PARIS - Some works have the ability to move us beyond our understanding. This is true of the Attié mask, here, which drew my gaze through its aesthetics, devoid of any flourishes. The purity of its lines evokes a formal simplicity that many contemporary artists emulate when seeking to take art back to its roots. This face, with its elongated oval shape and eyes depicted as dark clefts, is imbued with an indefinable grace and is reminiscent of Brancusi, Mondrian and Modigliani.
ATTIÉ MASK, CÔTE D'IVOIRE. ESTIMATE €300,000 — 500,000 ($317,439 – 529,065).
But, more than its beauty and striking modernity, this object entrances me because of the imperceptible life that inhabits it, as though its creator had endowed it with a soul, a mysterious magic. Its raison d’être becomes clear to us, abandoning the world of the senses to attain a transcendental, spiritual dimension. The universal scope of this ritual mask goes far beyond periods and genres. Suddenly, the aesthetic references we vainly endeavour to grasp evaporate, giving way to pure emotion. For me, far more than an object for contemplation, this mask is an object of fascination.
The Attié mask will be featured in Sotheby's France's African and Oceanic Art sale on 24 June 2015.