Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Donald Ellis Gallery, Surallism and native America Art, exhibition 9/8-13

Mask, Yup'ik
Kuskokwim River, Alaska, ca. 1880
wood, pigments, vegetal fibers, 11 ¼" w
ex collection: Enrico Donati

While the relationship between Cubism and African art is firmly established, very little is known about the influence Alaskan art had on the Surrealists. 

Over the past century many leading Surrealists appropriated, collected and exhibited Native North American art, particularly the masks of Yup'ik speaking peoples. 
André Breton, Enrico Donati, Robert Lebel, and Roberto Matta all owned Yup'ik masks. Their infatuation with these highly expressive works of art began during their exile in New York in the 1940's and continued throughout the history of the movement.
More than a dozen Yup'ik masks from the 19th or early 20th century will be featured among the extraordinary museum quality objects Donald Ellis Gallery will exhibit at this year's Parcours des Mondes (Sept. 8 - 13). They will include two masks that were once owned by Donati, and one owned by Lebel (in 2011, Donald Ellis Gallery sold two masks in 2011 from the estate of Donati in excess of US$5 million).
Published to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the gallery, Art of the Arctic: Reflections of the Unseen, Masks and Ivories from the Bering Sea (Pub date: Sept. 2015) features essays by leading Surrealist scholars Dawn Ades, Colin Browne and Marie Mauze along with Bill Wolf and Donald Ellis. The catalogue illustrates 49 extraordinary Yup'ik masks the gallery has handled during its history, along with the Wolf Collection of ancient ivories from the Bering Sea, a recent acquisition that will also be on exhibit at Parcours.
Attached below is a link for further info re: the gallery's offerings at Parcours.


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