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20th C. Nigerian Aluminum Standing Wildebeest

$1,495.00
Africa, Nigeria, ca. mid 20th century CE. A lively sculpture of a standing wildebeest, created from aluminum sheets gathered from crashed aircraft that have been pierced for texture and skillfully modeled to represent this animal. Additional features including curved horns, floppy ears, ovoid copper eyes, a pointed copper tongue, and a long tail have been added and make for wonderful character. Wildebeests, also known as gnus are a form of Bovidae, and they are the most abundant large game species found in East Africa. Interestingly, the black wildebeest is depicted on the coat of arms of the South African province of Natal. Breathing new life into cast off materials is a practice of several well-known contemporary African artists, the most famous being internationally recognized Ghanaian artist El Anatsui who is beloved for his colossal yet elegant sculptures comprised of thousands of pieces of metal, bottle caps, and/or other recycled materials. Size: 16.25" L x 13.5" H (41.3 cm x 34.3 cm)

Other African artists who take this approach include Mbongeni Butthelezi of South Africa who has created magnificent figural works using discarded plastic and a glue gun, the Cameroonian artist Pascale Marthine Tayou who has used colorful plastic bags to create enormous pieces that prompt discussions about global consumption and identity, Patrick Mulondo of Uganda who uses scrap metal to create sculpture, the East African artist Elias Sime who creates collages and sculptures from buttons, thread, plastic, fabric, and bottle caps, and Sadika Keskes of Tunisia who uses recycled glass for her pieces which are devoted to a revival of blown glass, a long forgotten artform that originated during the 14th century in Tunisia.

Condition: Only minor wear, generally excellent.

Provenance: private Omer Claiborne collection, Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA, acquired over the last 40 years

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