February focus…..’Modernism in Tribal Forms’.

By admin | February, 7, 2013 | 0 comments


Many items made for everyday use in Africa have a very close connection to modernism in their appearance. Of course there was no real connection between the two,one was made many years ago for a purely function tribal purpose,its form and decoration inspired by their own traditional roots.The other,our western modern world can only admire and wonder at the great artistic merits of these pieces.

It has been stated many times how many of the great modern artists of the early 20th century got their inspiration from ‘tribal art’.This was more in the figurative and mask form.What wasn’t appreciated  then was the functional ‘art’ – household objects,cooking spoons,furniture,pots,shields etc …many of these items have now inspired modern present day designers because of their form, practicability and simplicity.

Interior designers have learnt to mix modern interiors with tribal forms.The two go hand – in – hand,the hard edges of modern interiors are softened and given sole and personality when mixed with tribal forms.

Take a look at some of the pieces below that were purely made for traditional use yet are so modern in appearance.

Above.A early 20th cent. traditional table from East Africa with a striking Zulu pot on top. 

Above. Modern interiors with tribal stools.From this months ‘House and Garden’ magazine.


Above. A group of fine and early wedding sticks from the Afar culture.Somalia and Ethiopia


Above. A Ethiopian throne 19th century with a very modernist shape.

Above.A early blacksmiths pliers from West Africa with wonderful form.

Above. A early 20th century Ethiopian chair with great form and shape.

Above. A well formed stool from Ghana

Above.A chieftains hat from the Congo.Early 20th cent.


Above.Gallery interior.A group of metal and wooden shields with two wooden East African headrests.


Tribal Gathering London

1 Westbourne Grove Mews,London W112RU

Tel – + 44 7939166148   020 72216650


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