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Article

Shannen Hill

Apartheid, an Afrikaans word meaning ‘separateness’, was a system of racial segregation in South Africa that curtailed the economic, political, and social rights of black, coloured, and Indian people. Enforced through the legislation of the National Party, apartheid was the rule of the land between 1948 and 1994. Apartheid affected art and art-making in three primary areas: expressions of nationalism; limited access to education and commercial art markets for black, coloured, and Indian artists; and articulations of political resistance to this system of governance.

Although apartheid is equated with the 20th century, its notions of segregation predate this period. As descendants of Dutch settlers who first settled in southern Africa in 1651, Afrikaners were long at odds with people indigenous to this region and with British and German imperialists who sought to colonize it in the 19th century. In Afrikaner lore, the Great Trek (1835–52) represents the spirit of struggle to claim a land in the name of God. The pilgrimage was driven by a desire both to civilize a so-called heathen place through the introduction of Christianity and to establish a republic free of English intrusion in the heartland. This spirit is embodied by Pioneers (...

Article

James Smalls

The Black Arts Movement spans the period from the mid-1960s to the mid-1970s. Inherently and overtly political in content, it was an artistic, cultural and literary movement in America promoted to advance African American “social engagement.” In a 1968 essay titled “The Black Arts Movement,” African American scholar Larry Neal (1937–81) proclaimed it as the “artistic and spiritual sister of the Black Power concept.” The use of the term “Black Power” originated in 1966 with Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) civil rights workers Stokely Carmichael and Willie Ricks. Quickly adopted in the North, Black Power was associated with a militant advocacy of armed self-defense, separation from “racist American domination” and pride in and assertion of the goodness and beauty of “Blackness.”

In addition to “Black Power,” the slogan “Black is Beautiful” also became part of the Black Arts Movement and the Black Cultural Movement (also known as Black Aesthetics). The aim of these maxims was to counter and dispel the widespread notion throughout Western cultures that black people’s natural features, such as skin color, facial characteristics and hair, were inherently ugly. The central purpose was to subvert decades of anti-black rhetoric and “to make African Americans totally and irreversibly proud of their racial and cultural heritage.” Black Arts Movement cultural theorists and artists reasoned that promotion of a black aesthetic was mandatory to help the African American community perceive itself as not only beautiful, but also as proud of the legacy of African American achievement, self-determinacy and self-identification with all black peoples throughout the African diaspora. The tone was militant and separatist, not conciliatory and assimilationist, and resulted in a call for a revolutionary art that spoke to a definable black aesthetic. In ...

Article

Carol Magee

(b Johannesburg, 1972).

South African multi-media artist, active in the USA. She received a BA in fine arts (University of Witwatersrand, 1993), an MA in art history (University of Chicago, 1995), and an MPhil in art history (Columbia University, New York, 1997). She was a fellow of the Whitney Independent Studio Program, New York (1996–7). Her work has been regularly included in biennials (including among others Johannesburg 1995, São Paulo 1998 and Venice (2005)), has been shown extensively in international solo and group exhibitions, and is owned by museums and private collectors throughout the world. In 2007 she was awarded the Prix International d’Art Contemporain by the Fondation Prince Pierre de Monaco. In photography, video, and installation, Breitz turns an insightful, playful, and critical eye towards issues of representation, identity, media, global capital, consumerism, celebrity, fandom, and language. Her work stretches from the problem of the cult of the individual to the question of how cultural and other forms of identity are established and maintained. In ...

Article

Bolaji V. Campbell

[dele]

(b Ikere-Ekiti, April 19, 1945).

Nigerian painter, cartoonist and art historian. He attended Yaba College of Technology (1965–9) and received his BA from Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria (1973), winning the Nigerian Arts Council Prize for Best Final Year Student. He was art editor for the Daily Times of Nigeria from 1974 to 1977 and Senior Research Fellow at the University of Lagos in 1977. His early paintings depict scenes from Nigerian life and villages and reveal emotional and psychological insights into his subjects. He obtained an MA (1981) and PhD (1983) in art history from Indiana University, Bloomington, IN, and in 1982 won first prize for the Evan F. Lilly Memorial History of Art Lecture Series there. In the late 1980s he served as president of the Society of Nigerian Artists, and in 1996–7 he was president of the Arts Council of the African Studies Association.

Trends in Contemporary Nigerian Art: A Historical Analysis...

Article

Kimberly Bobier

(b El Nuhud, 1951).

Sudanese multimedia and performance artist, art critic, and art historian, active in France. Musa graduated from the College of Fine and Applied Art, Khartoum Polytechnic, in 1974. After moving to Italy from Sudan, Musa relocated to France and matriculated at Montpellier University, earning ah Doctorate in Art History in 1989 and a teaching diploma in Fine Arts from Montpellier University in 1995. Subsequently, Musa created artist’s books and illustrated tomes of Sudanese folktales and taught calligraphy. His work critiques European imperialism by parodying the authoritative spectacles of Western museum displays, popular icons, and artistic masterpieces such as Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa (c. 1500–07; Paris, Louvre) and Gustave Courbet’s the Origin of the World (1866; Paris, Mus. Orsay), both referenced in Musa’s The Origin of Art (1998). Musa’s artwork has frequently addressed stereotypes of Africans and Arabs.

From the late 1980s Musa’s ongoing performance series ‘Graphic Ceremonies’ engaged public audiences in exploring the intersection between the art exhibition and ritual. In a performance at the ...

Article

Ruth Rosengarten

(José Sobral de)

(b Cape Verde, April 7, 1893; d Lisbon, June 15, 1970).

Portuguese painter, draughtsman and writer. His early caricatures attracted the attention of the poet Fernando Pessoa whose posthumous portrait he painted in 1954 (Lisbon, Câmara Mun.; replica, 1964, Lisbon, Mus. Gulbenkian). He choreographed, designed and danced in a number of ballets (1915–19), before spending a year (1919–20) in Paris. In 1925 two of his paintings were among those chosen to hang in the Lisbon café A Brasileira. After returning to Lisbon from a sojourn in Madrid (1927–32), he married in 1934 the painter Sara Affonso with whom he portrayed himself in a double portrait (1934–6; Lisbon, Mus. Gulbenkian). He retained the sinuous, elegant quality of his line which in the 1930s and 1940s owed a great deal to Picasso.

Almada’s most important pictorial projects were frescoes (see Portugal, fig.) for the two principal quays of the port of Lisbon: the Gare Marítima de Alcântara (...

Article

Chika Okeke

(b Aba, 1964).

Nigerian painter, installation artist, art historian and poet. He carried out undergraduate studies work (1981–6) and some graduate work (1987–9) at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. There he trained with Obiora Udechukwu, whose influence can be seen in Oguibe's use of uli, nsibidi and mbari motifs (see under Ejagham and Africa §V 3.). From 1986 to 1987 he taught at the Federal College of Education, Abeokuta. He also wrote poetry and in 1992 won the Christopher Okigbo All-Africa Prize for A Gathering Fear. He spent 1990 as an artist-in-residence in Bayreuth, Germany, and 1994 in Friebourg. He studied at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, receiving a PhD in art history in 1992. Between 1995 and 1999 he taught art history at the University of Chicago and the University of South Florida, Tampa.

In the early 1980s his work comprised painted mats and cane meshes, but he returned to watercolour and acrylic while in London, and in the 1990s he moved increasingly towards installation and conceptual art. Compositionally, some of his paintings were inspired by Fante flags and mbari murals, with patterned borders and simple motifs in the centre of the picture plane. Often confrontational, his pieces address the politics of art as well as the Nigerian world. His installation pieces, for example, evoked memories and experiences of the Biafran war (the Nigerial civil war). His work of the mid- to late-1990s is multivalent, its meanings less fixed and its messages less direct. He is also a prolific writer on contemporary African art....

Article

Bolaji V. Campbell

(b Oyo, Feb 25, 1956).

Nigerian painter and art historian, active in the USA. In 1982 he began teaching at Obafemi Awolowo University, Ife, and was co-founder of Ona, an artist's group in Ile-Ife. While in Nigeria, he experimented with indigenous materials, developing a painting technique that he refers to as ‘terrachroma’, in which local soils are used as pigments, and the images on board are based on Yoruba beliefs and aesthetics. He drew particularly on shrine painting and deities as inspiration and mythology for abstract works. Okediji received an MFA from the University of Benin and a PhD in art history from the University of Wisconsin, Madison (1995). In his paintings of the mid-1990s, he changed his palette from subdued earth tones to much brighter colours. Line is still important, helping to maintain the dynamism created by the juxtaposition of complementary hues; multiple figures ‘swim’ in the images. The change in palette as well as subject-matter reflects his experiences in America and contact with African-American artists. These works are largely based in literary sources. Okediji became editor of the journal ...

Article

Ruth Rosengarten

(b Cape Verde, Dec 9, 1909; d Lisbon, Aug 17, 1966).

Portuguese painter, poet, critic and theatre director. Having studied aesthetics under Charles Lalo (1877–1953) and history of art under Henri-Joseph Focillon at the Sorbonne, he returned to Lisbon where, in 1932, he edited the magazine Revolução and became the director of the first Portuguese gallery of modern art, which was known as U.P. He was one of the signatories of the Manifeste dimensioniste in 1935. Between 1926 and 1939 he published 11 volumes of poetry as well as various critical articles.

Pedro’s paintings reflect his literary interests in their stress on the strange, poetic and monstrous, for example Romantic Intervention (1940; Lisbon, Mus. Gulbenkian). In 1940 his exhibition in Lisbon with António Dacosta and the English sculptress Pamela Bowden was seen as the first national manifestation of Surrealism. In 1942 he published a semi-autobiographical illustrated text Apenas una narrativa (‘Just a narrative’). Also in 1942, he edited the shortlived magazine ...

Article

Noémie Goldman and Kim Oosterlinck

Term for the return of lost or looted cultural objects to their country of origin, former owners, or their heirs. The loss of the object may happen in a variety of contexts (armed conflicts, war, colonialism, imperialism, or genocide), and the nature of the looted cultural objects may also vary, ranging from artworks, such as paintings and sculptures, to human remains, books, manuscripts, and religious artefacts. An essential part of the process of restitution is the seemingly unavoidable conflict around the transfer of the objects in question from the current to the former owners. Ownership disputes of this nature raise legal, ethical, and diplomatic issues. The heightened tensions in the process arise because the looting of cultural objects challenges, if not breaks down, relationships between peoples, territories, cultures, and heritages.

The history of plundering and art imperialism may be traced back to ancient times. Looting has been documented in many instances from the sack by the Romans of the Etruscan city of Veii in ...

Article

A. V. Ikonnikov

(Nikolayevich)

(b Kislovodsk, Jan 20, 1874; d Moscow, Feb 1, 1960).

Russian architect, urban planner and theorist. He studied (1892–8) at the Institute of Civil Engineers, St Petersburg, and then fought in South Africa as a Boer volunteer in the Anglo-Boer War (1899–1901). After returning to Russia he worked in the Caucasus until 1908, building for the Emir of Bukhara an exotic Moresque dacha (1904; now a sanatorium) in Zheleznovodsk, and the theatre (1904) in Yekaterinburg. From 1908 to 1912 he lived in England and travelled in western Europe. On his return to Russia he worked in Moscow and published Blagoustroystvo gorodov, which expounded a concept of urban development based on group settlements, following the garden city ideas of Ebenezer Howard. Semyonov designed and built the settlement (1913–14) at the Prozorovskaya Station near Moscow, the first example of a garden city in Russia. He also strove to develop this idea in unison with Russian urban planning traditions....