Songye "Four Horn" Community Power Figure, Democratic Republic of the Congo
- wood, copper, metal, fibers, horns, fabric, beads
- Height: 21 7/8 in (55.7 cm)
Merton D. Simpson, New York, acquired from the above ca. 1980
Allan Stone, New York, acquired from the above presumably in June 1981
The Lowe Art Museum, The University of Miami, Miami, December 14, 1989 - January 28, 1990
The Columbus Museum of Art, Columbus, February 18 - April 30, 1990
The Worcester Art Museum, Worcester, September 15 - December 1, 1990
Museum for African Art, New York, Exhibition-ism: Museums and African Art, October 14, 1994 - March 5, 1995
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, Africa: the Art of a Continent, 100 Works of Power and Beauty, June 7 - September 29, 1996
The Bruce Museum, Greenwich, Connecticut, Power Incarnate: Allan Stone's Collection of Sculpture from the Congo, May 14 - September 4, 2011
S2 Gallery, New York, Hunters and Gatherers: The Art of Assemblage, November 18 - December 16, 2011
Martha G. Anderson, Wild Spirits, Strong Medicine: African Art and the Wilderness, New York, 1989, p. 123, cat. no. 82
Mary Nooter Roberts, Susan M. Vogel, and Chris Müller, Exhibition-ism: Museums and African Art, New York, 1994, p. 17, fig. 3 (sketch)
Anthony Shelton, Fetishism: Visualizing Power and Desire, London, 1995, color plate 11
Tom Phillips (ed.), Africa: the Art of a Continent, 100 Works of Power and Beauty, New York, 1996, pp. 108-109, cat. no. 51
François Neyt, Songye : la redoutable statuaire songye d'Afrique centrale, Brussels, 2004, pp. 100 and 344, pl. 63
François Neyt, Songye: the Formidable Statuary of Central Africa, New York, 2009, pp. 100 and 344, pl. 63
Kevin D. Dumouchelle, Power Incarnate: Allan Stone's Collection of Sculpture from the Congo, Greenwich, Connecticut, 2011, pp. 6 and 54, cat. 31
Lisa Dennison and Adam Gopnick (eds.), Hunters and Gatherers: The Art of Assemblage, New York, 2011, pp. 11, 106-107
No author, "Art in Motion", Tribal Arts Magazine, No. 69, Autumn 2013, p. 28
Ellen Gamerman, “An Eccentric’s African Trove”, The Wall Street Journal, July 13, 2013, p. C14
Olga Grimm-Weissert, "Hauptstadt der Stammeskunst", Die Zeit, No. 35, August 22, 2013, p. 46
In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective qualified opinion.
NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING CONDITION OF A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF SALE PRINTED IN THE CATALOGUE.
Crowning the sculpture with four horns, each pointing into one of the cardinal directions, the artist of the Stone figure created an unforgettable image of power and vitality. The spirit represented here dominates its surrounding space, embodying the reach and vigilance of its engagement with the world. The dynamic movement of the horns concentrates at their foot, as if bundled by the head, and comes to rest in the serene expression of the figure's face, where time stands still. Through this juxtaposition of opposing qualities, the unknown artist created one of the most arresting works of all figurative sculpture - a universal masterpiece.
Widely published and exhibited, the "Four-Horn" statue from the Allan Stone Collection is an icon of African art.