Africa Explores: 20th Century African Art
May 11 – September 18 1991
“Africa Explores seeks to focus on Africa, its concerns, and its art and artists in their own contexts and in their own voices. Western perceptions of Africa, and Western uses of African art, are entirely secondary here, as are isolated African uses of Western ideologies and artifacts … Instead of attending primarily to Western ideologies and objects, we preferred to try to understand Africa’s experience of this century from the African perspective, from a point of view in which Western things and ideas are particles in a matrix of preexisting African styles and philosophies, in which images of whites do not take pride of place, and in which it is perfectly natural, even expected, for an artist to paint in acrylic, or for a mask costume to include a digital watch (if, of course, it is a high-status mask).
Co-organized by and presented with The Museum for African Art and The New Museum