Moon Masque

Artist: Lois Mailou Jones
Medium: collage and oil on canvas
Date: c. 1971

Moon Masque (1971) includes a Kwela mask from Zaire framed by textile patterns that divide the canvas in three horizontal bands, an arrangement that also reflects West African woven strip cloths. Black, ochre and red organize the canvas in series of complex rhythms. The Haitian style, which retains a narrative sense and a realistic treatment of the figures is furthered into bolder abstraction. The narrative is gone and replaced by the juxtaposition of symbolic motifs, underlying the variety of African cultures as well as their proximity and unity, all elements of the pan-African discourse.

excerpt by Dr. Catherine Bernard (2002 Anyone Can Fly Foundation Professional Scholars Grant recipient)

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