|Few images of African art are more familiar and appreciated than the Ci-wara crest mask, the long-pronged antelope that was found in the studios of the early modernists, including Fauvist master and early African art collector Andre Derain and the painter and sculptor Fernand Leger. The Ci-wara, among other works of the Bamana people, made their mark on Henri Matisse, Georges Braque and Pablo Picasso, altering forever how the world views art.|
This comprehensive examination of the Bamana people contextualizes nearly 100 objects with criteria far beyond the reaches of tribal identity. Through this exhibition and its accompanying catalogue, visitors enter a complex living culture that is, in numerous ways, a paradigm for many West African peoples, and, in some ways, unlike any other. The Bamana art objects are the means to understanding a cultural philosophy that is – in the most essential ways – religious and emotional, public and collective. This project, which is the research and dedication by esteemed scholars in America, Africa and Europe, is an appropriate symbol of the many dimensions of Bamana that are, indeed, universal.
Milwaukee Art Museum Web Site