Originally Posted by anne (bxl)
...For those who wants to know more about primitive/tribal art influences over modern art (not only Picasso!!!) I recommend another wonderful book (the bible in this matter) from William Rubin edited in collaboration with MOMA in 1984. Approximate title is tribal influences in the art of the 20°century (en français : le primitivisme dans l'art du 20° siècle- ed. flammarion)
Excellent recommendation, Anne! "Primitivism" in 20th Century Art is a 2 volume catalogue of a fabulous exhibit. At a time when I was doing paintings, not sculpture, I drove 250 miles to see this exhibit and then 250 miles home the same day and subsequently relived the exhibit in the catalogue. The cover of Volume 1 shows a detail of Picasso's painting "Girl before a Mirror", 1932, next to a painted wood Kwakiutl mask from British Columbia. Volume 2 has on the cover a Tusyan mask from the Upper Volta made of wood, fiber and seeds next to Max Ernst's Bird-Head 1934-35, which is bronze. The exhibit caused quite a stir in part because it paired many works by contemporary artists with works by supposedly "primitive" (translation: anonymous, in many cases because the works were "collected" without documenting the maker) artists. Notice that the word "Primitive" in the titled is in quotation marks? Those punctuation marks challeged previously held notions about that word. The sculptures exhibited side by side were in some cases documented to show that the contemporary or Western artist was familiar with the supposedly "primitive" work and thought enough of it to incorporate some of its ideas in his own work. In other cases it is thought that the artworks being paired were the result of the contemporary artist and the "primitive" one arriving at remarkably similar visual solutions without knowing of the existence of the other.
I can't get the attachments to upload, so I'll post them in a few minutes.