Revistes Catalanes amb Accés Obert (RACO)

Arte sumerio ante arte moderno

Pedro Azara


"Primitive" (African) "art", discovered and exhibited in Colonial and Universal Exhibitions, and Ethnographic Museums, during the European colonial period, at the beginning of the 20th century, had a strong impact on modern artists. Mesopotamian finds (statues, tablets) in the south of Iraq, between the two World Wars, by archaeological missions in what was then colonial territories, well promoted thanks to the media (publications, lectures, pictures, radio programs, and temporary exhibitions), fascinated surrealistic artists, such as Moore, Michaux or Giacometti, too. At the same time, the lecture of translations of mythical texts written in Sumerian, such as the Gilgamesh Poem, where a hero tried to understand and to accept the human condition, was a source of inspiration of artists such as Willi Baumeister during the devastated years of the Second World War.

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