A Mumuye sculpture, Nigeria, standing on shortened, zigzag-shaped legs with flattened sides, sketchily rendered male genitalia, a concave curved torso with a pointed navel and three shallow incisions along its perimeter, arms hang and bend slightly inward and forward, fingers are depicted through incisions, flattened shoulders, an elongated cylindrical neck supporting a helmet-like head framed by projecting flaps, a beak-like mouth beneath a triangular perforated nose, large eyes marked by circular incisions with remnants of kaolin, small notches above the forehead, crowned by a crest with a carved zigzag line; partly glossy, brownish patina, traces of age, ritual use and several cracks.
“In art-loving and art-historical circles, the name Mumuye is currently associated with a stunning corpus of figure sculptures and, to a lesser extent, with a wide variety of masks. (…) They marveled at the daringly modern, reductive interpretation of the human body that in many ways recalls the approach to anatomy adopted by artists of the Cubist and Expressionist movements in the early twentieth century. Today, almost fifty years after their sudden appearance in the European and American capitals of African art, Mumuye figure sculptures rank among the most cherished of sub-Saharan Africa.”
Lit.: Frank Herreman and Constantine Petridis: The Discovery of Mumuye Art. In: Frank Herreman: Mumuye: Sculpture from Nigeria. The Human Figure Reinvented, Milan 2016, p. 9 (8-13).
Height: 86 cm
Weight: 3,8 kg