Twadaradwa - African (Shona)

Magic Man, 2002
Sculpture, Opal
18 x 8.50 x 6.50 in
SKU: 11064g
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"Magic Man," an original sculpture in opal by the Zimbabwean artist Twadaradwa, depicts a disembodied arm and hand stretching around a foot which emanates from a trunk-like base. The "Magic Man" is presumably a figure who can contort himself into an impossible figure. The work perhaps embodies the spiritual beliefs of the artist regarding the transformation, physically and spiritually, of a person or otherworldly being. 


Zimbabwean stone sculpture, often called Shona sculpture for the tribal group that makes up a large part of the movement, has its origins in the 1950s. Frank McEwen, the director of the Rhodesian National Gallery in Harare, set up a workshop school for native artists to carve in stone, available in the rich deposits near the capital. In the late 1960s and early 1970s, McEwen, who had strong connections to the European art world, secured exhibitions of the sculpture in Paris and New York. The stone sculpture was very well received and became an international sensation. 


The work of artists like Twadaradwa represents the second generation of Shona sculpture. The artists have similar, but also divergent concerns from the first generation of sculptors such as contemporary cultural and political issues.