African Art Traditions

African Art is one of the most diverse legacies on earth. Some of the earliest art works in the world are found in Africa often in the form of rock paintings and these early works still influence artists to this day. African art is considered complex and largely not “Art” in the Western sense of the word and cannot be viewed as such. Most historians believe “African Art” relates to the tradition of carving and sculpture and usually represents either the figurative or the useable. This can include objects such as stools or headrests or totems and figures for the ceremonial, mythological and for worship. Materials used apart from wood can also include reliefs, ceramics and bronzes.
Many contemporary artists have been profoundly influenced by these early forms and symbols therefore the “African Tradition” continues to be of upmost value.
The historical dimension of African art is represented by the social, political, economic, religious, psychological and aesthetic. Often, carved icons were symbols of power, wealth and fertility but often this is not representational to one person.