cubist styles.
Though there is some documentation, in general, ancient Africa lacks a written record as religious and cultural traditions were transmitted orally from one generation to the next, and this can make it difficult for scholars to contextualize, and even confidently date, the ancient art that has been found.
Revealing the importance behind some of Africa's most beautiful art and culture are four common themes. These themes represent ceremonial honor, mother earth and the people as her children, honor, and portrayal of a stranger.