Shaping Power

Shaping Power features Luba masterworks from the Democratic Republic of the Congo on loan from the Royal Museum for Central Africa and rarely seen outside of Belgium. Figurative thrones, elegant scepters, and ancestral figures actively contributed to the formation and expansion of a highly influential Luba state from the 18th to early 20th centuries. The exhibition includes a kneeling female figure holding a bowl by the celebrated artist known as the Buli Master, as well as the Royal Museum’s most iconic mask recalling the Luba culture hero—on loan for the first time ever. Shaping Power presents the richness and complexity of Luba arts, and lends insight into a world renowned African aesthetic and cultural legacy.

A contemporary installation entitled Congo: Shadow of the Shadow (2005) by Aimé Mpane, on loan from the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of African Art, presents a gripping commentary on re-shaping power during the colonial period using the play of light and shadow, substance and ethereality. In addition, a bead-laden Luba memory device from a private collection suggests how the past is continually re-imagined through the eyes of the present.

Daily Bruin
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Blog by Art Critic William Poundstone

Art Daily



Antiques and the Arts

Campus Circle
UCLA Professor Brings African Art to LACMA: "Shaping Power" at LACMA , Now-Jan 5, 2014 <>

Metropolis Mag

LA Mag (Online)

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LACMA's Central Power Exhibit Reveals Central African Masterpieces

Los Angeles I'm Yours
LACMA has a great African art show

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UCLA Department of World Arts Cultures/Dance
Box 951608, 150 Kaufman Hall
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1608
Tel 310.825.3951