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Aduma Mask

Gabon

Carved wood and pigments
Early 20th century
Height: 14 in. (35.5 cm)

Ex collection Pierre Fauré (1913-1986), France
By descent

Published:
New Beginnings – Parcours des Mondes 2017


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Price: sold

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The white masks of Gabon had a major influence on modern art, in the image of the famous Fang mask – much admired by Picasso – belonging to Vlaminck: « It’s mind-boggling, its expression disturbing: these are shapes coming from the outdoors, from bright light… It is thus understandable that the way the volumes relate enable them to express light, or what happens when light coincides with one shape or another. » André Derain, 7 March 1906 1.
This type of mask was used during initiation ceremonies among the Aduma and more widely in central Gabon for Mvudi or Bwiti rituals. The dancer wearing the mask would appear at dusk or dawn, emerging from the mountain mists. Women and children were not allowed to see the mask.
This mask was in the private collection of Pierre Fauré (1913-1986), an antiques dealer in Toulouse and expert witness for the courts. A refined, eclectic collector, Fauré assembled his collection of African art – including this mask – around 1950 and held on to it throughout his lifetime.

1 Correspondence with Maurice de Vlaminck after a visit to the ethnographic collections of the British Museum