Art: Legacies of the Dance

Motion? It is not the first word to come to mind when one looks at the ritual masks, figures and fetishes in the show called "African Art in Motion" now on display in Washington, D.C. Locked in the National Gallery's glass cases, chastely spotlighted, such objects are seen by the Western eye as immobile, like any other sculpture.

In a symbolic sense they have been frozen still more by Western art history, which has tended to interest itself in African art only to the extent that it was cannibalized by Picasso, Braque, Brancusi and other...

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