This exhibition highlights the impressive collection of Lega art constituted by the physicist Jay T. Last and generously donated by him to the Fowler Museum at UCLA. The abstract volumes and simplified forms of this artistic tradition, one of the most significant of central Africa, are striking in their inventiveness and elegance.
About the exhibition
'Let me explain to him the murmured teachings.' – Lega proverb
Art plays a fundamental role for the Lega of the Democratic Republic of Congo, as a symbol of success, an educational tool and in the commemoration of the dead. These works are an integral part of the Bwami initiatory society and are used to teach morals and ethics. Associated with language (proverbs) and bodily expression (mime and dance), the works of art compose visual phrases: the ideas that they convey express the values and ideals of the Lega society.
Lega artists create singular and astonishingly innovative forms while complying with strictly defined aesthetic codes. In order to emphasise this artistic diversity, the exhibition presents a great variety of works in a wide range of styles: headdresses in pangolin skin or ornamented with shells, leopard tooth necklaces, ivory spoons, cowrie shell belts, masks and figures sculpted in wood or ivory.
The exhibition presents these objects as works of art; only a few are presented in their original context. Proverbs accompany these works to demonstrate the powerful link between the visual and the verbal in Lega art: objects and words take on meaning by means of a symbolic language. Like many African peoples, the Lega associate beauty with moral virtue, which enables the Mwami – the members of the Bwami society – to teach moral, social and political values on the basis of exceptional works of art.
- Categorie : Exhibitions
- Elisabeth L. Cameron, Associate Professor, History of Art and Visual Culture
- Gassia Armenian, Curatorial and Research Assistant at the Fowler Museum at UCLA
- Place: Mezzanine est
From Wednesday 13 November 2013 at Sunday 26 January 2014
Closed on mondayTuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday: 10:30 am-07:00 pmThursday: 10:30 am-10:00 pm
- Public: All publics
Permanent CollectionsFull price: 10,00 €Reduce rate: 7,00 €
Twin ticketFull price: 12,00 €Reduce rate: 9,00 €
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