221209 - Book - Kulango Figurines - Ivory Coast


Kulango Figurines - Wild and Mysterious Spirit from the Pierluigi Peroni Collection
255 pages
Hard cover
23,50 x 23,50 cm
1,415 kg
Language : English & French

Kulango Figurines 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. 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 stylized 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 10cm 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 revitalized, like apparitions from another world.