Published: May 28, 2002
CAMBRIDGE, MASS. – Opening May 31, Hurst Gallery presents “African Art from Four Regions,” an exhibition of masks, sculpture, and ceremonial objects from the Western Sudan, the Guinea Coast, Equatorial Africa, and the Congo Basin.
Hurst Gallery is open Wednesday through Saturday, noon to 6 pm. “African Art from Four Regions” will be on view in Hurst Gallery’s second floor exhibit space through July 27.
The exhibition celebrates the artistic diversity of the African continent, including 47 objects of various forms and materials, originating from the Atlantic coast in Liberia to the eastern forests of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Embodying potent visual power, the pieces included in the exhibition range from carved wooden figures and masks used in divination and life-cycle rituals to everyday objects such as stools, utensils and weapons that are equally invested with cultural meaning.
Objects in the exhibition are derived from private collections in New England and abroad that have rarely or never been previously exhibited. Newly “rediscovered” objects include a polychrome helmet mask depicting a giant beast with composite animal features from the Senufo peoples of Cote d’Ivoire; a wooden prestige stool, elaborately carved with animated aquatic imagery, from the Duala peoples of Cameroon; and a carved standing figure with a hollow torso cavity, ritually empowered by the addition of consecrating materials, from the Teke peoples of Democratic Republic of the Congo.
“African Art from Four Regions” is accompanied by a fully illustrated catalog with text by Nicole Hawkes that illuminates the cultural contexts, stylistic features and symbolic significance of each object.
Hurst Gallery is located in Harvard Square. For information, 617-491-6888 or visit www.hurstgallery.com.
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