94
94

PROPERTY FROM AN AMERICAN PRIVATE COLLECTION

Baga or Nalu Mask, Guinea
Estimation
60 00090 000
Lot. Vendu 68,750 USD (Prix d’adjudication avec commission acheteur)
ACCÉDER AU LOT
94

PROPERTY FROM AN AMERICAN PRIVATE COLLECTION

Baga or Nalu Mask, Guinea
Estimation
60 00090 000
Lot. Vendu 68,750 USD (Prix d’adjudication avec commission acheteur)
ACCÉDER AU LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Art of Africa, Oceania, and the Americas

|
New York

Baga or Nalu Mask, Guinea
With a printed label for 'Pottier Emballeur', inscribed 'Exp. art negre New York' in black ink, and a small label inscribed 'Ratton' in black ink in a different hand
Height: 43 1/4 in (109 cm)
Lire le rapport d'état Lire le rapport d'état

Provenance

Charles Ratton, Paris
Carlo Monzino, Lugano, acquired from the above
Private Collection, acquired from the above
Sotheby's Paris, September 30, 2002, lot 37
American Private Collection, acquired at the above auction

Exposition

The Center for African Art, New York, African Aesthetics: the Carlo Monzino Collection, May 7 - September 7, 1986

Bibliographie

Susan M. Vogel, African Aesthetics: the Carlo Monzino Collection, New York, 1986, p. 28, cat. no. 20

Description

xAccording to Lamp, 'Baga and Nalu art, legends, cultural history, and ritual are permeated with the notion of struggle and cooperation between mankind and the natural features of their world.  This balanced tension especially characterizes the costumed spiritual representation called Banda [...] a composite creation, carved from a single piece of wood, incorporating the human head with its eye, nose, and its braided and crested coiffure, a crocodile jaw, antelope horns, chameleon tail, and serpent [...].' (Lamp, See the Music, Hear the Dance, 2004, p. 74).

'Before the twentieth century Banda seems to have represented a high and powerful spiritual being and appeared only to privileged society elders (Appia 1943, pp. 158, 160; Bowald 1939, pp. 126, 128; Voix V, 7, 1930, p. 13).  It reportedly figured in ritual designed to protect the villagers against crocodile attacks, human malevolence, and various impending dangers, especially at the time of male initiation to mark the attainment of adolescence, adulthood, and elder status.  It also appeared on such events as marriage, harvest celebrations, and new planting ritual, and the appearance of the new moon, all auspicious occasions.' (Lamp, ibid.)

In addition to Pablo Picasso's famous Baga D'mba headdress, the influence of which on his art has been well documented (see Rubin, "Primitivism" in 20th Century Art, 1984, p. 275 et. seq.), the artist also owned a Baga or Nalu Banda mask, which is visible in many photos of Picasso at his Villa La Californie in Cannes (see Stepan, Picasso's Collection of African & Oceanic Art, 2006, p. 128, cat. no. 41).  It is unclear when Picasso acquired his Banda mask and therefore difficult to establish which of his works might have fallen under its specific influence. The relationship of Baga art to Picasso's work, both as a direct source and as an artistic affinity across cultures, is well expressed in the colorful and imaginative abstractions of the Banda mask, and it is evident that such a sculpture would have appealed to Picasso.

Art of Africa, Oceania, and the Americas

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New York