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Modern African Art : A Basic Reading List


Central Africa : Burundi

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Sendegeya, Pierre-Claver. Anthologie des sculpteurs et peintres burundais contemporains. Paris: Nathan & Agence de coopération culturelle et technique, 1989. 109pp. illus. (color), portraits, bibl. refs. qNB1097.6.B8S47 1989 AFA. OCLC 21242225.

The visual arts in Burundi have been overshadowed by music, dance and poetry. That contemporary sculpture and painting are coming into their own is evident in this anthology -- indeed that is its purpose. In the evolution of the modern plastic arts in Burundi, the creation of the École céramique de Giheta in 1952 by Italian missionaries was seminal. It lasted until 1966 and was superceded by the École technique secondaire d'art, also run by Italians. Apart from these, a few other artisan centers have been set up, and Le Musée national and Le Musée vivant are equally involved in modern art.

The Italian (and European) imprint is often evident in the works of art -- mosaics, for example -- even though the themes are drawn from life in Burundi. Abstraction is rare; figurative art predominates. Nine painters and twelve sculptors are profiled, most in their 20s and 30s. Well illustrated with color reproductions, although not all are identified by artist or date.