The Ancient African Art Report (Assessment)

The ancient African cultures are characterized by examples of primitive art. Simplification of the form is the characteristic feature of many objects belonging to the ancient stage of African art.

The poetic meaning of the simplified forms is the ability to represent the naturalistic objects in the forms which are easy to duplicate. As a result, simplified forms symbolized natural forces. The heraldic and rounded forms symbolized the sun and the moon.

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Simple forms of the objects were often copied to make tools, symbols, or amulets (Price 2002).

Simplification in the ancient and primitive art is discussed as the ability to reflect the objects of the world in forms and by means which are available for people according to the stage of their development.

The Swedish insurance company Trygg-Hansa uses the logo which design is simplified, but it is rather symbolic to refer directly to the activities of the company. Providing insurance covers, the company provides a kind of lifebuoys for clients.

This poetic meaning is reflected in the design of the logo where the form of the lifebuoy is presented. Moreover, the company unites two parts of Trygg and Hansa, and the uniting element depicted in the logo is also the lifebuoy.

In spite of the fact the design of the logo is rather symbolic, it responds to all the principles of Minimalism where two colors and simple forms are used.

The logo was designed by the PostScript Design Company in the early 2000s, and it is currently used by Trygg-Hansa (Holger & Holmberg 2002).

Robert Morris is one of the most prominent designers and sculptors working about the principles of Minimalism. The designer uses simple and even primitive forms of objects as the negation of striving for originality in art.

Simple objects and simple forms are discussed by the designer in the context of the space. Thus, Morris intends to find the balance between the space and the object based on simplicity and absence of details. Forms can be different, but maximally primitive and rough.

As a result, objects are presented with references to the illogical forms and non-rational space organizations as the protest against the traditional visions (Obendorf 2009).


Ancient African stone figure n.d. Web.

Holger, L., & Holmberg, I. 2002, Identity: trademark, logotypes and symbols, National Museum & Raster Förlag, Sweden.

Obendorf, H. 2009, Minimalism: designing simplicity, Springer, USA.

Price, S. 2002, , University of Chicago Press, USA. Robert Morris: Untitled (1969) n.d. Web.

Trygg-Hansa n.d. Web.

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