Early 20th century
Carved wood and pigments
Height: 114 cm – 44 ¾ in.
Ex collection Guy Montbarbon, Paris
Ex collection Wolfgang Lauber, Germany
Ex Christie’s Paris, 23 juin 2015, lot 21
Ex collection Elliott & Amy Lawrence, New York,
acquired at the above auction
Published & exhibited
“Die expressive Geste, Deutsche Expressionisten und afrikanische Kunst” , Städtische Galerie Neues Schloss und Bibelgalerie, Meersburg am Bodensee, Peter Stepan and Wolfgang Lauber, Ostfildern, June 7th September 2007, fig. 11
The Mumuye used sculptures called Iagalagana in different rituals: the figures played a central role in ancestor worship and in curing ceremonies. They served as intercessors between the spirit world and that of men, and served as proof of the high status of the family that owned them.
This large figure is characterized by its remarkable dynamism, reinforced by the angular breaks in the rhythm of the piece that are so characteristic of Mumuye art.
The arms echo the movement of the torso and the facial features are intensely expressive. The composition of the figure illustrate how Mumuye statuary constantly reinvents its treatment of the human body. Great dynamism and fascinating juxtaposition of negative and positive space are evidenced in this Mumuye sculpture.