or superbly evokes both the softness of the flesh and the inner life of the king; he seems utterly alive and self possessed, his features expressing calm, nobility and wisdom. The effect is palpable; my encounter with the king felt imbued with a kind of mutual respect and admiration. It's an extraordinary achievement for any artist, and it is one repeated for a number of the Ife heads. The making of sculpture relates to the Yoruba creation myth in which the creator sends a deity to Earth to establish civilization. By some accounts it's an artist god who molded humans in clay, and in others it's his brother who took over after the artist god got drunk and started turning out deformed people. Were Ife sculptors, like their mythical creators, seeking to give the spark of life to dull matter?One imagines that Ife rulers commissioned these likenesses to serve an ongoing ritual function but also to immortalize themselves. The fact that we admire and study them today is an indication of their success. Today, Ife is a university city of 600,000 whose current king, or Ooni, is the 50th in an unbroken dynasty that is among the world's oldest.
1421) was one of the great artists of the early Florentine Renaissance. At least three circumstances, however, have kept this evident fact from wider acceptance: first, Nanni di Banco worked only in marble; second, Adidas Gazelle Light Pink he died young, or such at least is the traditional understanding of his career, though, in fact, he lived and worked well beyond his youth; and, third, he was the contemporary of the triumvirate represented by Donatello, Masaccio, and Brunelleschi. Although Nanni's most famous work, the Quattro Coronati niche on the exterior of Or San Michele in Florence, is conventionally included in surveys of Renaissance art, too often it serves as a foil for the greater naturalism and classicism of Donatello and Masaccio. With this monograph in English, the first of its kind, Mary Bergstein redresses this imbalance and begins to give Nanni di Banco the reco.
ca. 1374, d. Adidas Gazelle Light Grey
the ancient Ife royals would be pleased by their afterlife in the current show, how much more proud would they be to know that their images are changing the way their descendants and all of Africa are regarded abroad? Our understanding of African art has undergone tremendous rethinking in the past few decades. The landmark " 'Primitivism' in 20th Century Art" exhibition in 1984 at the Museum of Modern Art demonstrated the profound debt that early modern art owed to the tribal art of Africa and Oceania. The Ife show co organized by New York's Museum for African Art, the Spanish Fundacion Botin and Nigeria's National Commission for Museums and Monuments drops another bombshell. It overturns the cliche that associates Africa inextricably with primitivism and lack of technological sophistication. The VMFA exhibit turns this perception on its head, revealing an ancient African tradition Adidas Gazelle Junior Size 4
comparable to the highest forms of representational art in the West. It's a game changer and is not to be missed. Nanni di Banco (b.
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