Felix Mlungisi - African (Shona)

Angel, 2004
Sculpture, Black serpentine
44 x 30 x 12 in
SKU: 11529g
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'Angel' is original black serpentine sculpture signed by the Zimbabwean artist Felix Mlungisi. In this work, the angel is stylized in the manner of the Shona sculptors: The angel leans to one side, their face round and eyes downcast. The angel looks to the right as their massive wing extends outward as though pointing to the heavens. The sculpture is brought to a high polish, making the figure seem otherworldly: the rich, deep black of the serpentine stone seems to contain the vastness of heaven. At the same time, however, parts of the sculpture are left as natural stone, emphasizing the materiality of the artwork.

Winged angels as a subject are found throughout art history, beginning with the goddesses Nike and Victory in the Greek and Roman worlds. At the end of the Roman empire and through the medieval, the image of Victory was translated into the Christian context and used for figures like Gabriel. Mlungisi's sculpture emphasizes the presence of the angel through the African continent as well as the spread of not only Christianity, but also the angel as a worldwide symbol of peace and goodwill.

44 x 30 x 12 inches
200+ lbs