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EVEN THE FRIENDS OF AFRICA CANNOT ENTIRELY AVOID THE PREJUDICES EMBEDDED IN EUROPEAN CULTURE ABOUT AFRICA AND AFRICANS: REVIEW OF

For sometime now, I have refused to buy any introductory or general book on African art since I have a roblem of space for my books and sometimes cannot find a book I need for lack of order. However, when I saw the cover of Afrika: Kunst und Architektur (1), I was struck by the impressive Mangbetu statute which I was seeing for the first time and therefore could not resist looking into the book. I then opened randomly a page (2) where Ivan Bargna makes a very a strong argument against the European prejudice that African art is “primitive art.” Among other arguments advanced by Bargna, is the fact that however one interprets primitive”, there is always the understanding that it has, not only not developed but that it is fixed in a timeless frame. He points out that African art not only influenced European art but revolutionized European art through the works of Picasso and the Expressionists. If many Europeans do not easily recognize African art it is because of their familiarity with the African aesthetic through modern European art.

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