Saturday, January 13, 2007

YAG: Not quite done yet.

African Art
Recently there was an article in the New York Times about the Kahn building and the collection/exhibitions. I have to admit that African art has always been a problem for me. The problem was not with the art; it was with my understanding of the exhibitions. Many African art exhibits I'd been to have often been out of context, explanations lacking.
As you can see Africa is a huge continent and trying to understand it has proven to be a challenge. It has often been the same with Chinese art and admittedly other non-Western art.
But the great part about reading books, magazines, etc., is that it opens our eyes to what we may have overlooked in the past. It makes you consider something outside your boundaries of comfort and thereby brings a new understanding to the world around you, whether that world is global or local.
The New York Times article inspired me to consider another visit (not that I actually think I am done with YAG, next on the agenda is Asian Art) and to go straight up to the second floor.
The exhibition is concise with a fair amount of accompanying information. Photographs of the objects in situ help you understand their role in that particular society. It also gives you a view (albeit a very narrow one) of the different parts of Africa; everything from fertility figures to crosses to banners.
The exhibition can be enjoyed by everyone. During my visit there, children were just as intrigued as adults by the objects on the display.
Do you think it's possible they would let me borrow a few pieces to contemplate in my own home?

1 comment:

Dennis said...

Good review. Thanks for sharing your observations.