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AFRICA DIGESTS THE WEST: A REVIEW OF MODERNISM AND THE INFLUENCE OF PATRONS-CUM BROKERS ON THE STYLE AND FORM OF SOUTHERN EASTERN AND CENTRAL AFRICAN ART

Keywords: Modernism , patrons-cum brokers , Art.

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Abstract:

Modern Africa Art did not appear from nowhere towards the end of the colonial era. It was a response to bombardment by foreign cultural forms. African art built itself through “bricolage” Modernism was designed to justify colonialism through the idea of progress, forcing the colonized to reject their past way of life. Vogel (1994) argues that because of Darwin’s theory of evolution and avant-garde ideology which rejected academic formulas of representation, colonialists forced restructuring of existing artistic practice in Africa. They introduced informal trainings and workshops. The workshop patrons-cum brokers did not teach the conventions of art.Philosophically the workshops’ purpose was to release the creative energies within Africans. This assumption was based on the Roseauian ideas integrated culture which is destroyed by the civilization process. Some workshop proponents discussed are Roman Desfosses, of colonial Belgian Congo, Skotness of Polly Street Johannesburg,McEwen National Art Gallery Salisbury and Bloemfield of Tengenenge. The entire workshop contributed to development of black art and the birth of genres like Township art, Zimbabwe stone sculpture and urban art etc. African art has the willingness to adopt new ideas and form; it has also long appreciation of innovation. As a result there is creation of entirely a new art form which hinges greatly onmodernism and pre-colonial art.

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