August 14 - December 23
||Mask (mukudj), 20th c.
Punu peoples, Gabon
Wood, pigment, 10 1⁄2 x 5 1⁄2 x 9 1⁄2 inches
Gift of Bob Bronson, 1977.58.6
Curated by Benjamin Ray, Adjunct Curator of African Art
Derived from the Museum’s growing collection of African art, the exhibition African Art: Beyond the Modernist Lens examines the way African art is currently perceived and displayed in Western museum settings.
Once considered fetishes, African traditional sculptures were displayed in 20th century galleries, arranged alongside European and American products in a manner that emphasized their artistic qualities rather than their local meaning and use. The exhibition suggests that such early displays often influenced the collection of certain types of African objects, particularly those that appealed to Western notions of artistic elegance, abstract form, and exotic appearance. However, these standards had very little to do with African aesthetic values that are expressed in ritual and quotidian objects alike. African craftsman used these prescribed concepts of beauty
and associated motifs to create objects that express both artistic individuality and
differences in regional styles.
The exhibition is made possible through the generous support of Arts$.
View exhibition portfolio >
Final Friday Receptions
August 27 & September 24, 5:30–7:30 pm
Saturday Special Tours
by Benjamin Ray
August 28, 2–3 pm
by Matthew Affron
September 25, 2–3 pm
Man Ray Day
A community celebration held in conjunction with this exhibition and the special exhibition Man Ray, Africn Art & the Modernist Lens.
Saturday, August 21
In the Museum
For more information >
Man Ray Film Series
Mondays, September 13, 20, 27 & October 4, 5:30 pm
See details >
by Matthew Affron
Curator of Modern Art and Academic Curator
Tuesday, September 14, 12 pm
by Michelle Kisliuk
Associate Professor of Music and performance theorist
Tuesday, October 12, 12 pm
Man Ray Lecture
The Black Body: Modernism in Photography
by Deborah Willis
Chair, Department of Photography & Imaging, Tisch School of the Arts;
University Professor, Africana Studies, College of Arts & Sciences, NYU
Thursday, September 30, 5:30 pm