Post(s) tagged with "art"
History That Whitewashing Took Away Part 1: Picasso’s African Period
This is the period that took place in Picasso’s life after the infamous “Blue period”.
In the early 20th century, Westerners were growing increasingly tired of their own artwork, which emphasized Romanticism to high extremes. I new, budding movement, Modernism, began take over the art world. Many artists partaking in this movement looked for new art forms which were completely different from the arts that were praised at the time.
Westerners only began to study the African tribes and their culture in the 19th century, and this increasing curiosity followed them to the 20th. However, because they are Westerners, they continued to show African tribes in a bad light. Many articles and books described most African tribes as “cannibalistic” and “unruly”, and the public began to believe that all Africans were straight up savages. Picasso noticed the mistreatment of Africans in Western civilization, and he began to take interest in the different tribes’ african masks.
When Picasso first studied African masks, he had a “revelation”. African masks are pure. They are not made for the sake of making art, but instead are created to honor their spirits in ceremonies, funerals, births, etc. A common theme spreading from all African tribes was the honoring of their nobles, ancestors, possessions, and gods. African masks were sacred; many of them were not influenced at all by Westerners (until they arrived in the 17th century and so forth). What stood out the most, however, is that their original artistry resembled his Cubism, but in a whole new light. Picasso then took it upon himself to create new pieces heavily influenced by the African works of art.
Some tribes that influenced Picasso include the Fang tribe, Dogon Tribe, Sonye Tribe, and Dan tribe.
Works influenced by African masks include: Les Demoiselles d’Avignon (pictured above), Head of a Sleeping Woman, Nu aux bras leves, Dryad, and Head of a Woman (pictured above).