ART on view 68 and the Master of the Spade-Shaped Hands (figs. 15 and 16). As Fischer emphasizes in his introduction to the catalog for the exhibition, the conditions in which wooden sculptures were produced underwent profound changes early on in various areas of Côte d’Ivoire. By colonial times, the best-known Senufo workshops were producing mainly for tourists and for the rapidly expanding international art market. Despite this fact, remarkably talented artists were still active in many of the major workshops, as we were able to observe firsthand in our travels through the Guro region in 1984. The sculptors we encountered often lived in surprisingly isolated areas and produced copies of masks of every imaginable style—Guro, Dan, Yaure, and Baule—for a dealer in the town of Zuenoula. There were even Guro workshops specializing in the creation of Gabonese-style works. Obviously this process lacked invention and personality and resulted in soulless masks made in an assembly-line fashion, as utilitarian objects might be. But simultaneously, other workshops—and this remains the case today—were creating works for a local clientele, celebrated dancers seriously involved in their high art form. They used traditional musical accompaniment and required new masks for their performances. One such sculptor is Sabu bi Boti, whose vivid and highly colored masks have earned him a reputation that reaches well beyond the area of his native Tibeita village (figs. 8 and 9). FIG. 13 (upper left): Male figure, thílbuù, Périgban region, Burkina Faso. C. 1920. Attributed to the Master of the Ancient Lobi-Thinkiero style. Museum Rietberg, Zurich. Acquired before 1981 from Craft Caravan Gallery. Photo: Rainer Wolfsberger, © Museum Rietberg, Zurich. FIG. 14 (lower left): Male figure. Southern Gongombili region, Burkina Faso. C. 1930. Attributed to the Poyo Master. Private collection. FIG. 15 (center left): Figural staff. Central Senufo region, Côte d’Ivoire. Attributed to the Master of the Spade-Shaped Hands. Current location unknown. Photo: K.-F. Schädler, Munich. FIG. 16 (left): Female figure, tugubele. Central Senufo region, Côte d’Ivoire. C. 1920. Attributed to the Master of the Spade-Shaped Hands. Museum Rietberg, Zurich. Collected by Maurice Nicaud before 1960. Photo: Rainer Wolfsberger, © Museum Rietberg, Zurich.
To see the actual publication please follow the link above