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A fresh look at the art of Africa

A new exhibition about an ancient kingdom found in the current state of Nigeria during the 12th century shows why current sculptures of the past that have been recently found have changed the way the West looks at African arts.

ifIn the past, African art was often thought to be primitive, but with the discovery of copper, bronze, and terracotta figures that show the Ife society was actually quite beautiful although albeit painful and savage.

The exhibit which is located at the British Museum is titled “Kingdom of Ife: Sculptures from West Africa.”

In a review of the exhibit Jonathan Jones wrote that the faces seem to coolly glaze right through you and will disturb those who have believed that European art is unique. Jones added that the sculptors of Ife are able to accurately portray the human face as well as any Greek artist and are as equally matched in balance, harmony, and proportion as any Greek piece.

The stunning pieces discovered from Ife were in fact so stunning when they first discovered that many people believed that the paintings were not actually from Africa.

In fact, originally Leo Frobenius, a German archaeologist, thought that the works were traces of the widely mythical lost city of Atlantis.

The works will be on display at the museum from March 4th to June 6th and are mostly from Africa and will hopefully help educate those who hold preconceptions about African art see the culture in a new point of view.


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