Lot: 130

Rare mask

Liberia, Kru/Grebo

Provenance Size Hammer price
Harrie Heinemans, Eindhoven, The Netherlands
Gerhard de Vos, Dormagen, Germany
Hans Reinmöller, Ratingen, Germany (1995)
H: 12 inch 4400 EUR

wood, matt patina, remains of polychrome paint, eyes with mirror glass, min. dam., cracks, small missing parts, slight traces of abrasion, base. The abstract forms, especially the eyes in form of protruding cylinders inspired famous artists like f. e. Picasso. The Grebo, who belong to the larger Kru ethnic group, live in south-eastern Liberia on the border with the Ivory Coast. The principle function of these masks was in the exercising of control, principally over an enemy, during wars between groups. There are still a few in existence, where today they are used only in festivals.

Rubin, William (Hg.), Primitivismus in der Kunst des zwanzigsten Jahrhunderts, München 1984, p. 313, ill. 417 Boyer, Alain-Michel, Classic Art of The Ivory Coast, Paris 2017, p. 75