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DAVID MALÍK

David Malík is an African art researcher, adviser and collector whose primary interest lies in the field of contemporary African art as well as in the long standing art traditions of Western and Central Africa.

David currently works as a Senior Teaching Fellow at the Department of the History of Art and Archaeology at School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London, lecturing on the Art History of Africa.

David Malík can offer an expertise in the valuation of a single artefact or entire collection, guidance with sales, or advice in buying objects from private collectors, dealers, galleries, or auction houses, and can further assist clients in developing overall strategies for their collections.

CONTACT

+44 7864133452

david@davidmalikarts.com

www.davidmalikarts.com

Instagram: david_malik_african_art

Dan / Kono mask

Dan / Kono

Liberia / Guinea

Late 19th - Early 20th C.

23 cm

Wood, animal fur, metal

  

Provenance:

- Dr. Alexander S. Honig, New York, USA (till 1993)
- The Newark Museum, Newark, New Jersey, USA (accession number: X94.7)

- Private collection, USA

 

Published:

- Sotheby's, New York, "The Alexander S. Honig Collection of African Art",

  18 May 1993. Lot 66

Baule 'Goli Glin' mask

Baule

Ivory Coast

Wood, paint

20th Century

64 cm

 

Provenance:

- Private collection, London, United Kingdom

This carved wood mask does not represent a single, identifiable animal. It is composed of elements from different animals and represents a "bush spirit," emphasizing that it has no counterpart on earth. It is a thing of the "bush" – and things of the bush are male and ungovernable. The mask bears some of the classic details of a bovine head, horns extending from the back and an open jaw with a prominent tongue and teeth.

This mask constitutes the second in a series of four masks still performed as entertainment by the Baule peoples of central Côte d’Ivoire. The dance series is known as Goli, and this mask as Goli Glin. The mask is worn with an ample costume of woven green palm fronds that emphasizes the association with wild nature. There is no possible way that this costume could be preserved: Baule men always make them just before they are used, and this seems to be part of the meaning of the performance.
During the performance, this mask is one of a pair of identical masks that emerge from the forest together, where bush spirits abide, to enter the village. The long horns, open jaws and teeth are supposed to inspire fear. While women and children are allowed to see these masks they avoid getting too close to them. In contrast, when Kpan, the fourth mask in the series, and the senior female mask, appears in the form of a beautiful female face, women surround it and dance with it.

Bush Cow mask


Glasslands
Cameroon
63.5 cm
Wood

Provenance:

- Harry A. Franklin (1904-1983), Los Angeles, USA


- Valerie Franklin, Beverly Hills, California, USA


Publication:
- Northern, T., "Expressions of Cameroon Art, The Franklin Collection", Los Angeles, 1986: #56

Exhibition:
"Expressions of Cameroon Art, The Franklin Collection", 1986-1989:
- Los Angeles, CA: Los Angeles County Museum of Natural History, 1 February-15 November, 1986
- Baltimore, MD: The Baltimore Museum of Art, 1 June-6 September 1987
- Hanover, NH: Hood Museum of Art, 5 October 1987-3 January 1988
- Dayton, IH: Dayton Art Institute, 6 June-4 September 1988
- Flint, MI: Flint Institute of Arts, 3 October 1988-8 January 1989
- Palo Alto, CA: Palo Alto Cultural Center, 7 October-31 December, 1989

Auction:
- Sotheby’s, New York, 21 April 1990. Lot 146

 

The Cameroon grassfield kingdoms were organised under a king (fon) and a group of titled nobles, essentially as a hereditary aristocracy. The display and ownership of masks were important indicators of lineage, privilege and prestige. Masks carried symbolically potent imagery, whether transmitted through zoomorphic and anthropomorphic forms or through adornment with costly and prestigious materials such as beads, cowrie shells, or brass. The bush cow (short horn buffalo) represents cunning, bravery and exceptional physical strength.

Bamana 'Suruku' mask

Bamana

Mali

Wood

Late 19th - Early 20th C.

37cm

Provenance:

- Thomas McNemar (1931-2020) Collection, Lexington, Virginia,  USA
- Estate of Thomas McNemar

Within the Bamana communities, there are several initiatory societies of great importance. They teach understanding of everything about the nature and destiny of the human being. The Kore initiation insures the development of male identity. Where Kore exists, every male has to be symbolically killed at the Kore, or else be considered as belonging to the world of the women and the non-circumcised boys.

Guro heddle pulley

Guro

Ivory Coast

Wood

Early 20th C.

37cm

Provenance:

- Private collection, Paris, France

Baule peoples and their neighbors to the West, the Guro, are famous as weavers, and are known for their fine indigo-and-white cotton fabrics. Used on the narrow-band loom, heddle pulleys are functional objects used to ease the movements of the heddles while separating the warp threads and allowing the shuttle to seamlessly pass through the layers of thread. Like many other carved objects used in everyday activities among the Baule, these pulleys were often embellished for the weaver’s delight. Scholars have suggested that the prominent display of pulleys, hanging over the weaver’s loom in the public place, afforded artists their best opportunity to showcase their carving skills, in the hope to attract commissions for figures and masks. This figurative pulley with carved a head demonstrates the efforts put by a Guro artist into beautifying the this functional object.

Senufo heddle pulley 'kwora-ti-kotolo'

Senufo

Burkina Faso / Ivory Coast

Wood

Late 19th - Early 20th C.

19.5 cm

Provenance:

- Private collection, United Kingdom

Heddle pulleys are used on narrow-band loom to ease the movements of the heddles while separating the warp threads and allowing the shuttle to seamlessly pass through the layers of thread. Like many heddle pulleys made by Senufo carvers, this functional object was embellished with delicate ornamentation in order to delight the weaver using it.

Epa Janus helmet mask

Yoruba

Nigeria, Ekiti region

Wood, pigment

Early - Mid 20th C.

54 cm

Provenance:

- Private collection, United Kingdom

  (collected in the 1950s - 60s)

Epa is an ancient category of ancestral commemoration masks that are performed by members of age-grade societies (in which individuals pass through certain stages at specific ages in life) during feasts marking the annual agricultural cycle, or presented during the post-burial rites for titled men

Bamana 'Kore society' mask

Bamana

Mali

Wood

Early 20th C.

44 cm

Provenance:

- Private collection, London, United Kingdom

Within the Bamana communities, there are several initiatory societies of great importance. They teach understanding of everything about the nature and destiny of the human being. The Koré society can be perhaps considered as the ultimate one. The Kore initiation insures the development of male identity. Where Kore exists, every male has to be symbolically killed at the Kore, or else be considered as belonging to the world of the women and the non-circumcised boys.

 

Ngbaka mask

Ngbaka

D. R. Congo

Wood, encrusted patina

Early 20th C.

31 cm

 

Provenance:

- Collection Pierre Dartevelle, Brussels, Belgium

- Private collection, Belgium

- Ciprian Ilie, London, United Kingdom

Dark, encrusted patina, reminiscent of libations and dried organic matter

Although little information exists concerning the masking traditions of the many communities of the Ubangi region in the northern part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, masks were likely used during the activities which surrounded young men initiations and circumcisions. Masks from the region can be identified by their characteristics scarification marks: rows of bumps or incisions running across the forehead and down the bridge of the nose, sometimes extending to the chin.

Songye / Luba  'Kifwebe' mask

Songye / Luba

D.R. Congo

Wood, pigment

Early 20th C.

38 cm

 

Provenance:

- Collection of Mauricio and Emilia Lasansky, Iowa City, USA

- Howard S. Rose Gallery, Arte Primitivo, New York, USA

Striated face masks known as kifwebe was historically created by sculptors in an area of the Zaire River Basin inhabited by both Songye and Luba communities. Significant departures in the role and formal interpretation of this sculptural genre subsequently developed in each culture. In both instances, Kifwebe masks participated in initiations and played a role in establishing order in society. In performance, this mask was complemented by a costume ensemble comprising woven textiles, animal pelts, and plant fibers, which covered the dancer’s body.

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