Mask of Vaikuntha Vishnu, late 5th century. Learn more about 5th century masks
A tendency in European and American modern art where artists explored the visual vocabulary of the cultures of Africa, Oceania and Native Americans — then seen as “primitive” communities. From the nineteenth century onwards, there was in influx of artifacts from these regions through trade and colonial networks. Artists such as Henri Matisse, Paul Gauguin and Pablo Picasso employed the simpler shapes and abstract forms of these works to develop their own vocabulary of modernism, which veered away from traditional European styles of representation.