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African Sculptures & Statues

African sculptures and statues remain as popular as ever before, appreciated by collectors for their contribution to modern art, most notably fauvism, expressionism, and cubism, as well as their enchanting aesthetic. Their artistic sensibilities and portrayal of the human body put forward by African sculptures and statues offered a radically divergent aesthetic from those that existed in Western art.

Instead of striving for realism or the perfection of human proportions as European art had since the time of Ancient Greece, African statues distorted and exaggerated aspects of the human body. This resulted in African carved wooden figures that looked otherworldly and at times were frightening portrayals. While such depictions of the human figure were viewed as naïve, crude, or aesthetically offensive by some, they were celebrated by others, such as Pablo Picasso, who was greatly inspired by these mystical forms.

The influence of African sculpture and African statue is easily perceptible in the asymmetric proportions and alien forms of many of Picasso's portraits. This influence is believed to have played a seminal role in advancing modern art away from realism towards abstraction.


Quick Facts

  • Sotheby's sold an African Fang sculpture in December 2015 for 423,000 euros
  • The village of Igbo-Ukwu in the Niger Delta boasted a casting tradition which dates the way back to the 9th century. Clay figurines have been found in this region from around 500 B.C., making them the oldest discovered examples of African sculpture
  • El Anatsui is one of the world's most celebrated contemporary artists, continuing the tradition of African sculpture and African carved wooden figures with great critical and commercial success
  • View other African artifacts, sculpture and <a href=”https://www.invaluable.com/african-masks/sc-FT5EU1IZ6M/”>African masks for sale</a> on Invaluable.

Recommended Items at Auction

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Antique Chinese Ivory Figure
Dec 03, 12:00 PM EST
Antique Chinese Ivory Figure
by Blackwell Auctions LLC
Est: $300- $600
$2503 Bids
Antique Tribal African Carved Wood Voodoo Statue
Dec 02, 10:00 AM EST
Antique Tribal African Carved Wood Voodoo Statue
by Mebane Antique Auction
Est: $100- $10,000
$552 Bids
Large Carved Teakwood Elephant with Raised Trunk
Dec 03, 11:00 AM EST
Large Carved Teakwood Elephant with Raised Trunk
by Northgate Gallery
Est: $100- $25,000
$502 Bids
2 AFRICAN AMERICAN SANTA CLAUS FIGURES
Dec 02, 4:00 PM EST
2 AFRICAN AMERICAN SANTA CLAUS FIGURES
by Diefenderfer Auction Company
Est: $0- $0
$51 Bid
MODERN CARVED AFRICAN BUST OF ELDER
Dec 13, 9:00 AM CST
MODERN CARVED AFRICAN BUST OF ELDER
by Jackson's International
Est: $200- $300
$1801 Bid
(6pc) Vintage Carved Wood African Style Figures
Dec 03, 10:00 AM MST
(6pc) Vintage Carved Wood African Style Figures
by EJ'S Auction & Appraisal
Est: $0- $0
$101 Bid
Le CyKlop - Fétiche CyKlop et dieu croco
Dec 04, 6:00 PM CET
Le CyKlop - Fétiche CyKlop et dieu croco
by HUMY
Est: €1,000- €1,200
€4001 Bid
Ten Zaramo Kwere Figures from Tanzania Africa
Dec 05, 6:00 PM AEDT
Ten Zaramo Kwere Figures from Tanzania Africa
by Theodore Bruce
Est: AUD500- AUD700
AUD2401 Bid
Six African Themed Decorative Items
Dec 14, 10:00 AM EST
Six African Themed Decorative Items
by Gray's Auctioneers
Est: $80- $120
$401 Bid
Baule figurine - Ivory Coast - 20th C.
Dec 11, 2:00 PM CET
Baule figurine - Ivory Coast - 20th C.
by SION Auctions
Est: €200- €300
€1000 Bids
Early 1900's African Tribal Wood Carving, Native Man
Dec 03, 2:00 PM EST
Early 1900's African Tribal Wood Carving, Native Man
by Connoisseur Online
Est: $200- $400
$1000 Bids
African Hardwood Statue of a Noble Elder
Dec 02, 10:00 AM GMT
African Hardwood Statue of a Noble Elder
by TimeLine Auctions
Est: £80- £100
£50 Bids
African Wood Figures, Guru, Lobi, Ebwe, Ewe (5pc)
Dec 03, 11:00 AM EST
African Wood Figures, Guru, Lobi, Ebwe, Ewe (5pc)
by J. James Auctioneers and Appraisers
Est: $200- $400
$500 Bids
African 16th C Ekoi Stone Akwanshi,Others (5pc)
Dec 03, 11:00 AM EST
African 16th C Ekoi Stone Akwanshi,Others (5pc)
by J. James Auctioneers and Appraisers
Est: $100- $200
$300 Bids
African / Oceanic Warrior Metal Sculpture Signed
Dec 04, 12:00 PM EST
African / Oceanic Warrior Metal Sculpture Signed
by Auctions at Showplace
Est: $300- $500
$1000 Bids
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Carved teak wood Rhinoceros, Africa, Kenya, 26cm,
Dec 04, 11:00 AM EST
Carved teak wood Rhinoceros, Africa, Kenya, 26cm,
by Eternity Gallery
Est: $300- $800
$1600 Bids
A FEMALE 'BLOLO BLA' WOOD ANCESTOR FIGURE
Dec 08, 9:30 AM CET
A FEMALE 'BLOLO BLA' WOOD ANCESTOR FIGURE
by Nagel Auction
Est: €400- €600
€4000 Bids
A WOOD FIGURE IN SHAPE OF A STYLIZED BIRD
Dec 08, 9:30 AM CET
A WOOD FIGURE IN SHAPE OF A STYLIZED BIRD
by Nagel Auction
Est: €300- €500
€3000 Bids
A FINE MALE 'BLOLO BIAN ' ANCESTOR WOOD FIGURE
Dec 08, 9:30 AM CET
A FINE MALE 'BLOLO BIAN ' ANCESTOR WOOD FIGURE
by Nagel Auction
Est: €500- €800
€5000 Bids
A FEMALE 'BLOLO BLA' ANCESTOR FIGURE
Dec 08, 9:30 AM CET
A FEMALE 'BLOLO BLA' ANCESTOR FIGURE
by Nagel Auction
Est: €500- €800
€5000 Bids
A WOOD FIGURE OF A MOTHER WITH CHILD
Dec 08, 9:30 AM CET
A WOOD FIGURE OF A MOTHER WITH CHILD
by Nagel Auction
Est: €500- €800
€5000 Bids
A FIGURAL WOOD STAFF IN SHAPE OF A WOMAN DECORATED WITH METALL PLACQUES
Dec 08, 9:30 AM CET
A FIGURAL WOOD STAFF IN SHAPE OF A WOMAN DECORATED WITH METALL PLACQUES
by Nagel Auction
Est: €200- €300
€2000 Bids
Ahnenfigur wohl Lega
Dec 16, 10:00 AM CET
Ahnenfigur wohl Lega
by Kiefer Buch- und Kunstauktionen
Est: €60- €90
€600 Bids

Sellers Who Sell African Sculptures & Statues


Veilinghuis Van Spengen

Veilinghuis Van Spengen

Kunstauktionshaus Günther

Kunstauktionshaus Günther

Designer Homes of Central Florida

Designer Homes of Central Florida

Kiefer Buch- und Kunstauktionen

Kiefer Buch- und Kunstauktionen