African Mask Installation

Laurie says:

My friends Tracy Schmidt and Mano Marks have a beautiful collection of African masks. I did an installation of some of them on walls in their apartment last week. I loved handling them and working with them. There is a textural exquisiteness that you can’t appreciate any other way. It was a complex project balancing shapes, colors and shadings and their three dimensional aspects. Vera Sepulveda was a great help in hanging the masks and thinking about the balances.

They purchased some of them individually but the majority came from someone whose aunt had lived in Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) in the 1930’s. Because of the way they acquired them, they don’t have much information about them individually.

Quote is from an excellent article in Wikipedia on traditional African masks:

Ritual and ceremonial masks are an essential feature of the traditional culture and art of the peoples of Sub-Saharan Africa. While the specific implications associated to ritual masks widely vary in different cultures, some traits are common to most African cultures. For instance, masks usually have a spiritual and religious meaning and they are used in ritual dances and social and religious events, and a special status is attributed to the artists that create masks and to those that wear them in ceremonies. In most cases, mask-making is an art that is passed on from father to son, along with the knowledge of the symbolic meanings conveyed by such masks.

Most of the masks in her collection come from the Congo, Zaire or Zimbabwe.


masks full wall_0521

This is the full major wall.


mask a_0535


mask c_0533


mask d_0532


mask f_0530


mask g_0525