Second Careers: Two Tributaries in African Art

  • Sale
  • Regular price $25.00

By Smooth Nzewi, Curator of African Art

Recognizing the second lives of historical African artworks when they enter museum collections and addressing them in dialogue with the works of six established and emerging African artists, this book represents how today’s practitioners are reformulating the continent’s artistic traditions as a means of responding to the contemporary landscape. Historically, African art objects such as masks and sculptures were composed of a complex matrix of materials that included medicine bundles, beads, raffia assemblage, hides, hair, and metal, some or all of which was repurposed: a “second career” for the materials. This practice of transforming materials has wider cultural resonance in Africa today, where electronics, discarded engines, bottle caps, and rubber tires are incorporated by artisans into domestic and personal items. The contemporary African artists featured here—El Anatsui (Ghana), Nnenna Okore (Nigeria), Elias Sime (Ethiopia), Tahir Karl Karmali (Kenya), Zohra Opoku (Ghana), and Gonçalo Mabunda (Mozambique)— reflect these dual traditions, reviving conceptual elements of historical African art by creating work that responds to postcolonial changes and the evolution of Africa’s artistic traditions

128 pages including 105 images

Published 2019