African Artist-Writer who mapped the new world

African art has a place in the Museum of Modern Art from its earliest days – though this is not African art you would think. Back in 1935, when the museum was located in a townhouse on 53rd Street, James Johnson organized the Sweeney “African Negro Art,” featuring 600 painted masks, bowls, ivory and bungalows, and Congolese seats and spoons. Were. It was one of the most popular highlights of the first decade of MoMA, and toured the United States.

Why were they in MoMA, and not a museum of ethnography or anthropology (or, worst of all, natural history)? Because, as Sweeney maintains, these formalities were in fact modern art – arguably the best modern art of the era. “As a tradition of sculpture in the last century,” Swinney declared, “it had no competitors.”

Even if the MoMA could divert those things – especially the stolen Ben-Bronze plaques, which the curator borrowed from the German Ethnographic Museum – into “modern” sculptures, the anonymous Africans who created them would surely be “modern artists.” “Don’t become. Until the 1980s, the museum’s notoriously “primitivism” in 20th-century art, the African carvings and sculptures that stood alongside Gagis and Picasso, were devoid of their historical, legal and religious significance. As if they were ever made. General Chat Chat Lounge Only in 2002, when the Nigerian curator Okwui Enwezor brought his magnificent exhibition “The Short Century” to MoMA PS1, did the living African artists enter the museum, be recognized by the names and based on equality with their Western counterparts.

One of the artists in “The Short Century” was Frederick Broly-Bobrey (1923-2014), an artist on the Ivory Coast who blended global citizenship and African history into countless smaller drawings, as well as his writing system. The following dialogs are created for you: More than 1,000 of these drawings are currently appearing in “Frederick Brolybury: World Inbound”, an important new show that gives the audience a glimpse of decades of broad, continuous artists, writing and drawing from around the world. As why Extensive system of knowledge.

The show celebrates a great gift for the museum – and more on its dynamic – in just a minute – by a series of Bobbie’s drawings, “A Betty Betty” (1991), which compiles her life’s plans. System suitable to the west. Applicable to the world of Africa. These and other works brought together here are Ugochukwu-Smooth C. Nzewi, a Nigerian curator who joined the museum in 2019. The show is considered, on the whole, very cultural and widespread in humanity, in these sad days of digital. The need for identification comes as a breath of fresh air.

Bobri was born in a small village in the Beatty population, west of the contemporary Ivory Coast. At the age of 18, he enlisted in the colonial navy and posted to Dakar, then the capital of French West Africa. He remained there after the war, entering the colonial administration – and then, on March 11, 1948, he experienced a blurred vision. The sky opened; The seven suns danced around a central star; And Bouabré is inspired to adopt a new name (Czech Nadero, “The Reveler”) and dedicate his life to the expression of heavenly knowledge.

This divine spark has been the origin of Bouabré mythos since European and American institutions began exhibiting its drawings in the late 1980’s. At MoMA, eight small drawings he made in 1991, each showing a colorful sun painted with colorful colors, look extraordinary to the eyes of 2020 such as coronaviruses. Yet unlike other “outsider” Modernists who claim divine inspiration (Swedish artist Hulma of Clint, say), Bubri was certainly not delivering a message from a spiritual realm in his art.

The landscape was more like a stimulus, a stimulus to look outside rather than inside. And for the rest of his life, first in writing and then in art, Bowberry will take a systematic approach to adjusting and circulating the knowledge of this world and beyond.

He first invented the Betty Alphabet of 401 characters. (This is not technically a syllabary, but a syllabary; most of the letters express a common vignette and vowel, as in the Japanese hiragana and katakana.) Each character highlights a pattern of Betty’s acoustically related aspect of daily life. General Chat Chat Lounge A few strokes. Sound Sick from A two-hand basket; ڀ There are two weird feet. Role fo One is derived from a person who cuts a tree. Pocket Two people are fighting.

He published the textbook in 1958 and used it in handwritten manuscripts, both human and spiritual. Later, in “Alphabet Bété”, he would spread the outline of each character in a medium of color pencil on his favorite medium, such as a measuring cardboard. Here, the drawings of Bouabré’s spiders and nuns, drums and planes, arranged in a Western alphabetical order, show a complete and a conceptual awareness that “outer art” is often rejected. They are interesting, though I would have appreciated the English translation of the words defined. For non-Betty speakers, these drawings may appear to be hermetic, but Bouabré gives them a way of communicating that can be expanded worldwide.

The series “A Betty Betty” illustrates a major productive tension between drawing and writing in Boubery’s art, between imagination and communication, between imagination and spirit. (Most of Bouabré’s short drawings are in French with captions, written with Roman alphabet.)

In the series “Musée du Visage Africain” (“Museum of the African face”), French descriptions of landmarks and tattoos appear to be packed with French descriptions or wedding and funeral rituals. The final sequence celebrates democracy and women’s rights by drawing one for each of the 200 countries in the world: women’s clothing and belt boxes shape national flags, while the French caption declares that “the science of democracy equality” is the. (I feel a slight pain in the blue and yellow belt boxes, Bouabré’s little ode to Ukrainian independence.) His use of French affirms that Bouabre never imagined his art, or In fact her Betty curriculum, like a private language. General Chat Chat Lounge I think of him less as an “outsider” artist than Henry Darger or Joseph Yoakam (the subject of a recent MMA show) as an artist writer in the style of William Blake or Zoe Bang.

This is just MoMA’s second solo survey of a performing artist from Africa; First, in 2018, models of the magnificent city of Congo artist Bodys Isek Kingelez were shown. Unlike Kinggles, Bowberry was not trained as a fine artist. Like Kingsley, he used cardboard and bright colors to visualize Utopia of global harmony. Like Kingsley, he first attracted Western attention in the Paris exhibition “Magiciens de la Terre” in 1989 – the first major attempt to equate Western and non-Western artists, even with African, Asian, and Australian participants ( Unlike Europeans) were almost completely self-taught. And like Kingsley, Bouabré has entered MoMA’s Holdings thanks to Italian collector Jean Pagozzi, who has begun to create a magnificent collection of his African art, which has long been known in the world as the “Witchcraft”.

Bouabré and Kingelez should both be here! But not all African artists are suicidal, and I would like to ask, almost a century after “African Negro Art,” it was the professional artists rather than the self-taught artists who received the most ready reception. MoMA heads to the continent. Just to compete: In the past ten years alone, the Art Institute of Chicago has exhibited photography by South African sculptor and performance artist Kimming von Lehoultrie, Mozambican painter Malangatana Ngogenia, Kenya photographer Mimi Cheron Naguik, South Africa. An important show of Jo Ractliffe, Burkinabè photographer Ibrahima Sanlé Sory, and Aapartheid anti-poster design. (Sermon South African textile artist Igshan Adams opened a show there this week.)

This is neither a knock on Bouabré, nor the curator of this show, to say that I look forward to a MoMA retrospective for African artists like them. One of the most moving objects in this museum’s collection in 2019 was a prison notebook by Sudanese artist Ibrahim al-Salehi. He is one of the leading figures of Sudanese Modernism, a professor at Khartoum’s College of Fine and Applied Arts, who compared modern painting to calligraphy throughout his career in Africa, Europe and the Middle East. He and Bobri, each in his own way, were bringing another African aesthetic to the world.


Frederick Burley-Boyberry: The World Inbound
Through August 13 at the Museum of Modern Art, 11 West 53rd Street, Manhattan; 212-708-9400, moma.org.

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