Mask sculpture

Mancoba, Sonja Ferlov, 1938

Bronze, H: 39cm, The National Museum

The sculptor Sonja Ferlov Mancoba (1911-1984) belonged to a group of Danish artists – often referred to as ”the spontaneous abstractionists” – that would come to have a great influence on the Danish art scene during the 30s and 40s, and eventually also on a broader European art world.

She worked in an idiom that straddled the surrealist and constructivist movements, and she exhibited clear references to non-Western, ”primitive” art throughout her artistic practice. Her interest in a prehistoric aesthetic is particularly visible in the early, yet important workMask Sculpturefrom 1939. Here she introduces the mask motif into her art for the first time, a seminal motif that she returns to and deals with throughout her career.