(African art) "expresses emotions far more strongly and directly than the traditional art of the nineteenth century or Renaissance. And that fits in very well with my theory of civilizing processes; for in the Renaissance there was an enormous advance of civilization, expressed not least in the attempt to make paintings and sculptures as realistic as possible. In the twentieth century there was a reaction against that. One can also relate it to Freud: what happened in psychoanalysis - that on a new level a higher degree of affect expression could be permitted is also seen in non-naturalistic art, which bas a far greater resemblance to dream. African sculptures have the same quality. There are frightening masks and friendly masks, but they all give stronger expression, if you like, to the unconscious".
cited from: NORBERT ELIAS AND CIVILIZING PROCESS: A CRITIQUE, par Jack GOODY;