What is African art? What makes art 'African'? Peoples, cultures and nations have always exchanged goods, ideas and artworks: 15th century West African artworks clearly show motifs introduced by Portuguese explorers, while modern artists such as Pablo Picasso and Henri Matisse found inspiration in African art. Especially now, in our current age of globalization, which has allowed the sharing of information to take place at an unprecedented speed and scale, cross-cultural exchange is the rule, rather than the exception. This raises the question: does it still make sense to classify works by geography? Did it ever? Laura De Becker, UMMA's Helmut and Candis Stern Associate Curator of African art, will speak to these themes while focusing in detail on some of the works in Beyond Borders: Global Africa.
In Conversation: 'African' Art in the Age of Globalization: Cosmopolitanism and Cultural Hybridity
Lead support for Beyond Borders: Global Africa is provided by the University of Michigan Office of the Provost, Michigan Medicine, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the University of Michigan Office of Research, African Studies Center, and Department of Afroamerican and African Studies. Additional generous support is provided by the University of Michigan CEW+ Frances and Sydney Lewis Visiting Leaders Fund and Susan Ullrich.