Facts about African Art

Facts about African Art


June 19, 2018

Facts about African Art

Here are 10 interesting facts about handmade African art that will help you further understand the general traditions behind much of African art:

  1. The earliest art ever found was discovered in Africa. The art is two tiny piece of engraved ochre that is an estimated 77,000 years old.

  2. The abstract styles of traditional African artists influenced many famous modern European artists, including Picasso.

  3. Due to the fact little archaeological excavations has been performed and the fact much of African art was made of natural materials, a lot of African art still remains lost or destroyed.

  4. Traditionally, scholars only used “African art” to describe the Art of “Black Africa” in Sub-Sahara African, excluding the people of the Mediterranean, North African, Ethiopians and Egyptians. Currently there is a movement to include all of African in the description of African art.

  5. Artists in African generally preferred the medium of sculpture or masks over two-dimensional types of art.

  6. Most African art has multiple meaning and uses, so when you look at African art understand that it more than likely has a complex back story.

  7. Contemporary Western trained African artists are combining traditional African styles with Western art ideals to create whole new genres of art. For example, when we look at the Distorted Head, we see a very Westernized abstract painting, but it definitely is influenced by African sculptures such as the Nigerian Bronze Head of Queen.

  8. The relatively recent introduction of Islam and Christianity has impacted the styles of some African art.

  9. Some African societies knew how to cast metal sculptures like the Benin Bronze Soldier as early as the 10th

  10. Africa is the largest and most diverse continent in the world, so there is not just one style of African art

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