“Earth Matters: Land as Material and Metaphor in the Arts of Africa” by Karen E. Milbourne
Accompanying a pioneering exhibition at the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art in Washington, DC, the book explores African art and its relationship to African concepts of the earth. One hundred exceptional works of art from the late 18th to 21st centuries are featured, including photography, painting, sculpture and statuary, sacred figures and vessels, as well as historic treasures such as an exquisite Punu reliquary (Gabon) from the collection of the Musée du Quai Branly (Paris) and a rare Yorube onile figure from the museum’s collection that is reunited (in the book and in the exhibition) for the first time with its mate from the Afrika Museum in Berg en Dal, Netherlands.
The contemporary works alongside works are by internationally renowned and emerging talents from across the continent, including William Kentridge, Ingrid Mwangi, Sammy Baloji, Ghada Amer and El Anatsui.
“Earth Matters” is comprised of 6 chapters – and the exhibition is also organized in 6 thematic section at the museum:
Chapter 1:The Material Earth, Chapter 2: The Power of the Earth, Chapter 3: Imagining the Underground, Chapter 4: Strategies of the Surface, Chapter 5: Environmental Action, and Chapter 6: Earth Works.
The book also contains 4 powerful artists’ statements prepared by working artists, from Africa and the diaspora, who are passionately engaged and further the deep inspiration they draw from Africa and the earth. The artist essays are: Wangechi Mutu “The Power of Earth in My Work,” Clive van den Berg “Breaking Surface,” Allan DeSouza “Where You Looking At,” and George Osodi “Matter, Eco-Ethics, And Composite Space: Thoughts On My Pictorial Compositions.”
Earth Matters: Land as Material and Metaphor in the Arts of Africa • Karen E. Milbourne
9-1/2 x 11 inches
250 color illustrations
November 12, 2013
The Monacelli Press
236 West 27th Street, 4th Floor
New York, New York 10001
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