97
97

PROPERTY FROM A PRIVATE COLLECTION

Kyaman, Akye, or Gwa Female Figure, Lagoons Region, Côte d'Ivoire
Estimate
15,00020,000
LOT SOLD. 21,250 USD
JUMP TO LOT
97

PROPERTY FROM A PRIVATE COLLECTION

Kyaman, Akye, or Gwa Female Figure, Lagoons Region, Côte d'Ivoire
Estimate
15,00020,000
LOT SOLD. 21,250 USD
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Art of Africa, Oceania, and the Americas

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New York

Kyaman, Akye, or Gwa Female Figure, Lagoons Region, Côte d'Ivoire

Provenance

Olivier Larroque, Nîmes
Private Collection, acquired from the above

Catalogue Note

The Lagoons region of southern Côte d'Ivoire is home to no fewer than twelve distinct ethnic groups, which all live in relatively close proximity. Considerable artistic exchange took place between these groups, with objects circulating widely throughout the region, while celebrated carvers would have their work commissioned by clients from distant villages.

The present figure can be attributed to the carver identified as the 'Master of the Rounded Volumes' (Monica Blackmun Visonà, Constructing African Art Histories for the Lagoons of Côte d'Ivoire, 2010, p. 84). Related works by this artist are in a number of institutions, including the Barnes Foundation, Philadelphia (inv. no. A127), and the Barbier-Mueller Museum, Geneva (inv. nos. BMG 1007-12 and BMG 1007-14). The Master of the Rounded Volumes appears to have worked in the central Kyaman and southern Akye area of the Lagoons at the beginning of the 20th century. Visonà notes that 'his harmonious figures' are distinctive for their 'smooth finish and precise divisions between segments of the body' (ibid.).

The present figure displays all of the physical traits admired by the Lagoons peoples. The full breasts, wide hips, and thick calves all reflect ideals of mature feminine beauty. The elaborately arranged coiffure is a style recorded in the early 20th century by visitors to the Lagoons. The small wooden pegs which appear below the navel and on the cheeks, neck, and back represent keloid scarifications, traditional symbols of feminine beauty. The two diagonal scarification marks to the torso are identical to those on a figure by the Master of the Rounded Volumes in the musée des civilisations de Côte d'Ivoire, Abidjan (inv. no. R 90.19523x), illustrated in Fischer & Homberger, eds., Afrikanische Meister: Kunst der Elfenbeinküste, 2014, p. 69, fig. 72).

Art of Africa, Oceania, and the Americas

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New York