Democratic Republic of the Congo
Wood, pigment, and raffia fiber
"A Suku artist created this hemba helmet mask to be used during the makunda, or initiation ceremonies for adolescent boys into adulthood. I find these masks striking because of the rendering of the facial features, with slit eyes and exaggerated cheeks and forehead. The somber expression, common among hemba masks, also reminds me that these objects are visual representations of elders who have passed away." -- Rachel Kabukula, Curatorial Assistant of African Art.
Coffee Grinder and Glass
1915 Oil on paperboard
In this jewel-like still life, the letters "Le J" refer to Le Journal—the Paris newspaper that Juan Gris depicted in lavender on the blue top of a black table. The window blinds, coffee grinder, and wine or aperitif glass suggest that the setting may be a Paris café.
The still life was a favored subject for Gris, Pablo Picasso, Georges Braque, and other Cubists. However, their paintings are not at all still! Instead, forms are broken up and overlaid. Tabletops tilt upward, and perspective is reversed. Cubist artists, like their contemporaries in science and mathematics, explored new ideas about time, space, and motion.