This is from encarta:
'Wider recognition of the artistic value of African artifacts began in the early 20th century. Western artists at that time sought to break free from established artistic conventions, and in doing so they rediscovered African sculpture. Their enthusiasm for African art was based on form; Western artists had only vague and romanticized ideas about the cultures that had produced the art.
Modern European art movements such as cubism, expressionism, and fauvism exploded with a new freedom of form that drew strongly on African art. The abstract character of African art refreshed and inspired pioneers of modern European art such as painters Pablo Picasso, André Derain, and Amedeo Modigliani and sculptors Constantin Brancusi, Alberto Giacometti, and Henry Moore.
Spanish artist Pablo Picasso’s Les demoiselles d’Avignon (1907, Museum of Modern Art, New York City) is probably the best-known Western painting inspired by African art. It features a group of female figures whose angular forms and large facial features resemble African masks. Although Picasso denied any African influence on this painting, his friend and colleague André Derain wrote that he introduced Picasso to African art in 1905, and Picasso himself later spoke of the strong impression African art had made on him.
African art also inspired many 20th-century American artists. In 1902 American artist Meta Warrick Fuller created Talking Skull, a sculpture based on reliquary figures from the Kota of Gabon. More recently, American sculptor Martin Puryear borrowed the forms and traditional techniques of African basketry and carpentry, adapting them to the more formal and abstract aims of modern Western art. In the 1990s American artist Renée Stout based her sculptures on figures created by the Kongo people of central Africa.'
Another artist you could look at is Emil Nolde, and other German expressionists such as Kirchner:
'In Paris, artists such as Pablo Picasso, Georges Braque, and Amedeo Modigliani saw the formal solutions to the representation of the human face and figure in certain African masks and sculptures as a means of breaking away from the constraints of European classicism. In Berlin and Munich, Emil Nolde, Néstor Kirchner, and other Expressionists were interested less in African forms than in the romantic idealization of the “primitive” that they read into them.'