During the 20th century, the society and visual culture of people living along the steep, rocky Bandiagara escarpment in present-day Mali captured the imagination of Europeans and Americans. The Dogon—as they have come to be known through a large corpus of colonial literature, ethnographic fieldwork, exhibitions, films, and tour guides—occupy a prominent position in the West’s history of the African continent. They are internationally celebrated for their dynamic performances of surreal masks, deftly carved figural sculptures, iconic architecture, and rich cosmology.

The exhibition ReCollecting Dogon, presented at the Menil Collection and supported in part by the Cultural Service of the French Embassy in Houston, showcases over 25 examples of artistry from the Bandiagara region acquired by John and Dominique de Menil during the mid-20th century. The sculptures, masks, necklaces, and other works by “unknown” artists not only suggest the significance of art to daily life among Dogon peoples, they evoke formidable legacies of colonialism and the limitations of representing Dogon peoples through objects collected by and for foreigners.

Curated by Paul R. DavisReCollecting Dogon strives to destabilize the authority of ethnographic display by including 1930s ethnographic audio recordings simulated by Marcel Griaule, photographs of artworks taken by Walker Evans (1935) and Mario Carrieri (1976), and other archival works that recall the long history of encounters and transactions shaping current understanding of Dogon peoples. Recently commissioned masks, videos by Sérou Dolo of recent masking events, and contemporary works by artists Amahigueré Dolo and Alaye Kene Atô present vibrant, living visual culture and serve as counterpoints to historical representations of Dogon peoples.

The exhibition features significant loans from the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; the Musée National du Mali in Bamako; the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique-Musée de l’Homme Audio Archives in Paris; The African Center and private collections in New York City; and participating Malian artist Amahigueré Dolo.

Amahigueré Dolo is internationally recognized for creating expressive wood forms and drawings on the crumpled surfaces of repurposed cement paper. Part of the exhibition ReCollecting Dogon, his installation Components of the World (Adouron Bew), 2007, is the first presentation of his work in an American museum. On February 16, Dolo discusses his installation and other work with Curator of Collections Paul R. Davis and art historian Jessica Hurd.

These events are part of the 2017 French Cultures Festival.


February 3 - July 9, 2017 | Menil Collection, 1533 Sul Ross St, Houston, TX 77006
ReCollecting Dogon - Exhibition on view
Read more

February 16, 2017 | 7-8 p.m. | Menil Collection
Of The World: In Conversation With Artist Amahigueré Dolo - Event
Read more

Menil Collection 1533 Sul Ross St, Houston, TX 77006

ReCollecting Dogon

When
Feb. 3 - Jul. 9, 2017
Where
Menil Collection
1533 Sul Ross St, Houston, TX 77006
Amahigueré Dolo

During the 20th century, the society and visual culture of people living along the steep, rocky Bandiagara escarpment in present-day Mali captured the imagination of Europeans and Americans. The Dogon—as they have come to be known through a large corpus of colonial literature, ethnographic fieldwork, exhibitions, films, and tour guides—occupy a prominent position in the West’s history of the African continent. They are internationally celebrated for their dynamic performances of surreal masks, deftly carved figural sculptures, iconic architecture, and rich cosmology.

The exhibition ReCollecting Dogon, presented at the Menil Collection and supported in part by the Cultural Service of the French Embassy in Houston, showcases over 25 examples of artistry from the Bandiagara region acquired by John and Dominique de Menil during the mid-20th century. The sculptures, masks, necklaces, and other works by “unknown” artists not only suggest the significance of art to daily life among Dogon peoples, they evoke formidable legacies of colonialism and the limitations of representing Dogon peoples through objects collected by and for foreigners.

Curated by Paul R. DavisReCollecting Dogon strives to destabilize the authority of ethnographic display by including 1930s ethnographic audio recordings simulated by Marcel Griaule, photographs of artworks taken by Walker Evans (1935) and Mario Carrieri (1976), and other archival works that recall the long history of encounters and transactions shaping current understanding of Dogon peoples. Recently commissioned masks, videos by Sérou Dolo of recent masking events, and contemporary works by artists Amahigueré Dolo and Alaye Kene Atô present vibrant, living visual culture and serve as counterpoints to historical representations of Dogon peoples.

The exhibition features significant loans from the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; the Musée National du Mali in Bamako; the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique-Musée de l’Homme Audio Archives in Paris; The African Center and private collections in New York City; and participating Malian artist Amahigueré Dolo.

Amahigueré Dolo is internationally recognized for creating expressive wood forms and drawings on the crumpled surfaces of repurposed cement paper. Part of the exhibition ReCollecting Dogon, his installation Components of the World (Adouron Bew), 2007, is the first presentation of his work in an American museum. On February 16, Dolo discusses his installation and other work with Curator of Collections Paul R. Davis and art historian Jessica Hurd.

These events are part of the 2017 French Cultures Festival.


February 3 - July 9, 2017 | Menil Collection, 1533 Sul Ross St, Houston, TX 77006
ReCollecting Dogon - Exhibition on view
Read more

February 16, 2017 | 7-8 p.m. | Menil Collection
Of The World: In Conversation With Artist Amahigueré Dolo - Event
Read more

more events
1/3
ONGOING EVENTS
event

Frédéric Bazille and the Birth of Impressionism at the National Gallery of Art

April 9 - July 9, 2017
National Gallery of Art - East Building
4th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20001
event

America Collects Eighteenth-Century French Painting at the National Gallery of Art

May 21 - August 20, 2017
National Gallery of Art - West Building
6th Street and Constitution Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20001
event

Yves Saint-Laurent: The Perfection of Style

May 6 - August 27, 2017
Virginia Museum of Fine Arts
200 N. Boulevard, Richmond, VA 23220
event

Spectacular Gems and Jewelry from the Merriweather Post Collection

June 10, 2017 - January 1, 2018
Hillwood Estate, Museum and Gardens
4155 Linnean Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20008
event

XYZT: Abstract Landscapes by Adrien M & Claire B

June 1, 2017 - September 3, 2017
ARTECHOUSE
1238 Maryland Ave SW, Washington DC 20024
event

Posters and Patriotism: Selling World War I in New York at The Museum of the City of New York

April 5 - September, 2017
Museum of the City of New York
1220 Fifth Avenue, NY10029
event

VIVA ARTE VIVA and French pavilion at the 2017 Venice Biennale

May 13 - November 26, 2017
la Biennale di Venezia
Venice, Italy
event

Compagnie XY on tour in the U.S

June 2 - July 22, 2017
Various Locations
United States
1/3
recomended for you
event

Matisse in the studio at the MFA

April 9th – July 9th, 2017
Ann and Graham Gund Gallery at the MFA
465 Huntington Ave, Boston
event

XYZT: Abstract Landscapes by Adrien M & Claire B

June 1, 2017 - September 3, 2017
ARTECHOUSE
1238 Maryland Ave SW, Washington DC 20024
event

Force of Nature at The Museum at Fashion Institute of Technology

May 30-Nov 18, 2017
The Museum at FIT
227 W 27th St,
New York, NY 10001
event

Innovation: made in France II at Demisch Danant Gallery

May 3-Jul 1, 2017
Demisch Danant Gallery
30 West 12th Street,
New York NY 10011