Ezio Bassani, Gigi Pezzoli, Elio Revera
The exhibition displays a large selection of ritual figures and masks from the most important European museums and the best collections in the world. Alongside large objects are bronze miniatures used to weigh gold dust.
Bernard De Grunne
Mande Case, 1,000 years of Art in Mali: through ancient terracotta and wooden works, from Tellem and Dogon peoples, this section presents the most important medieval African statuary heritage, dating back to the eleventh century, for a story with timeless fascination.
Art at Court
Benin Extraordinary masterpieces that the early twentieth century European explorers imaginatively attributed to Phidias of the Equator and bronzes from Kingdom of Benin of which, in 1668, The Royal Palace was described: elegant, with large arcades like those of the Amsterdam Stock Exchange, upheld by columns decorated with refined.
The Twentieth Century: Europe looks to Africa
A testifies to the extraordinary dialogue that began in the early twentieth century between Western artistic culture and African visual culture, so-called Art Nègre, when historic Avant-garde artists acknowledged an archaic origin in its shapes and its symbolic and spiritual value.
Contemporary African Art
The section displays contemporary works of art resulting from the collation of a cultural and spiritual heritage that intertwines and is at times at odds, looking to the West but affirming a precise identity without denying the possibility of contamination.
Not Anonymous Creation, but Art by Artists
Bernard De Grunne
This section presents some examples of identification of artistic personalities or specific ateliers. For a long time traditional African art was considered the anonymous expression of generic collective knowledge; it is not so, and identifying certain ‘master hands’ helps to overcome the stereotype of art without artists.
A selection of refined, ancient works: saltcellars, spoons, handles for daggers, pyxides and ivory horns of the fifteenth and sixteenth c., made for Europe’s princely collections and wunderkammern, commissioned, from the mid-fifteenth century, by Portuguese sailors from African artists.
African art and Italy at the beginning of the 20th century
The section re-proposes the first pioneer exposition of African art in Italy, at the Italian pavilion at the Venice Biennale in 1922.
The “different” aesthetics of the “vodu”
Vodu art is savage, apparently disorderly, steeped in sacredness, syncretic and ever-changing. These are highly religious works, used in ancestral rites linked to the past and the present of humanity, a selection of pieces for the first time in Italy.
Header image: Hunting horn, around 1495-1521 | Corutesy of Ministero per i beni e le attività culturali – Torino, Musei Reali – Armeria Reale | © Ernani Orcorte