Hidden Power in African ArtMay 21, 2014-January 17, 2015
Location: Nathan Cummings Building for Modern and Contemporary Art
Curator: Dorit Shafir
African sculpture has had a strong impact on modern European art since the early 20th century, and yet the objects were created for ritual and religious purposes, rather than artistic ones. This fascinating exhibition presents African wooden sculptures and masks, believed to be receptacles for mystical and spiritual forces. To enable people to harness these powers for their own benefit, magical elements were added in the form of natural materials, which were considered more significant than the statues themselves. Along with the masks and sculptures, this exhibition reveals the symbolic importance of these materials, and the ways in which they were used. The objects on display come from the Museum’s holdings, as well as private collections.