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Kulango figurines. The Pierluigi Peroni Collection

Art africain - Publisher 5 Continents - Ouvrage relié - 256 pages - Text in Bilingue Français / English - Published in 2017

Les figurines des Kulango is designed to introduce various miniature works created by the Kulango in northeastern Côte d’Ivoire, who were formerly vassals of the two kingdoms that inhabited the country (Bouna and Gyaman). Their extraordinarily varied art, which can be both intriguing and disconcerting, is relatively unknown.

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in this language
Model 9788874397846
Artist Art africain
Author Alain-Michel Boyer
Publisher 5 Continents
Format Ouvrage relié
Number of pages 256
Language Bilingue Français / English
Dimensions 230 x 230
Technique(s) 180 illustrations en couleurs
Published 2017

Their metal sculptures in particular display a strikingly free expressiveness, breaking as they do with the iconographic codes that govern their works in wood. Doing away with immobile remoteness, bodies seem to reinvent movement, sometimes adopting almost choreographic gestures, an airy grace, sinuous lines. Or, in trembling tension, some display unexpected twists and provocative curves, while others stretch out impossibly or offer a chance for virtuoso foreshortening and stylised bodies. Still others are even stranger, like Siamese twins, inseparable triplets, headless figures or figures with one head on two torsos, with one leg or four, webbed feet, outsize arms and hooped bodies. Who are these enigmatic beings whose bulging eyes peer at the invisible? Is the sculpture confined to just these specimens? The range of styles is simply astonishing, the forms beyond imagination.

The collection includes over 100 figurines, none of which is over 10 cm tall: pendants, amulets, fortune tellers’ statuettes or weights for gold. Introduced into our world through the metamorphosis of photography, transfigured by lighting and framing effects, these resurrected works have been revitalised, like apparitions from another world.

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