This exhibition includes important works recently given to the New Orleans Museum 0f Art by Diane and Charles L. Frankel, collectors who have long been interested in African art, from the historical to the contemporary. For NOMA, Field and Figure represents an ongoing commitment to collect and conserve a variety of objects in the fields of African and African diasporic art, spanning national borders, time periods, and different media. The term “field” also refers to the space within the borders of a picture, and this gallery includes a variety of approaches to picture-making using different ideas about color and form, realism and abstraction.

Abade Glover, for instance, trades precise detail for an explosion of color to convey the energy of a market in Accra, Ghana. Owusu-Ankomah precisely renders adinkra symbols across the canvas, a black and white field from which a singular figure emerges. Nigerian-American artist Toyin Ojih Odutola’s approach to working with ink gives the figure in her drawing a uniquely textural quality, while large photographs by two South African artists locate individuals in vastly different landscapes. Finally, a late 19th-century ceremonial mask from the Songye people of Central Africa represents just one of the many rich cultural traditions that contemporary artists of the African diaspora continue to draw from.

Market Lane II


Ablade Glover

Oil on canvas

Gift of Diane and Charles L. Frankel, 2022.33

An Ode to Kerry James Marshall


Toyin Ojih Odutola

Ink and marker on paper

Gift of Diane and Charles L. Frankel, 2022.117