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Carved wood African figure of horse and rider, on cover of 'Horse Rider in African Art', by ACC Art Books.

Horse Rider in African Art

By (author) George Chemeche


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  • This visually stunning book presents a wealth of African art depicting the horse and its rider
  • Detailed in a variety of guises from Epa masks and Yoruba divination cups to Dogon sculptures and Senufo carvings
Full Description

Horses are very rare in Africa. The few to be found west of Sudan, from the lands of the Sahara and Sahel down to the fringes of the tropical forests, belong to the king, the chief warrior and to notable persons. Due to the dense humidity of the tropical rainforest and the deadly tsetse fly, only restricted numbers of horses survive. And yet rider and mount sculptures are common among the Dogon, Djenne, Bamana, Senufo and the Yoruba people. The Akan-Asante people of Ghana and the Kotoko of Chad produced a good deal of small casting brass and bronze sculptures. Some of the artists could barely even have caught a glimpse of a horse. This visually stunning book presents a wealth of African art depicting the horse and its rider in a variety of guises, from Epa masks and Yoruba divination cups to Dogon sculptures and Senufo carvings. In Mali, the Bamana, Boso and Somono ethnic groups still celebrate the festivals of the puppet masquerade. The final chapter of this book is dedicated to the art and cult of these festivals, which are still alive and well. It is not the habit of the African artist to provide intellectual statements for his work, yet his unique creative dynamic and far-searching vision does not conflict with that of his Western counterpart. It is fair to state that the African, who though not educated in Western art history, contributed his fair share to the shaping of modern art. Features works from museums in both Africa and Europe, including the Musée Royal de L’Afrique Central, Tervuren in Belgium; Afrika Museum, Berg en Dal, Netherlands; Musée du quai Branly, Paris; Museum Rietberg, Zurich; The British Museum, London; Museu National de Antologia, Lisbon and National Museum, Lagos, Nigeria.

About the Author
George Chemeche is an artist, author and curator of tribal art. He has had numerous individual exhibitions, and his work is featured in several museums and galleries, including the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum (New York), the Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art (New York), the Everson Museum of Art (New York), the Denver Art Museum, the Virginia Museum of Fine Art and the Birmingham Museum of Art (Alabama), as well as in a number of private collections. He edited and co-wrote, with John Pemberton III, Ibeji: The Cult of Yoruba Twins (2008), and was a curator for the related exhibition at New York's Museum for Africa Art, Doubly Blessed: The Ibeji Twins of Nigeria. Mary Jo Arnoldi is Curator for African Ethnology and Arts at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History. Trained in anthropolgy and art history, she has been conducting research in Mali since 1978 and has published widely on the country's cultural heritage, social life and history. She has curated several exhibitions, including the National Museum of Natural History's African Voices (permanent exhibition). He is a a longtime resident of the Chelsea Hotel, the historic NYC hotel and landmarkthat has been home to Bob Dylan, Bukowski, Janis Joplin, Patti Smith and Leonard Cohen. Kate Ezra is the Nolen Curator of Academic Affairs at the Yale University Art Gallery. Previously, she has been Professor of Art History at Columbia College, Chicago, and Associate Curator of African Art at the Metropolitain Museum of Art, New York. She has curated more than a dozen exhibitions on African art and written numerous accompanying exhibition catalogues, including A Human Ideal in African Art: Bamana Figurative Sculpture. Bernard de Grunne has been an antiques dealer, specializing in fine tribal arts, since 1996, having first attained a Ph.D.in History of Art from Yale University (1987). He previously worked as as Director of Tribal Art at Sotheby's in New York. He has written expensively on African art and curated several exhibitions. John Pemberton III has written and edited countless texts concerning African art, including Yoruba: Nina Centuries of African Art and Thought (1989) and Insight and Artistry in African Divination (2000). In 2006, he was awarded an Emeritus Fellowship (Religion and African Stdies, Amherst College) from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
ACC Art Books
21st Jun 2011
240 mm x 280 mm
384 Pages
334 color, 2 b&w
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