African Art: From Traditional to Contemporary Forms

Jacques Barie

Introduction

The term African art refers to the art and artistic heritage of Africa. It includes a range of traditional and contemporary styles, both formal and informal, from all areas of the continent. Many artists from outside Africa have adopted an African aesthetic which has helped shape their work into what it is today. The earliest known examples of this style are found in Nok Culture (500 BC – AD 300) with terracotta figures displaying stylized forms with elongated bodies, angular faces and large eyes

African art is a broad term which encompasses all forms of visual arts, applied arts and design produced by people with ancestry from the continent of Africa.

African art is a broad term which encompasses all forms of visual arts, applied arts and design produced by people with ancestry from the continent of Africa. African art can be classified into separate categories including historical or traditional African art; contemporary African art; and diasporic African Art (art created by people who were born in Africa but live in countries other than their country of birth).

African art is not limited to the art of the African continent, but includes the work of artists from African diasporic communities worldwide.

Art historians describe African art as a vast and rich collection of many different styles and traditions with great diversity in materials used, techniques employed and visual expression.

African art is a broad term which encompasses all forms of visual arts, applied arts and design produced by people with ancestry from the continent of Africa. African art has been an integral part of human history for millennia, with central African cultures producing great works like the Nok terracotta sculptures, Egyptian hieroglyphics and Ethiopian illuminated manuscripts. Today it includes the work of artists from African diasporic communities worldwide.

The term “African art” is sometimes used in reference to works from Western Africa

The term “African art” is sometimes used in reference to works from Western Africa, Central Africa and Southern Africa, although these terms are often used for particular styles or traditions within these regions. The term can also apply to modern or contemporary visual arts produced by people with African ancestry living in other parts of the world.

In its most general sense, African art refers to the visual culture of people who live on the continent today (and their descendants), including both ethnic Africans and those who identify as diasporic Africans. This would include both traditional sculpture and painting; textiles such as cloth or clothing; beadwork; masks; jewelry and other personal ornaments worn by individuals; architecture that serves a functional purpose such as housing structures made from mud bricks rather than wood frames which allows them to be more resistant against termites; furniture made out of wood instead metal supports because trees provide shade during hot days but give way easily when it rains so there’s no need for extra reinforcement during storms etcetera..

The first authentic African style can be traced back to Nok Culture.

The first authentic African style can be traced back to Nok Culture. This style has been traced to the settlements on the Jos Plateau at the heart of Nigeria’s Yoruba region where archeologists have unearthed more than a thousand terracotta figurines and decorated pots that date as far back as 500 BC, showing that this area was inhabited by people with a strong artistic tradition who created their own distinct style by combining influences from different regions of West Africa.

Nok culture is named after one particular site called Nok where these sculptures were found in abundance. It’s believed that they represent ancestors who were worshipped as gods by their descendants because they had magical powers and could control rain or drought (depending on whether they were happy with their offerings).

Another early example is the San

Another early example is the San (Bushmen) rock paintings found throughout Botswana dating between 1000-2000 years old which show scenes of hunting and dancing under the stars alongside paintings depicting giraffes, which were never native to this area but were traded through neighboring tribes before being adopted by San artists as part of their repertoire.

In addition to these early examples, there are also many contemporary examples of African art from across the continent that can be found in museums around the world.

Conclusion

African art is a rich and diverse collection of many different styles and traditions with great diversity in materials used, techniques employed and visual expression. It has been shaped by the environment as well as by the cultures of its people who have lived on this continent for thousands of years. The earliest known examples come from Nok Culture which dates back to 500 BC where archeologists have unearthed more than a thousand terracotta figurines and decorated pots that show early evidence for an artistic tradition in Nigeria’s Yoruba region which later developed into what we now call “African” style today. Another example is found among San (Bushmen) rock paintings found throughout Botswana dating between 1000-2000 years old which show scenes of hunting and dancing under the stars alongside paintings depicting giraffes which were never native to this area but were traded through neighboring tribes before being adopted by San artists as part of their repertoire when they moved southwards towards Botswana from Angola where they originated around 5000 years ago

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1000 Faces of African Arts

Introduction Each country in Africa is different, with its own rich history and diverse culture. And each country has a unique way of expressing the world around us through art. Take a look at some of the many faces of African arts! Ghana Ghana is a country in West Africa, […]
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