Expanding on our previous course – The History of African Art, this programme will focus on some of the bigger issues relating to African Art offering a more in-depth look at the creative processes as well as the cultural and historical influences that have had an impact on African artists both past and present.
- The African Old Masters
- Methods and Techniques
- African Art from 1900
- Art of the Diaspora
Dr. David Malik
Senior Teaching Fellow in the Art History of Africa, SOAS University of London
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Image Credit: Eva Blue, Unsplash
The African Old Masters
In the opening lecture, we will explore some of the communities and artists who flourished prior to the 20th century and their diverse artistic creations in a range of mediums. These artists were influential in shaping the cultural heritage of their communities and continue to be recognized for their contributions to the global history of art. We will examine various sculptural masterpieces in materials such as wood, terracotta, or metal alloys, from different locations of the continent.
Methods and Techniques
This lecture considers the ways in which artists have used various methods and techniques to examine local constructions of both the individual and /or collective identity. It will provide a comprehensive understanding of the creative processes involved in the making of art. We will look at the topics such as wood carving, pottery making, iron smelting, weaving, and the developments of photography in sub-Saharan Africa. Overall, the lecture will provide an examination of the techniques and methods used in African art, illuminating the rich and diverse artistic heritage of the continent.
African Art from 1900
African art from 1900 onwards saw a shift towards modernist styles, influenced by colonialism and the globalisation of cultural exchange. Artists started to experiment with new materials and techniques, incorporating elements of Western art into their work. The art produced in this period reflects the social, political, and cultural changes of the time and continues to evolve to this day. Themes such as identity, the struggle for independence, and the impact of globalisation are frequently explored in African art from 1900 onwards.
Particular attention will be paid to the independence movement in Nigeria and how it manifested itself in the work of local artists.
Art of the Diaspora
African art of the diaspora refers to the art produced by African descendants living outside of the African continent, particularly in the Americas, Europe, and the Caribbean. In this lecture, we will consider art that reflects the experiences, cultural fusion, and identities of the African diaspora, that often addresses themes of displacement, heritage, and resistance. The art examined will be diverse, encompassing painting, sculpture, photography, installation, and performance, influenced by a variety of cultural traditions, both local, regional, and intercontinental. The significance of the diasporic art lies in its offering of a distinctive viewpoint on the diaspora experience, thereby enriching our diverse and inclusive understanding of the art world and its various intersections.
This lecture considers the ways in which gender roles and identities are represented, constructed, and expressed through art in Africa. African art has long recognized and celebrated the contributions of women, often depicting them as strong, powerful, and central to both social and cultural life. At the same time, African art also reflects patriarchal power structures and gender inequalities. By examining the representation of gender in African art, we will gain insight into cultural attitudes towards gender, the social status of women, and the ways in which gender shapes cultural expression. To understand this subject, it is important to consider the historical and cultural context in which the art was produced, as well as the symbolism, materials, and techniques used. A multidisciplinary approach, incorporating the perspectives of history, anthropology, and art history, will provide a deeper understanding of the subject of gender in African art.
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About Livestream Courses
All virtual courses are delivered over Zoom with high quality sound & video. There will be an interactive Q & A with the academic as well as time for a group discussion through the lecture.
Recordings will be available to watch with unlimited playback for 14 days. Registrants will receive the viewing link following the class.
For any queries about this course please contact
London Courses Department