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A fine Eastern Pende Panya-Gombe African mask. Coll.: David Norden

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The Regiment Armory Tribal Art Show

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The New York International Tribal & Textile Arts Show

19 - 22 may 2007 

Park Ave at 67th St
New York City 

Please go to the show organizers website at  for further details.


Past article:

The Seventh Regiment Armory

May 20th - 23rd, 2006 TWELFTH ANNUAL 65 Dealers

A Global Smorgasbord of Wonders for the Eye at the Tribal and Textile Arts Showtribal armory

By HOLLAND COTTER Published: May 22, 2006 found at

Americans may be nervous about their borders, but the country's cultural horizons grow ever more global. Witness the New York International Tribal and Textile Arts Show. With its confluence of galleries from Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe and North America, it's about Expansiveness with a capital E. At once low key and wall-to-wall gorgeous, it's my absolute favorite of all the New York art fairs.

  tribal armory ethiopian  
Trotsky and Sanders Gallery 
From an Ethiopian illuminated gospel, a scene of St. George slaying the dragon.
tribal armory kilim  
Alberto Levi Gallery 
A north Persian kilim, from around 1900.

As installed at the Seventh Regiment Armory, the show has the feel of a cosmopolitan city laid out in a grid, Manhattan style. Walking its boulevards and byways, you change countries and epochs every few steps. You may start in Nigeria, but you soon move to Mexico, Tibet, the Pacific Northwest. An Olmec stone mask at Throckmorton Fine Art takes you back to 1000 B.C. A Coptic tunic adorned with slender dancers at Gail Martin Gallery brings you to the seventh century A.D. With oil painting by the contemporary Ethiopian artist Gera at Cavin-Morris, you arrive at 1995. By then hard distinctions between high and low, art and craft, decorative and functional have dropped away.

Do such shifts and leaps leave you perplexed? Of course, and how great. Any art fair worth its salt should blow your mind at least a little, mess with your compass. One minute it should have you marveling at how everything from everywhere is connected, and the next it should have you thinking, "But I've never seen anything like that before."

This back and forth never let up for me, and I loved it. But in the interest of less confusion-tolerant visitors, let me do some sorting.

If your passion is for so-called classical African material, you have much to choose from. Dalton Somare from Milan has a textbook-worthy selection, as do J. Visser from Brussels; Oumar Keinde from Dakar, Senegal; and Joan Barist Primitive Art and Robertson African Arts, both from Manhattan.

At Barist, there's a masterly carving of a Baga male figure; with his chin resting on his raised hands, he's like "The Thinker" standing up. Robertson's prize items include two West African hunter's shirts hung with koranic amulets. These shirts are old and rare, but exactly the same protective charms can be spotted in news photographs of rebel soldiers fighting in Darfur today.

A few galleries specialize within the field. Axis, renowned for its exhibitions of Zulu beadwork, focuses on South Africa and has made New York history by integrating African art, old and new, into the fabric of the contemporary Chelsea gallery scene.

Tana-Sachau Collection from Germany is devoted to Ethiopian Christian art, and the spiritual vivacity of the painted altarpieces at its booth is picked up by an illuminated gospel at Trotsky and Sanders.

Maybe Oceania is your goal. Mark A. Johnson will take you there with a ceremonial dance mask from Borneo; its prowlike nose and big pink ears make it a kind of vertical hovercraft. Or you can zip to the top of the world with a suite of tiny prehistoric ivories at Brant Mackley, while Tibetan Buddhist bronzes at Hardt & Sons take you to a high place that some call heaven.

Anyone in search of textiles will certainly find some version of heaven here. The variety of forms is endless, the craftsmanship superb. Let me point out, almost at random, a rainbow-hued Moroccan carpet, its pile as thick as moss, at Gebhart Blazek; a Turkish calligraphic piece — gold script against an emerald-green silk ground — at Esther Fitzgerald; and a multipanel north Persian kilim at Alberto Levi, with a slightly off-register pattern of black and white bands.

But wait. Surely this is no carpet. It's a 1951 Ellsworth Kelly. And that marvelous wall piece at Gail Martin labeled "ceremonial cloth, Cameroon," the one with the looping penmanship patterns, is a Cy Twombly by some other name. And isn't that that exquisite patchwork kimono at Thomas Murray an Anne Ryan collage, the largest she ever made?

It is only natural to filter the unfamiliar art of other cultures through our own art. This is what everyone everywhere does, at least at first. The important thing is to go further, to let the unfamiliar grow familiar on its own terms. That's the dynamic the Tribal and Textile Arts show sets up, and it's so alive: art without borders, ideas in free flow, a politics of generosity, the only way to go.

The Tribal and Textile Arts Show continues through tomorrow (today, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.; tomorrow 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.) at the Seventh Regiment Armory, Park Avenue at 67th Street, (212) 472-1180.

Brooklyn Artist Featured At New York Tribal Arts Show

tribal armory John Crawford Stephanie Simon filed the following report about a Brooklyn artist who will be prominently featured at the The Tribal Show annual event highlighting African culture.

found at

For John Crawford, art has always been very elemental.

For the past 20 years, John Crawford has been creating metal sculptures and other objects at his 7,000 sq foot studio in Prospects Heights, Brooklyn. Much of the artist's work is inspired by the years he spent in Italy in the 1970's.

"I did a kind of apprenticeship at a water powered 16th century blacksmith shop where the blacksmith made farm tools. I got interested in that because I love the shape of farm tools as departure points for my sculpture," he says.

More recently, he's developed a passion for traditional African metalwork. He's an avid collector. But what intrigues him is the uncanny likeness between the two main inspirations for his work: Italian farm tools and West African currency forms.

"These currencies, which were coming from East Africa, have a rather astounding similarity to this Italian shovel form," says Crawford.

As he makes several trips back and forth from the furnace to the trip hammer, Crawford crafts and shapes his version of an African Currency Form.

"You're getting to a certain point, given the amount of heat that you've got and then you've got to put it back in," he explains.

Yes, it's true. You have to strike while the iron is hot and for Crawford, that time is now.

Well known as both an accomplished sculptor and collector, Crawford typically shows his collection of African art and artifacts at the New York International Tribal and Textile Arts Show at the Park Avenue Armory. But this year, Crawford's been asked to display his own sculpture as well, because his pieces are so clearly inspired by African traditions.

New York International Textile and Tribal Arts Show
May 20 -23 2006
Park Avenue Armory

- Stephanie Simon

found at: May 2003

The New York International Tribal Antiques Show, the city’s oldest and largest exhibition and sale of art and artifacts created by indigenous peoples from around the world returns to the Park Avenue Armory with a three day show, May 17-19, to coincide with Sotheby’s Tribal Art auctions. Again this year, the show opens with a preview to benefit prominent AIDS service agency and advocacy organization, GMHC, Friday evening, May 16th from 6-9 p.m.
       Bill Caskey, of Caskey-Lees, Topanga, CA, producers of the show, said, “Though attendance and sales at New York city’s major antiques events during the fall of 2002 reflected the country’s overall economic concerns, we saw the beginnings of a more vibrant New York market at the Connoisseur’s Antiques Fair in late November and in late fall auction results. Generally, the US market for antiques and fine arts has remained stronger than Europe’s and there are indications that that will continue to be the case. This is particularly important in the field of tribal and ethnographic works and our large international component remains a key aspect of this show.”
       “We are,” Caskey said, “expecting between 46 and 51 exhibitors at the show, including many of the world’s most prominent galleries and dealers of antique Tribal fine arts.” “This year however,” he continued, “with this show and all others about which we have knowledge, exhibitors remain uneasy about the international political and military situation and are somewhat slower to make firm commitments than in the past. I expect several new and substantial European exhibitors but it is a bit early to name them.”
       It is expected that among this year’s exhibitors will be galleries from Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Senegal, and the United Kingdom, as well as the United States and Canada.
      Exhibitors likely to return to the show with specialties in African works, including exceptional masks, carvings, textiles, paintings and shields, include Galerie Valluet-Ferrandin, Paris; Peter Boyd, Seattle; Oumar Keinde African Art, Senegal; and Alain Naoum, Brussels. Patrick Morgan, formerly of Del Mar, CA, who has moved his gallery to Paris and renamed it Art Primif, plans to participate as does Bruce Frank Primitive Art of New York. Claes Gallery, Brussels, and Dalton Somare Arte Primitive, Milano, also present substantial African presence as does Michael Rhodes/African Art, New York.
       Returning Pre-Columbian exhibitors, showing ancient ceramics, jewelry, textiles and stone carvings, include Throckmorton Fine Art Inc., and Joan Barist Primitive Art, both of New York; Lost Nation, Chicago, IL; Leonard Kalina, Pacific Palisades, CA; Stendahl Galleries, Los Angeles, CA; and William A. Siegal, Santa Fe, NM.
      Top national Native American and Inuit specialist Jeffrey Meyers of New York City and Earl Duncan, of Denver, CO, will feature Native American material from the Eastern Woodland Plains to the Arctic as Myers and Duncan.

more info on the new shows at Caskey & Lees

Visit the  Fair page or the African art Agenda for all event

read also: ARMORY show NY International Tribal & Textile Arts Show Is On The Collecting World's Frontiers


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The Tribal Arts of Africa
Author: Jean-Baptiste Bacquart

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