29 JANUARY – 5 FEBRUARY 2023

BRUSSELS EXPO | HEYSEL

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IMAGE DETAILS


Dalton Somaré

Mask, Mukudj
Punu, Gabon, late 19th-early 20th century
Wood, pigments, kaolin
H 30 cm
Provenance: collected in the late 1940s by Marcel Bessy (French magistrate stationed Gabon and Congo between 1947-1958); private collection, Paris

The mysterious, mild but severe gaze of this ancient white Punu mask lets easily understand why the artists of the 20th century avant-guarde looked at them as a source of inspiration and loved to have them hanging on the walls of their studios.

Recognized among the aristocracy of African Art and regarded as one of its icons, the white Punu masks really express a totally new ideal of feminine beauty which deeply influenced the Déco aesthetic and it is still absolutely contemporary.