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Walker Evans

Selected Images (African Sculptures)

Lot Closed

April 7, 05:19 PM GMT


5,000 - 7,000 USD

Lot Details


Walker Evans

1903 - 1975

Selected Images (African Sculptures)

2 gelatin silver prints, comprising Figure stuck with nails (Nkisi N'kondi) and Benin flute player, each mounted, one with credit and annotation 'from MoMA's 1935 exhn. "African Negro Art"' in pencil on the reverse, each framed, 1935 (2)

images: 9 ¼ by 5 ¾ in. (23.5 by 14.6 cm.) and 9 ⅛ by 3 ¾ in. (23.2 by 9.5 cm.)

frames: each 15 ¼ by 13 in. (38.7 by 33 cm.)

Figure Stuck with Nails (Nkisi N'kondi):

cf. Virginia Lee-Webb, Perfect Documents: Walker Evans and African Art, 1935 (New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2000), pl. 45 (front view)

"The art of Negro Africa is a sculptor's art. As a sculptural tradition in the last century it has had no rival. It is as sculpture we should approach it." (James Johnson Sweeney, African Negro Art (New York: The Museum of Modern Art, 1935, p. 21)

In 1935, The Museum of Modern Art exhibited more than 600 African sculptures in its groundbreaking exhibition African Negro Art curated by James Johnson SweeneyRunning from 18 March to 19 May 1935, this was the first time that such sculptures were shown as artworks rather than ethnographic objects. Walker Evans was commissioned to photograph hundreds of these sculptures and put together 17 portfolios, each comprising 477 photographs and accompanied by a typed index.