Bronzes of West Africa

Bronzes of West Africa

Bronzes of West Africa

Bronzes of West Africa

Excerpt

In Masks and Figures in Wood the art of West Africa was searched for the influence its styles and techniques have had on the art of Europe. But it was found that the principle of African art is synthesis, and so has nothing to compare with analysis --the aim of European abstract art. West African art was found to be pre-logically innocent of those "abstractions" inferred in it by European intellectuals. Expression in African art aims at representing with religious humility the unseen power which nature reveals to man.

This third study, Bronzes of West Africa, gives us the opportunity of examining the assumed connection between West African art and the intellectual abstractions of Europe, and of finding it a heresy. Bini art is the unique example of the insubordination of rational sensation to intellectual form. In the hankering after "abstract" form in modern art, the intellect with arrogant confidence attempts to storm the citadel of rational expression --to re-enter it by the tortuous path of psychoanalysis. This present study will show Bini artists emerging unsusceptible to an intellectual abstraction (earlier than our own, that is comparative measurement in the classical style they met at Ife). Bini art is an early example of the failure of the intellect to restrict the expression of rational emotion. In Bini art we see this example with . . .

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