A large and beautiful Kuba raffia skirt panel that has been wrapped around a custom frame for wall hanging, the design is of abstract geometric forms. This one is made up of many smaller handmade panels that are then sewn together, around the edge there are small sqaure sections that are dyed blue and sewn together to form bigger panels that are then added to the trim. To the top and bottom there is an unusal velvety type of texture made out of raffia as well. The textiles were worn as skirts wrapped around their hips for ceremonial dances.
The hand dyed natural pigments on this Kuba panel have mellowed to turn this fabric into abstract work of art. The development of new patterns was a prominent feature of Kuba kingship. Each king was expected to design a new cloth pattern at the beginning of their reign. Natural pigments were used to create the dyes for coloring. Due to the fact that they were labor-intensive to create, they are highly prized by collectors.
Modernist artists such as Matisse, Paul Klee and Braque were influenced & incorporated African designs into their works. In fact Matisse hung these cloths adorning the walls of his studio next to his own painted paper cut-outs. Matisse said “I never tire of looking at them - and waiting for something to come to me from the mystery of their instinctive geometry”
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