Art history interview: African Art’s influence on 20th century painting and sculpture

Interview of Dany Philippe-Devaux of the “Musée de Grenoble”


In this interview, Mme Philippe-Devaux talks about the first apparitions of African Art in Europe. The items were brought by colonists and adventurers and considered to be representative of the “beginnings of art” produced by “primitive” cultures. This view changed slowly as artists and collectors learned more about the art itself. Gauguin was the first major artist to try seize the essence of local art in the Pacific and use it in his work. The real turning point occurred in 1906: Picasso and Matisse were among those who attended the Gauguin retrospective exhibition in Paris that year. And the next year saw the opening of an exposition of African art at the Trocadéro Museum.

The Musée du Quai Branly had an exposition about Picasso and “primitive art” in 2017. On this page, you can read about it and see a video.

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