Songye Power Figure - D.R. Congo

Gifted with a glossy black patina, this excellently carved nkisi presents a detailed interplay of overlapping angles and curves that unite in a powerful, engaging work of sculpture. Enrapturing head-on with its weighted, dreamy gaze, the figure is equally compelling in profile, where its succession of echoing shapes, tilts, and volumes weave a semi-geometric spell for the eye. Like many others of its type, this nkisi features an abdominal concavity that once would have held magical substances.

Late 19th or early 20th century
Ex Merton Simpson; Allan Stone; private US collection
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