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March 30, 2010

Out of Africa

Paris' Musée Dapper

Closed for two years, Paris' Musée Dapper, which is devoted to the art of sub-Saharan Africa, has assembled a series of ravishing objects for a show inaugurating its new quarters. Is it because you're seeing these works in Paris that the Mahongwe reliquary figure from Gabon is so reminiscent of Dubuffet, or the Dogon canes from Mali are so obviously forerunners of Giacometti? The quality of the art is uniformly high, and some of the works are masterpieces. Unfortunately, the museum's new galleries are underlit and a bit claustrophobic, and many of the bold wooden sculptures and masks feel unnecessarily remote in their vitrines. (Runs through June 30; 35 Rue Paul Valéry.)