Specialist Susan Kloman introduces a revolutionary sale that traces the enormous impact of African and Oceanic art on artists ranging from Modernist masters to contemporary greats
‘The artists who were influenced by African art form a constellation of Modern-art history: Picasso, Paul Klee, Basquiat, Bacon, Matisse,’ says specialist Susan Kloman, introducing Evolution of Form: African & Oceanic Art at the Genesis of Modernism. The 12 May sale is set to trace the pivotal influence of African and Oceanic art in Modern and contemporary works.
How African masks inspired greats from Picasso to Basquiat
‘African art helped to give artists the visual language to move away from naturalism, to see what was under the surface,’ says Kloman, introducing a Dan mask from the Ivory Coast similar to those that influenced the sketches and sculptures of Amadeo Modigliani at the beginning of the 20th century.
Also from the Ivory Coast, a Baule statuette finds its echo in the expressive figures of Jean-Michel Basquiat. ‘It's not only with the breakdown of form,’ explains Kloman, ‘but also the expressiveness of the gesture, the way he’s just sort of exploding. These are works of art that still influence artists today.’
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