Tribal art on New York’s 5th and Madison Avenues
Nature abhors a vacuum, and so does the art market. The demise of the Caskey Lees tribal art fair in New York three years of ago ushered in a series of other events to promote tribal art in the US market. There are two main events this year, MATA (Madison Ancient and Tribal Art) and AOA (African Oceania Americas Tribal Art Fair New York).
The only textile art dealer at either event is New York’s own Gail Martin who will be at AOA at the Fletcher-Sinclair Mansion at 2 East 79th Street from 9-14 May. She will show pre-Columbian textiles and African textiles, two areas in which she is well-known as a specialist, along with 9 other dealers, who decorate the mansion with the artworks rather than build formal stands in its rooms.
Not far away at 1016 Madison Avenue in Arader Gallery will be another group of 10 dealers, who include a number of dealers with a special interest in textiles such as Tom Murray, Joe Loux, Leonard Kalina as well as some of the leading tribal art specialists such as Kevin Conru, 10-16 May.
Nazca tunic, 200-600 AD. Camelid wool; interlocking tapestry weave; weft fringe; one loom width (warps are seen horizontally as tunic is shown); 12 ¾” X 25 ½”. Overall motif of black and white zigzags on red ground and red hexagonals on brown ground; limited use of colors adds to the boldness of the pattering. Gail Martin at AOA New York
Woman’s tunic, Kounsho Chin people, Chin State, Burma, early 20th century. Homespun cotton and silk with countered weft twining at the throat, 44″ (w) x 37″ (h). Joe Loux at MATA New York
Man’s robe, Ainu people, Hokkaido, Japan, 19th century. Attush (inner bark from an elm tree) with cotton applique and embroidery, 51″ (w) x 49″ (h). Joe Loux at MATA New York
Ceremonial tunic, Peru, Nazca (200-600 AD). Natural undyed feathers applied to balanced plain weave camelid wool, 82 ½” x 50 ¼”. Gail Martin at AOA New York
Mantle, Peru, Chancay culture (1100 – 1400 AD). Camelid wool, two different techniques of supplementary warp floats, 59 ½” x 64”. Gail Martin at AOA New York
Yoruba crown, Nigeria, 20th century. Cotton velvet with cotton and gold metallic thread embroidery, 10” x 8”. Gail Martin at AOA New York
Iraqwa skirt, north Tanzania, early 20th century. Glass beads on leather; 31” x60”. These types of skirts were made by Iraqwa girls as part of their ‘marmo’. (seclusion) initiation ritual. This ritual was abolished by the colonial appointed chief in the 1930’s. Gail Martin at AOA New York
Luba Kifwebe Mask, D. R. Congo, circa 1920. Kevin Conru at MATA New York
Mother with Child, Sakalava people, Vezo clan, Madagascar, 19th/early 20th century, wood, 22 in/56 cm. Thomas Murray at MATA New York
Shield, Bagobo people, Mindanao, Philippines, 19th/very early 20th century. Wood, inlay, pigment, 42in/107cm high. Thomas Murray at MATA New York
Warrior’s Shield, Wola, Mbugbu, Central African Republic, 19th/very early 20th Century . Wood, wicker, pigment, 51 in/130 cm. Ex-Collection Alex van Opstal (Belgium 1874-1936)