African Sculpture Speaks

October 30, 2020
African Sculpture Speaks

PABLO PICASSO: “…when the form is realized, it is there to liveits own life.”HENRY MOORE: “The sculpture which moves me most is full-bloodedand self-supporting, fully in the round; giving out something of anenergy and power of great mountains, it has a life of its ownindependent of the object it represents.”African Art Speaks, the first full appraisal of African artpublished in the United States, describes and illustrates thesculpted works of more than 150 West African tribes.Ladislas Segy approaches African art from several different butinterrelated perspectives, considering the sculptures first asproducts of a distinct African culture, then as high-quality worksof art. Seeking to bring the African carver’s work within the scopeof the Western observer, Segy stresses the need for appraisingAfrican art within in its own context, suspending establishedprocedures for art appreciation and viewing the object as itactually is, not as we think it is or should be.Bringing to bear the disciplines of aesthetics, anthropology,psychology, and phenomenology, Segy shows how the deep-seatedmagico-religious beliefs of the tribal carver creates such powerfulemotional tension in his work that the viewer can recapture thisemotion and identify it as part of his own experience.This present edition is the Third Printing, originally publishedin 1961, and provides a systematic Style Guide, analyzing thecharacteristic features of the different styles of tribalsculpture. A special chapter for the collector tells how to buy andcare for African art. Segy also discusses the styles of the mainsculpture-producing tribes in East and South Africa. Included aremaps, a bibliography and a list of illustrations.“While much has been written about African sculpture withinrecent years, Mr. Segy’s book is undoubtedly among the finestpublished in this country.”—The San Francisco Chronicle