View of “Vincent Vulsma,” 2011.

View of “Vincent Vulsma,” 2011.

Vincent Vulsma

Stedelijk Museum Bureau Amsterdam (SMBA)

View of “Vincent Vulsma,” 2011.

Vincent Vulsma’s exhibition “A Sign of Autumn” looked like a design shop gone native. The walls of the bare, austere space were hung with tapestries in black-and-white patterns of unmistakably African origin. There were also four plain wooden sculptures (all about two feet in height), making the works Socles a c b and Socle d, both 2011. Each part is composed of pairs of stools, one inverted atop the other: a classic walnut stool designed by Ray Eames for the Time & Life Building in Manhattan and an early-twentieth-century stool from what was then the Belgian Congo. The showpiece of the exhibition, however, was an antelope mask, made at least eighty years ago by an anonymous member of the Baulé people of Ivory Coast. This piece—normally in the collection of Amsterdam’s Tropenmuseum—is renowned for its subtle, refined facial features, but they were not on display in the

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