Free «African and western art» Essay Sample

African and western art have become intertwined from the turn of the twentieth century. Before then, many western artists did not recognize African art for their artistic value, but rather as artifacts for archaeological understanding. However, the relationship between western and African cultures evolved tremendously where African art forms influenced many artistic works of modern western artists (Kasfir, 48). The increased incorporation of African artwork in western art justifies the rationale for choosing this topic.

Influence of Africa Art on Western Art

By the turn of the twentieth century, western artists wanted to liberate themselves from basing their work on already established convention of art. Art movements such as expressionism and cubism resulted from this attempt by the western artists. African art had non-representational forms, was abstract and carried aesthetic value. These concepts in African art found great use in the new artistic conventions-expressionism and cubism. Renowned western artists such as Picasso utilized ceremonial masks from Dagon tribe in his famous work, Les Demoiselles d’Avignon (FitzGerald, 102). Henri Matisse’s Fauve masterpiece resulted from his incorporation of African art where he united ceremonial patterns and bold color.

Differences between African and Western Art

The differences between African and western art has given the field of art a new dimension. Western artists produced reflective work on their personal expression using forms and styles or imitated the natural world surrounding them. However, African art used forms and styles that were based on their cultures and beliefs. Most of the African art work had spiritual functions to please the spirits on behalf of the living. For this reason, it had to be beautiful (Abiodun and Rosalind, 22).

Future Relationship between African and Western Art

Influence of African art on western art is very crucial in understanding the current trend in the western art world. The African art is continuously being incorporated in western art works, an indication that African themes might dominate future art works in western art (Murrell, 1). The work of Murrell Denise is more detailed among all the resources used in this paper and is, therefore, more useful than the rest.


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