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Yup'ik Mask

Goodnews Bay, Alaska

Various Objects

Author

By (artist) non identifié

Description

This mask with a distorted face, property of a shaman, was used during ceremonies of evocation and the representation of spirits, which could inspire a state of trance and premonitory vision in the shaman.

The form of the oval face is concave-convex. The eyes are asymmetrical, one being round, the other in the form of a slit. Sculpted at one corner of the mouth is a sea otter, at the other, a whale; the middle of the mouth holds a salmon. The peripheral decoration of the mask is made of four plumes. On the front are three little spear points in wood. The ears are replaced by moving hands, of which the fingers have been painted red. The black line painted on the back of the hand was there to chase away the evil spirits. At mid-cheek, are two little arms. The chin is decorated with two wooden hooks and a little seal on a pike. Inside the mask, a bit allowed the dancer to hold the mask between their teeth.

A similar mask is conserved in the collections of the Glenbow Museum in Canada. [Auction catalogue, 2003]

 

Exxhibitions

- Paris, Musée National d'Art Moderne/Centre Georges Pompidou, La Révolution surréaliste, 2002
- Düsseldorf, K20 Kunstsammlung Nordrhein - Westfalen, Surrealismus, 1914 - 1944, 2002

 

Bibliography

- Un masque très similaire figure dans les collections du Glenbow Museum, Canada. Cf. Lynn Ager Wallen, The Face of Dance - Yup'ik Eskimo mask from Alaska, Glenbow Alberta Institute, 1990, plate 1, p. 21

- Alain Jouffroy, « La collection André Breton », L'œil, n° 10, octobre 1955, p. 34 et 37

- William Rubin, Primitivism in XXth century art - Affinity of the Tribal and the Modern, New York, The Museum of Modern Art, 1984, rep. p. 578

- Paris, Musée National d'Art Moderne/Centre Georges Pompidou, André Breton, La beauté convulsive, 1991, rep.p. 74 (photo dans le studio new-yorkais, 1945) ; rep. p. 76 (photo Sabine Weiss, 1960, dans l'atelier) ; rep. p. 375 (photo Sabine Weiss, 1955, dans l'atelier, L'œil n° 10, 1955).

- D. Ellis, Art of the Arctic : Reflections of the Unseen, London, 2015 (photographies pp. 7 and 29)

LanguagesFrench
Physical description

Bois, polychromie rouge, verte et blanche, plumes.

From / ProvenanceHeye Foundation n° d'inventaire 12/0921, achat du Musée, échangé avec Julius Carlebach en juillet 1944.
Place of origin
Size39,40 x 43,20 x 15,20 cm
Breton Auction, 2003Lot 6161
Keywords, , ,
CategoriesInuit Yup'ik Art
ExhibitionsLa Révolution surréaliste , Moon Dancers : Yup'ik Masks and the Surrealists , Surrealismus 1914-1944
Permanent linkhttp://www.andrebreton.fr/en/work/56600100862850
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See also

3 Works
 
False

André Breton rue Fontaine

-
Henri Cartier-Bresson

Tirage tardif d'un portrait d'André Breton vers 1960 dédicacé à Elisa par le photographe.
Deux images, une notice descriptive à compléter.

False

Portrait d'André Breton dans son appartement à New-York

-
Elisa Claro Breton

-
Cinq photographies d'André Breton dans son appartement à New-York en 1945, dont une avec Elisa.
Cinq images, une notice descriptive à compléter, une exposition, une bibliographie.

[Exhibitions] 1991, boîte archives bleue, Beaubourg, [Photos d'objets] photos in the studio

False

untitled

-
Kay Sage

Dessin à l'encre et à l'aquarelle de Kay Sage représentant un masque et daté de 1941.
Une image, une notice descriptive à compléter.