Fetish #1


Renée Stout ( American, 1950 )

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General Description

The Kongo ancestral figure is the inspiration for Renée Stout's Fetish #1. The artist's interest in African art focuses upon both the additive and textural components of central African sculpture, as well as its sense of contained power. Traditional materials such as monkey hair, nails, and cowrie shells are coupled with her own found and collected beads and coins.

Because of her sensitive attention to detail, Stout's sculpture presents itself as a powerful homage to African ritual objects. Stout reinterprets classical African forms as a means of conveying that mystical presence which she finds inherent in many aspects of African-American culture. Influenced by the art of Betye Saar and the writing of Robert Farris Thompson, Stout has also found inspiration from practitioners of folk medicine who live in her Washington, D.C. community.

Adapted from

  • Alvia J. Wardlaw, "Renée Stout, Fetish #1__," in Black Art, Ancestral Legacy: the African impulse in African-American art, ed. Robert Rozelle, Alvia Wardlaw, and Maureen A. McKenna (Dallas, TX: Dallas Museum of Art, 1989), 229.

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