May Means MATA! Madison Ancient & Tribal Art, an alliance of international dealers specializing in the art of traditional cultures, will present an exhibition of select objects for five days only, May 9-13, 2012, at the Arader Gallery, located in a magnificent Beaux-Arts townhouse on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, near the Whitney Museum and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The opening reception is 5-9pm Wednesday. Show hours are: Wednesday, May 9, 11am – 9pm; Thursday – Saturday, May 10 – 12, 11am – 7:30pm; Sunday, May 13, 11am – 5pm.
The goal of MATA is to offer to new and seasoned collectors alike antique fine arts and ancient artifacts from tribal cultures of Africa, Oceania, Indonesia, Asia and the Americas. “We timed our show to coincide with the tribal art auctions taking place nearby at Sotheby’s, Christie’s and Bonhams,” said Amyas Naegele, owner of Amyas Naegele Fine Art, a New York based dealer of African and Oceanic art and a member of the Madison Ancient & Tribal Art consortium. “And timing is key. Collectors of ancient and tribal art from across the country and abroad routinely visit New York for the annual auctions and our aim is to captivate that signal audience in as much as we are able to stretch boundaries and offer a more expansive range of high caliber pieces, unlike the auctions, which typically are limited in number of objects, regions and price points.”
Other dealers participating in the show include Peter-Michael Boyd (African art), H. Kellim Brown African Sculpture, Conru African & Oceanic Art, Bruce Frank Primitive Art (Oceanic and Indonesian art), Huber Primitive Art (Precolumbian art), Leonard Kalina Fine Arts and Splendors of the World (Precolumbian art and Asian Antiquities), Joe Loux Asian and Tribal Art, Adrian Schlag Tribal Art Classics (African and Oceanic art), and James Stephenson African Art.
These ten international galleries will show some of their finest pieces, in many cases unveiling them for the first time.
Here are some of the highlights:
Bruce Frank Primitive Art will exhibit an important and archaic Cave Guardian Figure, from the Dayak Tribe in Borneo, Indonesia. It dates to the 15th century. Its height is 39 inches tall.
A highlight of MATA is an outstanding 19th century Fang reliquary figure (height 20.5”) from Gabon, at Adrian Schlag Tribal Art Classics. This exceptional piece was formerly part of a French missionary museum’s collection. Schlag will also exhibit a select group of sculptures from Africa and Oceania.
Leonard Kalina Fine Art is offering an extraordinary terra cotta vessel from the Moche Culture of the north coast of Peru, circa 300-500 AD. The striking figure surmounting the vessel depicts a sea deity fishing for a whale, a rare motif, while the ceramic incorporates inlays of a large quantity of turquoise, spondylous shell, jet and bone of exceptional quality.
An arresting maternity staff appears courtesy of Conru African & Oceanic Art. It is by the hand of the 19th century South African artist known as the Baboon Master for his expertise in carving images of the erstwhile primate. The most noteworthy of his output of prestige staffs are the maternity presentations. In this example, the mother is particularly noble, her chin held proudly, and her child cradled lovingly on her back. For the Zulu of southern Africa, as in societies around the world, the mother and child image supports the key role of women. The headdress and hide skirt reinforce her status as a married woman.
From Huber Primitive Art comes a fine pre-Columbian ceramic and stone sculpture dating from 1200 BC-1492 AD. This Olmec figure, with its unusually expressive face, measures four inches tall. It was cut and broken in ancient times, perhaps as part of a ceremony. circa 1200-600 BC.
Amyas Naegele Fine Art will be showing a striking Dayak guardian figure from Borneo. Such figures were kept outdoors and exposed to the elements, hence the fabulously variegated patina of lichen on weathered, highly oxidized wood. He will also feature collections of smaller objects such as Baule weaving pulleys, Asante combs and Somali spoons as well as large objects including an exuberant Mumuye shoulder mask from eastern Nigeria by the same hand as one recently on view at the National Museum of African Art and a tall sensuous ladder from the Dogon of Mali.
Another stunning work of art, compliments of James Stephenson African Art, is a figure of a Mende woman, considered by a noted scholar and art expert of the region as a rare and outstanding example of the sculptural skill and talent of the area. This masterpiece is from an East Coast collection and stands 25 inches tall.
Joe Loux Asian and Tribal Art unveils an exceptional Attush Man’s Robe from the Ainu of Hokkaido, Japan, dating to the 19th century. Attush is the inner bark from the elm tree. The cotton appliqué and embroidered patterns around the openings and edges of the robe are believed by the Ainu to protect the wearer from malevolent spirits that enter the garment through openings in the garment. This is an early and wonderful example of its type. 50 inches (w) X 43 inches (h).
MATA invites collectors of modern and contemporary art and design to consider the beauty of non-Western sculpture both on its own terms and for its potential to compliment their collections.
The Arader Gallery is located at 1016 Madison Avenue (between 78th & 79th Streets) in New York City.
For more information as well as a slide show of objects, please visit
About Madison Ancient and Tribal Art
Madison Ancient & Tribal Art (MATA) is an alliance of 10 international dealers specializing in the art of traditional cultures of Africa, Asia, Oceania, Indonesia and the Ancient Americas.