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Galerie Max Hetzler exhibits ceremonial masks and wooden sculpture
Spirits and Ancestors, Ethnographic art curated by Jonathan Hope, Installation view, Galerie Max Hetzler Berlin, 2017. Photo: Courtesy Jonathan Hope and Galerie Max Hetzler Berlin I Paris.

BERLIN.- Galerie Max Hetzler announces the exhibition Spirits and Ancestors, curated by Jonathan Hope in Bleibtreustrasse 45.

Jonathan Hope’s exhibition demonstrates an eclectic vision. On show are animist artefacts in the form of ceremonial masks and wooden sculpture made by the traditional communities of many different geographical regions, from the Himalayas to South America and Africa. The exhibits inform us of a surprising universality amongst these cultures. There is always a reverence for nature and the ever-present ancestors.

The two large and striking figures from Borneo (Kalimantan) were made by distinctly different ethnic groups, as their contrasting styles demonstrate. One male figure holds a sword and bears the form of a crocodile on his back. The other stands with out-stretched arms gazing into the far distance, imbued with a timeless serenity. Elsewhere, a diverse group of masks includes a ghostly, bearded example from the Lega of DRC and several astonishing works from rural Nepal. The example from the Mapuche Indians of Chile would have been worn by a young man engaged in a game similar to hockey. The three limbed simian figure from Tanzania is unusually kinetic and appears to be leaping from its stand. Each artefact has been chosen both for its aesthetic qualities and for the story it tells.

Jonathan Hope has spent a lifetime travelling, collecting and researching. He recently curated an exhibition of Indian and Indonesian textiles, “Heirlooms”, at the Edinburgh International Festival, which was critically acclaimed. As a dealer, he works privately from London, by appointment, and includes several major museums among his regular clients. Over the past two decades he has exhibited at Parcours des Mondes in Paris and several other international art events. Jonathan also lectures, most recently at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London and has published a number of articles, mostly for Hali magazine of which he is a contributing editor.

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