Brooks Museum / 1934 Poplar Ave. June 16, 2018 - June 21, 2021

You are not a country, Africa

you are a concept

fashioned in our minds, each to each

- Sierra Leonean poet Abioseh Nicol

“African art” does not adequately describe the creative expression, past and present, of a vast continent. The arts of Africa are as varied as the continent itself, which encompasses over fifty independent countries and thousands of languages. This diversity is reflected in the exceptional works of art on view, most of which are on long-term loan from the Newark Museum’s extensive African art collection. Bringing together historic and contemporary works in a range of different media, the selection of works presents an expansive vision of Africa’s artistry.

Arts of Global Africa seeks to broaden conventional ideas about African art while encouraging dialogue about its constantly evolving definition. In the exhibition, works are presented variously as art of the everyday, portraiture, dress, the spiritual world, performance, power, and the public. Together, they suggest the multiple ways we can appreciate and understand Africa’s arts.

Arts of Global Africa is a long-term installation organized by Christa Clarke, Senior Curator, Arts of Global Africa at the Newark Museum, for the Brooks Museum.

image (detail): El Anatsui (born 1944, Ghana; lives and works in Nsukka, Nigeria), Lace People, 1992, wood, pigment; Newark Museum, Purchase 2004 Membership Endowment Fund 2004.82