Embodiments - Masterworks of African Figurative Sculpture

Embodiments - Masterworks of African Figurative Sculpture
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Embodiments - Masterworks of African Figurative Sculpture
303 pages
Color photos
Hard cover
31 x 25 cm
2,277 kg

This volume, on a unique and wide-ranging collection of figural sculptures from sub-Saharan Africa, examines not only each distinctive piece, but also how these works of art express value systems and cultural relationships both inside and outside Africa.

The Richard H. Scheller Collection, presented in this book and on display at the de Young in San Francisco, offers a diverse portrait of sub-Saharan African sculpture. More than 100 distinct ethnic groups from more than 20 present-day countries are represented in this book by works of art spanning several centuries and encompassing a broad range of styles, from realism to abstraction. In their original contexts, these objects represent ancestors, express community values and serve religious and ceremonial purposes. Beautifully photographed in natural light, these sculptures range in style from classic and iconic to rare and unusual and challenge commonly held assumptions about African art. The geographical breadth of the collection and the variations in the depictions will allow readers to explore both the histories and the formal qualities of the genre. Enlightening texts by leading scholars enhance the understanding of 122 key objects, alongside main texts on major sculptures and the nuances of the artistic canon as it pertains to more unusual works of African art. Essays on the scientific testing of pieces and the process of photographing the works round out this illustrious volume that expands our understanding of African figurative art.