Some of the contemporary art forms are inspired from the canonical art forms, including the African masks, figures and many other objects which can be effective forms of art. These can be observed to be serving the realistic purpose across the entire continent. The art forms in Africa are generally diverse. It is important to do the generalization of the entire body related to the art to a specific continent which otherwise is opposed to some of the specific regions or other nations. This is done in order to deny the differences in many of the cultures.
It can be stated that Picasso and many other modern artists have appropriated the formal element in the African art in their own art works. However, they also refer to the canonical art forms because of some of their features such as their diverseness with respect to the style and due to the creation of the new grounds with respect to the beauty and charm.
Another example that can be taken is Amadeo Modigliani’s Reclining Nude (1917). This is one of the most popular paintings from the contemporary period which has been loved by the people all over the world. The admiration of the nude figure depicted in the painting clearly states the purity with which it is designed. The painting clearly portrays the message. This kind of geometric shape and the level of angularity in the face of the figure take some of the characteristics of the African masks, but it is possible to state that the eyes of the figure have come from the particular culture of Africa. The eyes of the figure are the canonical art form. The canonical forms of art had been represented by some other contemporary artists such as Picasso and Modigliani.