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7% (i.e. 7.49% inclusive of VAT for books, 8.372% inclusive
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John J. Klejman, New York
Isidor Kahane, New York, acquise auprès de celui-ci, 1958
Adolph Leuthold, New York, acquise auprès de celui-ci, dans les années 1960
Isidor Kahane, New York, acquise auprès de celui-ci, 1971
Des frais additionnels de 5.5T seront prélevés en sus des frais habituels à la charge de l'acheteur. Ces frais seront remboursés sur présentation d'une preuve d'exportation du lot hors de l'Union européenne dans les délais légaux.
In addition to the regular Buyers premium, a commission of 5.5T will be charged to the Buyer. It will be refunded upon proof of export of the lot outside the European Union within the legal time limit.
Homberger L., Die Kunst der Dogon, Musée Rietberg, Zürich, 1995, p.52, n.9
Zürich, Die Kunst der Dogon, Musée Rietberg, 7 mai-3 septembre 1995
Post Lot Text
DOGON MATERNITY FIGURE
standing, with elongated arms curving alongside the body, the hands placed under the prominent nave, the carved necklace resting on the conical breasts, the long and cylindrical neck supporting the small bearded face with abbreviated features and a sagittate nose, the proper right ear pierced with a metal earring in a spiral motif, the neatly styled coiffure with cross-hatch motifs, the straight back with a child in high relief in a splayed formation with lightly etched features; aged, weathered surface of the dense wood, very slightly resinous in areas.
During the 16th century, the Djennenke fled the western Bandiagara Plateau. Subject to floods and rains, the difficult conditions prompted an eastward migration to the more amiable environment of the Yame NDule river plane. This new location allowed for greater organization into a more structured civilization, based on agriculture. At the request of an emerging wealthy class, the sculptors were given new commissions. The NDuleri style appeared, combining the realism and the strength of the northern statuary tradition together with a new fluidity and elegance. Superbly executed, the works are characterized especially by the elongation of the form. Special attention is given to the finesse of the coiffure; the figures are adorned with ornaments as iron double-spiral earrings. Some traces from the Djennenk style are seen through the presence of clothing and scarification. The 18th century seems to be the apogee of the Nduleri style. Unfortunately, only a small corpus of figures still exist from this period to from which to consider how important Dogon art was at that period.
However, through their art and oral history and tradition, a framework for Dogon culture is documented. Maternity figures are a frequent theme in that a womans fertility has primordial implications regarding her position in Dogon society. The birth of her first child elevates her societal rank. The representation of maternity imagery is therefore highly symbolic and multivalent. The fertile woman body is glorified, the sculptor valorizes the strong and life-giving breasts by placing them high on the chest. The slimness of the body is emphasized by the endlessly long and thin arms which are joined at the stomach, the place of origin. The small of the back is deliberately accentuated. The child, clinging to his mothers back, is disproportionately small, and probably here serves as a metaphor for the value Dogon society attached to its ancestors.
Dogon art was recognized rather late. Indeed, the inaccessibility of the land along with the lack of mineral and forestry resources isolated Dogon territory for a long time. Furthermore, once foreigners did reach the region the villages chiefs, pretending to be Muslims, were hid their artistic patrimony from these explorers. From the 1950s, in the years leading up to Malian Islamization and independence, among the first pioneers venturing into this region were Pierre Langlois, Hlne and Henri Kamer along with Emil Storrer. They discovered uncharted territories. Since 1954, they revealed to a new audience this previously unknown art which would become one of the African sculptural archetypes.
At the same time, there was a growing passion for African and Oceanic art in the United States, and the interest of important figures, such as Nelson Rockefeller, contributed greatly to this development.
John J. Klejman was a dealer of antiques active concurrently in New York. His interest galvanized toward African art and he became one of the most important dealers in this field with frequent travel to Europe allowing him to maintain his inventory.
The Kahane Nduleri Maternity most likely hails from one of these early expeditions. Faithful to the aesthetic of the period, it has reached us today in perfect condition. Acquired in 1958, this masterpiece is a testament to Kahanes perceptiveness in the face of an art form only newly revealed.