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Modern African Art : A Basic Reading List

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Adenaike, A. Omotayo. "The influence of uli art on contemporary Nsukka school painting (part l)," Nigeria magazine (Lagos) no. 143: 38­52, 1982. illus., bibliog. DT515.A1N68 AFA.

The Nsukka school of art has become closely associated with uli art, the traditional wall and body painting of the Igbo. Introducing his subject of the influence of uli art on modern art, Adenaike first discusses the natural pigments used by the women in painting uli designs, the colors derived, and the uli symbols themselves.

Uche Okeke is the key link between the old and new traditions. His mother is a uli artist and his own training as an artist led him to explore this visual repertoire. At Nsukka, where he taught, the experiment took hold. In this part one of a two-part paper (see 3), Adenaike looks mainly at drawings and relates what is going on at Nsukka to other developments in modern Nigerian art.

Among the artists discussed: Tayo Adenaike, Oseha Ajokpaezi, Chuka Amaefunah, Gbubemi Amas, El Anatsui, Chike Aniakor, Haig David-West, Ben Enwonwu, Agbo Folarin, Paul Igboanugo, Dele Jegede, Uzo Ndubisi, Bons Nwabiani, Demas Nwoko, Ray Obeta, Uche Okeke, Bruce Onobrakpeya, and Obiora Udechukwu.



Adenaike, A. Omotayo. "The influence of uli art on contemporary Nsukka school painting (part 2)". [s.l.: s.n., 1982]. 31 leaves. [unpublished; copy available in the National Museum of African Art Library]. ND1099.N5A23iu 1982 AFA. OCLC 22431811.

Artists discussed: Tayo Adenaike, Chuka Amaefuna, Chike Aniakor, Charles Nwachukwu Anyakora, Mike Irrifere, Uzo Ndubisi, Ray Obeta, Uche Okeke, Ego Uche-Okeke, and Obiora Udechukwu.


Adenaike, A. Omotayo. The Osogbo experiment sixteen years after. BA thesis, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, 1979. iv, 67pp. illus., bibl. refs. [unpublished; unillustrated copy available in the National Museum of African Art Library]. N333.N6O82 1979a AFA. OCLC 23295996.

In Adenaike's assessment, the "mature period" in the Oshogbo experiment, that is, after 1970, when the artists were on their own, has been one of stagnation and repetition. The burst of creativity of the formative period (1962-1970) has waned and a kind of shake-down process is at work, sifting the enduring talent from the not-so-good and the imitators. This does not mean, however, that there is not still lots of activity and many works produced at Oshogbo, but the results are not as satisfactory. Twins Seven-Seven has become distracted with other activities, particularly music. Rufus Ogundele, Muraina Oyelami, and Jimoh Buraimoh continue to experiment but with mixed results. The younger generations who attach themselves to the Oshogbo experiment are less successful and are cashing in on the tourist popularity of Oshogbo art.

On balance, it was a worthy experiment and did produce some competent artists. Ulli Beier is given credit for his vision and his encouragement to artists and for promoting Oshogbo art internationally. Though Ulli Beier did not conduct the workshops, he was central to the experiment. Adenaike concludes that the critical assessment of the works of art themselves -- as opposed to discussion of the idea of informal workshop training and the commercialization of the art -- has yet to occur.

Among the artists discussed: Jacob Afolabi, Jimoh Buraimoh, Adebisi Fabunmi, Demas Nwoko, Rufus Ogundele, Uche Okeke, Asiru Olatunde, Bruce Onobrakpeya, Muraina Oyelami, Twins Seven-Seven, Obiora Udechukwu, Solomon Irein Wangboje, and Susanne Wenger.



Adepegba, Cornelius O. "Modern Nigerian art: a classification based on forms," Kurio Africana; journal of art and criticism (Ile-Ife) 1 (2): 111-137, 1989. bibl. refs. qN1.K966 AFA.

In the short list of books on modern Nigerian art -- Evelyn Brown, Ulli Beier, Kojo Fosu, Marshall Mount -- only the last two attempt any kind of classification. Fosu's is based on a historical sequence without reference to form, while Mount's is on broad geo-political groupings and artists' training.

Dismissing these earlier attempts to classify modern Nigerian art, Adepegba develops a four-part classification of art works based on form and content: (1) discernible images of experiences and ideas; (2) naive visions, encouraged and fossilized; (3) abstractions beyond common understanding; and (4) revisitations and adaptations of traditional art forms. He elaborates on each of these categories, citing examples from The Nucleus (the 1981 catalog of the collection of the National Gallery of Modern Art). The classification refers to art works not to individual artists, who may actually produce works falling into more than one of the categories.



Adepegba, Cornelius O. "Nigerian art: the death of traditions and the birth of new forms," Kurio Africana; journal of art and criticism (Ile-Ife) 1 (1): 2-14, 1989. [pp. 2-11 in revised edition]. bibl. refs. qN1.K966 AFA.

Defining contemporary Nigerian art is more difficult and more problematic than describing new art and artists, which is what Adepegba does here. Many familiar names--Abuja, Oye Ekiti, Ovia Idah, Akinola Lasekan, Kenneth Murray, Aina Onabolu, Oshogbo--weave in and out of his essay. Indeed the Oshogbo school comes in for some harsh assessment as a flashy, but essentially unrooted movement which was bound to be a passing phenomenon. So, too, with Michael Crowder's Ori Olokun Cultural Centre in Ile-Ife. These informal workshops have been superceded by formal university-based art training and by museums and exhibitions which consciously try to collect and promote contemporary art works.



Adeyemi, Ester. Zeitgenössische Kunst in Nigeria & Ghana 1995-2005 = Contemporary art in Nigeria & Ghana 1995-2005. Basel: Reinhardt, 2005. 299pp. illus. (chiefly color), bibl. refs. N7399.N5Z45 2005 AFA. OCLC 70254376.

Alfred F. Spinnler became enchanted with the spontaneity and vitality of Nigeria and Ghanaian 20th century art. So, he began acquiring paintings while living in Lagos in the 1980s and 1990 and got to know many of the artists personally. This catalog features a selection of works from his private collection - - works of thirty-two Nigerian artists and five Ghanaian artists. Some are well know and established, such as Bruce Onobrakpeya, Jimoh Buraimoh, Kola Oshinowo, Muraina Oyelami, and Ablade Glover; others are young emerging artists. For each painter (all are painters), a few paintings are illustrated and discussed. Biodata is included. There are also brief essays on the state of contemporary art in Nigeria and in Ghana and another essay by Spinnler on how he came to be a collector of art.



Aniakor, Chike C. "Contemporary Nigerian artists and their traditions," Black art (Jamaica, NY) 4 (2): 40­55, 1980. illus. (pt. color). NX164.N4B5X AFA.

Aniakor questions the relationship between the contemporary Nigerian artist and tradition. He reviews definitions of both traditional and contemporary art by such authors as William Fagg, Robert Armstrong, Simon Ottenberg, Rene Bravmann, as well as artists Demas Nwoko and Uche Okeke. SomeNigerian artists benefitting from tradition are Yemi Bisiri, Lamidi Fakeye, Yusuf Grillo, Bruce Onobrakpeya, and Twins Seven-Seven. Erhabor Emokpae is an exception.


Anonyuo, Emeka G. Nigerian Skokian art: a microanalysis of the realistic visual expression in contemporary Nigerian art. PhD dissertation, Ohio State University, 1999. Ann Arbor: UMI Dissertation Services, 1999. xvi, 256 leaves. plates, bibliog. (pp. 224-229). N7399.N5A56 1999a AFA. OCLC 54480400.

Skokian art derives from Okechukwu Odita’s idiosyncratic classification of contemporary art and refers essentially to realistic art. This dissertation by one of Odita’s students examines the work of several exemplars of realistic painting and sculpture by Nigerian artists, including, among the better known, Aina Onabolu, Abayomi Barber, Kolade Oshinowo, Ben Enwonwu, Ben Ekanem, Chudi Igboanugo, and Nsikak Essien.


Aradeon, Susan B. "Contemporary Nigerian art, tradition and national identity," Nigeria magazine (Lagos) 55 (l): 1-10, January-March 1987. illus., bibliog. DT515.A1N68 AFA.

When art draws on traditional life, mythology and designs, that creativity serves to forge a national identity, even across ethnic groups. So argues Aradeon as she discusses Nigerian genre scenes (exemplified by Akinola Lasekan), historical portraiture (Erhabor Emokpae), traditional mythology (Uche Okeke or Twins Seven Seven), depictions of sculptures (David Dale), traditional design motifs (Tayo Adenaike), the use of traditional artistic media (Jimoh Buraimoh's beadwork), traditional design principles (Bruce Onobrakpeya or Obiora Udechukwu), or traditional approaches to creativity (Onobrakpeya or Okeke). She also considers artists' influence on other artists (e.g., Twins Seven Seven drawing from Okeke's work).

Artists discussed: Tayo Adenaike, Josy Ajiboye, Chuks Anyanwu, Jimoh Buraimoh, David Dale, Erhabor Emokpae, Akinola Lasekan, Uche Okeke, Bruce Onobrakpeya, Kolade Oshinowo, Twins Seven-Seven, Obiora Udechukwu, and Sina Yussuff.



Babalola, Daniel Olaniyan. The Awo art style: a synthesis of traditional and contemporary artistic idioms in Nigeria. PhD dissertation, Ohio State University, 1981. Ann Arbor: University Microfilms International, 1981. 538pp. illus., bibliog. N7399.N5B112 1981a AFA. OCLC 10125774.

Artists discussed: Felix Eboigbe, Uzo Egonu, Erhabor Emokpae, Yusuf Grillo, Demas Nwoko, Chike Ochi, Bruce Onobrakpeya, Ben Osawe, Isiaka Osunde, Obiora Udechukwu, and Sina Yussuff. Includes interviews with artists.


Beier, Ulli. "Contemporary Nigerian art," Nigeria magazine (Lagos) no. 68: 27­51, March 1961. illus. DT515.A1N68 AFA.

The talent on display at the Exhibition of Arts and Crafts sponsored by the Lagos Branch of the Nigerian Council for the Advancement of Art and Culture, during the Independence celebrations, was surprisingly varied both in content and style. Intended to be representative rather than selective, it was of uneven quality. But it demonstrated that "contemporary" art in Nigeria is a wide and diverse field. Among the less well-known, but promising artists, are Festus Idehen and Osifo Osagie, both Benin sculptors, trained at Yaba College of Technology. Even more exciting are the Zaria group of artists -- Jimo Akolo, Yusuf Grillo, Bruce Onobrakpeya, Uche Okeke, Simon Okeke and Demas Nwoko.

Beier finds these artists, particularly Uche Okeke and Nwoko, truly modern in outlook, yet solidly grounded in their respective cultures.

Artists discussed: J. D. Akeredolu, Jimo Akolo, Erhabor Emokpae, Ben Enwonwu, Lamidi Fakeye, Yusuf Grillo, Ovia Idah, Festus Idehen, Felix Idubor, Femi Kolawole, Akinola Lasekan, Demas Nwoko, Simon Okeke, Uche Okeke, Aina Onabolu, Bruce Onobrakpeya, Osagie Osifo, and Isiaka Osunde.



Beier, Ulli. Art in Nigeria, 1960. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1960. 24pp. illus. Published in collaboration with the Information Division, Ministry of Home Affairs, Ibadan. N7397.N6B42 AFA. OCLC 510816.

Writing at the time of Nigerian independence, Beier laments the persistence of the belief that only traditional African art has merit. He seeks to demonstrate that contemporary Nigerian art is vital and dynamic, drawing on both traditional streams of creativity and on newer outside influences, especially Christian ones. Discussing wood sculpture and metalwork in the context of their religious and social use, he suggests optimistically that by 1960, good art encompassed many forms, including architecture, cement sculpture, commercial signs and posters, and painting.

Artists discussed: Yemi Bisiri, Ben Enwonwu, Lamidi Fakeye, Ovia Idah, Festus Idehen, Felix Idubor, Demas Nwoko, Uche Okeke, and Susanne Wenger.

Reviewed by Gerald Moore in Black Orpheus (Ibadan) no. 11: 69­70, n.d. [ca. 1961].



Beier, Ulli. Thirty years of Oshogbo art. Bayreuth: Iwalewa-Haus, 1991. 90pp. illus. (pt. color). NK1087.6.N5B42 1991 AFA. OCLC 24704098.

Oshogbo has meant many things to many people. It has been described as an art movement, an art school, an experiment; the art itself has been variously characterized as folkloric, naive, innovative, dynamic, touristic and on and on. In this thirty-year retrospective group portrait of the Oshogbo phenomenon, Beier, himself a key player, allows the artists, catalyzers and collectors to speak for themselves. Everyone has his unique perspective, not always in accord, nor able to recall with equal facility, but which together paint a whole picture of what Oshogbo was and is. The artists who recollect are Muraina Oyelami, Twins Seven Seven, Bisi Fabunmi, Tijani Mayakiri, Rufus Ogundele, Ademola Onibonokuta, and Georgina Beier. Ulli Beier writes on Asiru, Denis Williams, Ru van Rossem and on the question of patronage.

Some Nigerian collectors also recall their personal encounters with Oshogbo art and artists.



Bosah, Chukwuemeka and George Edozie. A celebration of modern Nigerian art: 101 Nigerian artists. New Albany, OH: Ben Bosah Books, 2010. x, 266pp. illus. (color). N7399.N5B67 2010 AFA. OCLC 668942847.

This book celebrates Nigeria’s 50th anniversary of independence by showcasing the vitality of Nigerian art in the year 2010. It is the brainchild of Chukwuemeka Bosah, who pulled together the artists and resources to get this book published. Artists’ submissions were invited, selections were made (criteria, not quite clear), and 101 artists were chosen. Essentially, this is a picture book giving a cross-section of art produced today in Nigeria, though it is overwhelmingly painting. The artists are by and large not well known names, and no biographical information is included, but the volume is handsomely produced. Introductory essay are by E. Okechukwu Odita, Frank Ugiomoh and Unoma Numero.



Chartered Bank Plc. (Lagos, Nigeria). The Chartered Bank Collection: an artistic expression beyond space and time. Lagos: Chartered Bank, Plc., 2000. [66]pp. illus. (color), bibl. refs. N7399.N5C43 2000 AFA. OCLC 53333478.

The Chartered Bank collection of contemporary Nigerian art was begun with the inspiration and support of Mr. Odunayo Olagundoye, the Managing Director of the Lagos bank. The first art work was acquired in 1989: a painting by Kolade Oshinowo. By 2000 the collection had grown to 149 works, executed in a variety of media. Sixty of these are featured in this catalog, representing nine regional schools of art and other aesthetic and historical criteria. In his introduction, curator Olasehinde Odimayo spells out the history, scope, and acquisition policy of the collection, including identifying artists yet to be collected, which is an unusual twist. The primary goal of the corporate collection is to build a well-rounded, representative and thoroughly documented collection. The Bank’s new headquarters building in Lagos is designed to showcase the growing collection.

Uche Okeke’s essay, “History of modern Nigeria art” (reprinted from Nigeria magazine nos. 128-129, 1979, pages 100-118) sets the contextual background for understanding contemporary Nigerian art. Nine regional formal and informal schools of art are presented as a framework for looking at 20th century Nigerian art: Abayomi Barber, Maroko, Oshogbo, Auchi, Benin, Ife, Nsukka, Yaba, and Zaria. Plus, there are a few artists who do not fit into this classification, e.g., Ben Enwonwu, Ben Osawe, and Ghanaian Ablade Glover.



Contemporary African art, painting, sculpture, drawing, graphics, ceramics, fabrics, March 13 through May 4, 1969; [exhibition held at the Otis Art Institute, Los Angeles] / text by Jean Kennedy Wolford. Los Angeles: Otis Art Institute of Los Angeles County, 1969. 28pp. chiefly illus., portraits. N7380.5.L87 1969 AFA. OCLC 2928885.

Jean Kennedy, back in the United States from several years sojourn in Nigeria, threw her energies into gaining exposure in America for Nigerian artists. This 1969 exhibition in Los Angeles, which she organized, featured many of the first generation Oshogbo artists along with a few others. It traveled for five years from 1969 to 1973 and was seen by audiences in New York, Missouri, Ohio, West Virginia, and California. In retrospect, her exhibition went a long way toward making Oshogbo synonymous with contemporary African art in the United States.

Exhibition reviewed by John Canaday, "Nigerians' art rewards a pilgrimage," New York times (New York) August 13, 1970 [and] "Not for the airports this time," New York times (New York) August 16, 1970; by Louis Chapin, "Nigerian art: renaissance of the primal," Christian Science monitor (Boston) August 27, 1970; by Peter Schjeldahl, "A coming of age in Africa," New York times (New York) June 13, 1971.



Contemporary Benin school: an exhibition of paintings, sculptures, drawings and prints, metal works, textiles and ceramics by students in the Faculty of Creative Arts, University of Benin; [held at the Exhibition Centre, Lagos, January 25-February 8, 1985] / introduction by S. Irein Wangboje. Lagos: National Council for Art and Culture, 1985. 43pp. illus. N7399.N5C76 1985 AFA. OCLC 27857161.

Benin City has a long history of highly developed arts. With the establishment of the Faculty of Creative Arts, the University of Benin continues a tradition of training in the plastic arts. Among the artists featured: Ademola Adekola, Oseha Ajokpaezi, Osa Egonwa, Kunle Filani, Banky Ojo, and Nics Ubogu.


Contemporary Nigerian art in Lagos private collections: new trees in an old forest / edited by Jess Castellote. Ibadan, Nigeria: Bookcraft, 2012. 302pp. illus. (color), bibl. ref. N7399.N5 C66 2012 AFA. OCLC 818656197.

Lagos has a growing number of art collectors joining a few passionate ‘old-timers,’ who have quietly been collecting contemporary Nigerian art for 40 years. The purpose of this catalog is to shine a light on the collectors, the artists, and the art to demonstrate what a vital art scene Lagos has become. It also reveals that many of these artists are not internationally known despite the collectability of their art locally. Jess Castellote is to be congratulated for undertaking this project.

Contents: Art, currency, and contemporaneity in Nigeria / Dele Jegede -- Collectors and their collections / Jess Castellote -- The contemporary art market in Lagos / Tobenna Okwuosa -- The art of collecting / Sammy Olagbaju -- I. The pre-independence generation -- II. The independence generation -- III. The post-independence generation.



Crowder, Michael. "The contemporary Nigerian artist: his patrons, his audience and his critics," Présence africaine (Paris) nos. 105/106: 130­145, 1978.

The position of the contemporary Nigerian artist with that of his traditional counterpart with particular reference to his patrons, his audience and his critics are contrasted. Artists discussed: Jimoh Buraimoh, Udo Ema, Ben Enwonwu, Yusuf Grillo, C. C. Ibeto, Demas Nwoko, Simon Okeke, Uche Okeke, Bruce Onobrakpeya, Muraina Oyelami, Twins Seven-Seven, and J. O. Ugoji.


Design in Nigeria, Design journal (Seoul) no. 26: 70-92, April 10-May 10, 1990. illus. (color). Text in Korean and English. fN8.D457 AFA.

Nigeria today has become a country noted for its art works, both ancient and modern. Contemporary artists of Nigeria enjoy some of the success and status of the ancient artists, producing a variety of works in artistic styles worthy of international acclaim. Thirty-one artists, most from Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, are showcased in portfolios with color illustrations of their work. Brief biographical sketches are given. An introduction to calabash carving is presented also.

The artists: David H. Dale, Lamidi Fakeye, Rufus Ogundele, Eben Sheba, Josy Ajiboye, Tunde Olanipekun, Moyo Okediji, T. A. G. Oladimeji, Tola Wewe, Bolaji Campbell, Ola Olapade, Timothy O. Ogunfuwa, Raifu Oladepo, Obafemi O. Kolawole, R. O. R. Kalilu, Kehinde Sanwo, James I. Adedayo, Gani Odutokun, Raphael Ige Ibigbami, J. A. Adejinle, Ogunkunle O. Joseph, Olu Ojo, Abayomi Barber, Twins Seven Seven, Nike Olaniyi Twins [Davies], Kunle Filani, Agbo Folarin, P. S. O. Aremu, Jacob Afolabi, Elufowoju Johnson Oluwafemi, and Moses F. Adekanye.



Eze, Justene Nebechianya W. C. The Zaria Art Society / by Justene Nebechianya W.C. Eze. Thesis (B.A.)­­University of Nigeria, Nsukka, 1978. viii, 121 leaves, [39] leaves of plates. illus., bibliog. (leaves 120­121). N17.N6E9 1978a AFA. OCLC 37014559.

The Zaria Art Society was founded in 1958 by art students at the Nigerian College of Arts, Science and Technology, Zaria Branch. Founding members were: Uche Okeke, Demas Nwoko, Yusuf Grillo, Bruce Onobrakpeya, Simon Okeke, William Olasebikan, E. O. Odita, Ogbonnaya Nwagbara, Oseloka Odadebe, Felix Nwoko Ekeada, and Jimoh Akolo. Although it existed for only three years, the legacy of the Zaria Art Society is seen as extending much further than this brief period would suggest. Eze looks at this artistic legacy as manifest in the subsequent careers of the five prime movers -- U. Okeke, S. Okeke, Nwoko, Grillo, and Onobrakpeya. Appendices include interviews with some of the artists and documents from the Zaria Art Society.


Filani, Emmanuel Olakunle. "Art as transmitter of socio-cultural values: the metamorphosis of form and content in contemporary Nigeria [sic] art," Kurio Africana; journal of art and criticism (Ile-Ife) 1 (1): 57-72, [52-65 in revised edition], 1989. bibl. refs. qN1.K966 AFA.

Contemporary artists in Nigeria are aiming for a cultural synthesis of old and new in the form and content of their work, and this is a completely legitimate process, Filani argues. The infusion of abstraction, the artistic freedom to create new forms and inject new meaning into art or to rework older forms have created a wide range of individual styles in the last two decades. These artists are not reluctant to make bold commentaries in the context of their work on contemporary Nigerian society, but they do so with a visual repetoire that speaks to as wide an audience as possible.


Filani, Emmanuel Olakunle. "Contemporary printmaking in Nigeria: its growth and glory," Kurio Africana; journal of art and criticism (Ile-Ife) 1 (2): 25-41, 1989. bibl. refs. qN1.K966 AFA.

Modern Nigerian printmaking as an art form can be dated to the school in Zaria in the late 1950s, though here the emphasis was on printmaking as a commercial medium. However, among the graduates of this program are two of the most prominent of Nigeria's printmakers: Bruce Onobrakpeya and S. Irein Wangboje. Both of these artists have developed innovative styles and techniques. Filani discusses both at length (Onobrakpeya, pp. 28-34; Wangboje, pp. 34-37). Wangboje also directed the Ori Olokun Cultural Centre in Ile-Ife where printmaking featured prominently; Ori Olokun has produced some successful artists, such as Segun Adeku. Wangboje, now at the University of Benin, is encouraging students to explore innovative printmaking techniques, though, on the whole, academic art programs are still slow in teaching printmaking as an art. David Dale, a protege of Onobrakpeya, is another active printmaker in Nigeria.



Filani, Kunle. Patterns of culture in contemporary Yoruba art. Ibadan, Nigeria: Symphony Books, 2005. xi, 123pp. illus. (some color), bibl. refs. (pp. 107-118). N7399.N5F55 2005 AFA. OCLC 824134009.

The outline of this book, based on the author’s dissertation, is simple. Eight Yoruba artists are compared and contrasted. Four of them are university trained; four are informally trained at workshops. The academic artists are Ben Oyadiran, Ayo Ajayi, Tola Wewe, and Wole Olagunju. The four workshop artists are Muraina Oyelami, Jimoh Buraimoh, Wale Olajide, and Segun Adeku. There is particular emphasis on the Yoruba motifs manifest in the work of these artists.



Harmattan Workshop (1st and 2nd : 1998-1999 : Agbarha-Otor, Nigeria). Agbarha-Otor '98 and '99: the 1st and 2nd Harmattan Workshop exhibition / curated by Mike Omoighe. Lagos: Ovuomaroro Studio and Gallery, 1999. xi, 12-84pp. illus. (pt. color), bibl. refs. (page 84). qN7399.N5H37 1999 AFA. OCLC 47087823.

The Harmattan Workshops were founded in 1998 by artist Bruce Onobrakpeya in his home town Agbarha-Otor, Delta State, Nigeria. Onobrakpeya credits his own success to early formative experiences at art workshops held in Ibadan, Oshogbo and Ile-Ife in the 1960s and early 1970s. Now a mature artist, he seeks to replicate those opportunities for younger, aspiring artists.

This catalog records the experiences of the first two Harmattan Workshops, held in 1998 and 1999. Their origins and goals are described by Onobrakpeya. Three other essays discuss the painting, stone carving, and printmaking sessions. Biographical sketches of participating artists are included. Mike Omoighe contributes an essay on the place of art workshops in contemporary African art. Illustrations of many of the completed artworks are reproduced.



Harmattan Workshop (3rd : 2000 : Agbarha-Otor, Nigeria).Agbarha-Otor 2000: 3rd Harmattan Workshop: art and environment / introduced by G. G. Darah; co-curated by Bruce Onobrakpeya. Lagos: Ovuomaroro Studio and Gallery, 2000. xiv, 150pp. illus. (pt. color). N7399.N5H37 2000 AFA. OCLC 47787968.

Building on the successes of the Harmattan 1 and 2 (see preceding entry), the third Harmattan workshop hosted fifty-five artists for two weeks in early 2000. Organized in five media sections – stone carving, metal sculpture, painting, printmaking, and pottery and ceramics – the invited (and uninvited) participants were mainly already trained and practicing artists or teachers. Each artist chose one major and one minor area of concentration. Lectures and discussions, reprinted here, added to the stimulating intellectual and creative environment of the workshop. In this catalog of Harmattan 3 are included reports on all media sections, illustrated with works of art created (which were later exhibited in Lagos). Biodata is included for each participant. There is also an essay on the architecture of Demas Nwoko.



Harmattan Workshop (4th : 2002 : Agbarha-Otor, Nigeria). Agbarha-Otor 2002: 4th Harmattan Workshop: rhythms of the forge / initiator, Bruce Onobrakpeya ; introduction by David Aradion. Lagos: Bruce Onobrakpeya Foundation, 2002. xii, 132pp. illus (pt. color). N7399.N5H37 2002 AFA. OCLC 55962498.

The successful 4th Harmattan Workshop welcomed more than 50 participants (mostly men) into an expanded program that added new artistic media to the existing repertoire – bronze casting and jewelry and wood sculpture. Workshop facilities also expanded – a locally built printing press instead of an imported one – and new accommodations to house the artists at Bruce Onobrakpeya’s compound at Agbarha-Otor in the Niger Delta. The official Harmattan Workshop trainers are really facilitators to offer advice and encouragement for artists to experiment in different media.

This catalog reprints papers presented at the seminar sessions on topics such as arts administration, arts funding, documentation in the visual arts, pricing works of art, kiln construction, metal casting in Nigeria, disability and distortion in Nigerian sculpture, art workshops in Africa, and clay as a medium. Selection of artworks created during the workshop are illustrated in color. Each artist is profiled.



Harmattan Workshop (5th : 2003 : Agbarha-Otor, Nigeria). Agbarha-Otor 2003 5th Harmattan Workshop: interaction, inspiration and expression / edited by Bruce Onobrakpeya. Lagos: Bruce Onobrakpeya Foundation, 2003. xvi, 134pp. illus. (some color). N7399.N5H37 2003 AFA. OCLC 70810853.

Bruce Onobrakpeya's Harmattan Workshop entered its fifth season in 2003 with an expanded repertoire of media. A textile section was added to painting, printmaking, stone and wood carving, metal sculpture, bronze casting, jewelry making, and ceramics. Sixty-two artists participated in 2003, still overwhelmingly male. The works produced during the workshop are illustrated. Because artists were sometimes working in new media, the products were experimental and of varying degrees of success, as would be expected. The hand-on studio work is complemented by presentations of papers and discussions and even poetry readings. Seven of these contributions are published in this catalog



Harmattan Workshop (6th : 2004 : Agbarha-Otor, Nigeria). Agbarha-Otor 2004: 6th Harmattan Workshop: installation is art: art is installation: 22nd February-20th March 2004 / edited by Bruce Onobrakpeya. Lagos: Bruce Onobrakeya Foundation, 2004. xvi, 144p. illus.(some color). N7399.N5H37 2004 AFA. OCLC 213351248.

Around sixty artists took part in the 6th Harmattan Workshop in 2004, a year in which the venerable septuagenarians Wole Soyinka and Yusuf Grillo were honored. With few exceptions, the artists are all academically trained and hail mainly from the Niger Delta region and Lagos. There is no representation from northern Nigeria. Experimentation in new media is encouraged during the workshop to allow the artists to broaden their range. The fruits of their labor are reproduced here. Evening programs for workshop attendees consist of lecturers and discussions on art history and art practice. Six papers are reprinted.



Herold, Erich. "A hypothetical model of Nigerial signboard painters," Annals of the Naptstek Museum (Prague) 10: 9-19, 1981. illus., bibl. refs. (pp. 151-6). VF -- Commerical Art.

Ulli Beier's collection of Nigerian sign paintings, now in the Náprstek Museum in Prague, includes works by Middle Art and other Onitsha and Owerri painters. Herold takes a close look at the style and imagery of portraits in these paintings to propose a hypothetical model for the representation: Patrice Lumumba, the fallen hero of Congo's independence.


Ife art school: 1974-1984; [exhibition held at the Exhibition Centre, National Council for Arts and Culture, Lagos, April 27-May 19, 1984; Institute of African Studies, University of Ibadan, June 1-15, 1984 and Concorde Hotel, Owerri, August 20-25, 1984] / introduction by Frank Aig-Imoukhuede. Lagos: National Council for Arts and Culture, 1984. 36pp. + [20]pp. of illus. (Evolution in Nigerian art series 2). N7399.N5I23 1984 AFA. OCLC 11562686.

One in a series of exhibitions featuring the major academic art schools in Nigeria, this one focuses on the University of Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University). The exhibition had 190 entries by students who were in the Department of Fine Arts, University of Ife between 1974 and 1984. Artists included: Ademola Adekola, Donatus Akatakpo, Tunde Akin-Olutunji, Osi Audu, Chinedu Chukueggu, Peter Coker, Kunle Filani, R. O. R. Kalilu, Olu Ogunfuwa, Babatunde Ogunlaiye, Moyo Okediji, among others.


International Artexpo Nigeria: August 22-30, 2009. Abuja, Nigeria: National Gallery of Art of Nigeria; Art Galleries Association of Nigeria, 2009. v, 164pp. illus. (chiefly color). N7399.N5I58 2008 AFA. OCLC 645169319

The International Artexpo Nigeria showcased 37 commercial art galleries in Nigeria, most of which are based in Lagos. (This expo is not international as the name would suggest). The artworks illustrated are mainly paintings with a few sculptures and mixed media works intersperced. Most are recent, 2008-2009, so the catalog provides a good cross-section of the kind of art being produced and sold in Nigeria.



Jegede, Dele, 1945- "Patronage and change in Nigerian art," Nigeria magazine (Lagos) no. 150: 29-36, 1984. illus., bibliog. DT515.A1N68 AFA.

Jegede contends that the erosion of the traditional base of Nigerian culture through contact with Europeans has set off a metamorphosis in patronage and artistic promotion. Western education interrupted the traditional apprenticeship system. Between the 1930s and 1960s, Christianity and a new social order contributed to the genesis of a new era in Nigerian arts. The Oshogbo and Oye Ekiti workshops were important watersheds, which led to a new patronage system, along with the emergence of galleries, new opportunities for exhibitions, and government-sponsored cultural festivals.

Artists discussed: Jacob Afolabi, Adebisi Akanji, Jimoh Buraimoh, Ben Enwonwu, Adebisi Fabunmi, Lamidi Fakeye, Dele Jegede, Rufus Ogundele, Asiru Olatunde, Muraina Oyelami, Twins Seven-Seven, and Susanne Wenger.



Jegede, Dele, 1945- . Trends in contemporary Nigerian art: a historical analysis. PhD dissertation, Indiana University, 1983. Ann Arbor: University Microfilms International, 1983. xviii, 414 leaves. illus., bibliog. N7399.N5J44 1983a AFA. OCLC 11322181.

This is a comparative study of the academic and experimental art schools exempified by two well-known artists: Bruce Onobrakpeya, representing the academic art school tradition, and Twins Seven Seven from Oshogbo, representing the informal workshop tradition.


Jerde, Elizabeth Ann. The Nigerian art of survival: Nike Centre re-commodifies art and culture. PhD dissertation, University of Iowa, 1998. Ann Arbor: UMI Dissertation Services, 1998. xv, 405 leaves. illus., bibliog. NX410.N6N55 1998a AFA. OCLC 48693217.

The Nike Centre for Art and Culture in Oshogbo, Nigeria, is a haven to many of the young artists brought into Nike Olaniyi’s entrepreneurial orbit. The art school, gallery, cultural troupe, and ultimate tourist destination that she has created builds on the name that Oshogbo already had as a town of artists. But in Nigeria of the 1990s, survival is a real concern, and artists who can successfully market themselves internationally are at a greater advantage. Jerde, in doing the research for this dissertation, apprenticed herself as an indigo dyer at the Nike Center, and her experiences are recounted in a highly personal manner.


Kasfir, Sidney Littlefield. "Art from Africa," African arts (Los Angeles) 14 (44): 76­78, August 1981. illus.

The worlds of "traditional" and "contemporary" African art collapse into one another in this exhibition of popular urban arts of Africa, held at the Commonwealth Institute, London, January 13-April 5, 1981. An abridged version of the Berlin exhibition "Moderne Kunst aus Afrika," the London show contained mostly paintings, over half from the private collection of Gunter Péus of Hamburg. The Nigerian part of the exhibition was mainly Oshogbo art and sign painter Middle Art. None of the academic artists were represented. Moreover, even recent developments in Oshogbo were not reflected in the exhibition. One of the lessons of this show is that "the uneven development of art throughout the continent has been a response to a few cases of strong and inspired patronage."


Kelly, Bernice M. Nigerian artists: a who's who and bibliography / edited by Janet L. Stanley. London, New York: Published for the National Museum of African Art Branch, Smithsonian Institution Libraries, Washington, DC, by Hans Zell, 1993. vii, 600pp. color plates. N7399.N5K46 1993X AFA REF. OCLC 27035873.

Contains bio-bibliographies of 353 Nigerian artists active in the years between 1920 and 1990. The biographies include full exhibition histories, public collections, commissions, awards and honors, and training. The individual artists' bibliographies are cross-referenced to an extensive, annotated bibliography on modern Nigerian art. Also includes a chronology of Nigerian art, 1920-1990. Based on research and resources at the National Museum of African Art Library. Eight plates of color reproductions of art works are included.

Reviewed by Babatunde Lawal in African arts (Los Angeles) 27 (4): 24, 90-91, autumn 1994; by Kate Ezra in African studies review (Atlanta) 38 (2): 129-132, September 1995; by Christopher Olubunmi Adejumo in Research in African literatures (Bloomington) 27 (3): 169-170, fall 1996; by Kaye Whiteman, "A true labour of love," West Africa (London) no. 3947: 840, May 17-23, 1993; by Gretchen Walsh in Choice (Middletown, CT) 31 (4): 587, December 1993; by Pat Oyelola in Nigerian field 1994.



Kennedy, Jean. "Artists of the shrines: Oshogbo," pp. 58-66. In: New currents, ancient rivers: contemporary African artists in a generation of change. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1992. illus., bibl. refs. (page 188). N7391.65.K46 1992X AFA. OCLC 22389510.

The "artists of the shrines" are the untutored or self-taught practitioners who were swept into Susanne Wenger's orbit and became part of the New Sacred Art movement in Oshogbo. They re-created in totally new style the shrines of Oshun and other Yoruba deities in Oshogbo. Other artists became known for batiks, also inspired by Wenger's batik art. Among these Wenger followers are Adebisi Akanji, Buraimoh Gbadamosi, Saka, Sangodare Gbadegesin, and Isaac Ojo Fajana. Another Oshogbo artist influenced by Wenger was Asiru Olatunde, known for his aluminum repoussé panels.


Kennedy, Jean. "Bridges: predecessors in Nigeria," pp. 29-37. In: New currents, ancient rivers: contemporary African artists in a generation of change. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1992. illus., bibl. refs. (pp. 186-187). N7391.65.K46 1992X AFA. OCLC 22389510.

Modern Nigerian artists have rich artistic heritages to draw upon, and it was in Nigeria that some of the earliest modern practitioners on the continent emerged. These bridge-building artists include: Ovia Idah, the Bini chief and sculptor, Yemi Bisiri, the Yoruba brass caster, Ben Enwonwu, an academically trained artist, Lamidi Fakeye, the Ekiti Yoruba sculptor, Yusuf Grillo and Solomon Irein Wangboje, both of whom trained in Zaria.


Kennedy, Jean. "The spontaneous spirit: Oshogbo and Ife," pp. 67-86. In: New currents, ancient rivers: contemporary African artists in a generation of change. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1992. illus., bibl. refs. (pp. 188-189). N7391.65.K46 1992X AFA. OCLC 22389510.

The Oshogbo renaissance sprang up not only in the groves of Oshun, but it pulsated on Station Road at Mbari Mbayo club. Here in the compound of Duro Ladipo, Ulli Beier and friends launched what has become both an admired and reviled art phenomenon known simply as "Oshogbo." The informal workshops, the theatrical performances, and the whole energy of Mbari helped put Oshogbo on the map.

Kennedy writes this story of Oshogbo from personal encounters and experiences, as she was a peripheral player. She knew personally the artists whose work she describes: Jacob Afolabi (1945- ), Rufus Ogundele (1948-1996), Adebisi Fabunmi (1945- ), Muraina Oyelami (1940- ), Jimoh Buraimoh (1943- ), Twins Seven Seven (1944- ), Samuel Ojo (died 1977), Ademola Onibonokuta (1943- ), Tijani Mayakiri (1937- ), Isaac Ojo Fajana (1946- ), Yinka Adeyemi (1945- ), Jinadu Oladepo (1924- ), Gift Orapko (1953-1978), and Middle Art (1936- ).



Lasekan, Akinola. "Problems of contemporary African artists," Kurio Africana; journal of art and criticism (Ile-Ife) 1 (1): 25-37, 1989. notes. [reprinted from unstated earlier source]. qN1.K966 AFA.

Lasekan, one of the pioneering modern Nigerian artists, laments the lack of appreciation of art in Nigeria and the failure to grasp the higher values that art contributes to civilization. The problem as he sees it is lack of patronage, and he points to the earlier royal patronage which resulted in many of Nigeria's splendid antiquities.

Expatriates in Nigeria provide most of the patronage for contemporary art and this leads to bending to their artistic tastes. The most successful are those who turn out copies of "traditional" masks and figures. Western-trained artists who make realistic works are much less of interest to foreign patrons who see this work as derivative and bland; although Nigerians seem to prefer realistic art, especially portraits, most are prevented from becoming patrons for economic reasons. A third group of artists who blend abstraction with traditional styles -- the majority of modern artists fall into this group -- are more popular with foreigners and less appreciated by Nigerians.

The commercial success of mass produced tourist art and the "charlatanism" of artists who cover their mediocrity with a pseudo-modernism both do harm to serious artists.

This paper published posthumously appears to have been written in the 1960s.



Neue Kunst aus Afrika in der Sammlung Heinz und Gerlinde Griffenberger = New art from Africa in the collection Heinz and Gerlinde Greiffenberger / edited by Ulli Beier. Altenburg: Druckerei zu Altenburg, 2002. 203pp. illus. (color). Text in German and English. N7380.5.N48 2002 AFA. OCLC 694431610.

The Greiffenbergs (Heinz and Gerlinde) were led to Nigerian art by Ulli Beier at Iwalewa Haus, where they became serious art collectors in 1987. Their collection, dating mainly from the late 1980s and early 1990s, is showcased in this catalog. In addition to works by Nigerian artists, the Greiffenbergs acquired works by other Iwalewa Haus artists, such as Azaria Mbatha, Ibrahim el Salahi, Hassan Ali Ahmed, and Tshibumba Kanda Matulu. But mainly, it is the Nigerians, from both Oshogbo and Nsukka, who predominate. Ulli and Georgina Beier wrote most of the text, and the voices of some artists are heard. Excellent color reproductions.



Neue Kunst in Afrika: Das Buch zur Ausstellung: [Ausstellung im Mittelrheinischem Landesmuseum, Mainz, in Zusammenarbeit mit dem Institut für Ethnologie und Afrika Studien der Johannes Gutenberg-Universität, Mainz, Juni 1980; Ausstellung der Universität Bayreuth in Zusammenarbeit mit dem Hypo-Bank (Baywerische Hypoheken-und Wechsel-Bank), Juli/August 1980; Ausstellung in der Galerie Perlinger, Wörgl/Osterreich, September 1980] / curated by and text by Ulli Beier. Berlin: Reimer, 1980. 1

By the time Ulli Beier left Nigeria at the end of 1966, he had already identified (and written about) those artists he felt were some of the best new talents and creative energies in Africa. Oshogbo, Mbari Mbayo, and Susanne Wenger were among them, certainly, but there were others, fingered early on by Beier. This catalog and the exhibition for which it was written clearly bear Beier's imprint.

Although it is heavily weighted toward the Oshogbo artists, other Beier favorites are here: Ibrahim el Salahi (Sudan), Malangatana (Mozambique), Obiora Udechukwu (Nigeria), Demas Nwoko (Nigeria), Uche Okeke (Nigeria), and Middle Art (Nigeria), among others. On balance, Nigeria takes the lion's share.

Of the Oshogbo artists singled out for greater attention are Twins Seven Seven, Muraina Oyelami and Susanne Wenger. Duro Ladipo, the outstanding Yoruba dramatist who was central to Mbari Mbayo, is also featured. Georgina Beier in an interview talks about the Oshogbo experience from her unique perspective. Wolfgang Bender contributes an essay on art during the colonial period in Nigeria, which draws attention to some of the new Christian sculpture and other art influenced by the European presence (e.g., images on Gelede masks).



Nigerian and foreign patronage of the arts, 1962-1987: the role of Nigerian and foreign institutions in the promotion of Nigerian arts: symposium organized by the Goethe-Institut on the occasion of its silver jubilee celebration, Lagos, June 3, 1987 / [co-ordinator, Alfons Hug]. Lagos: Goethe Institute, [1987]. 35pp. illus.N8720.N68 1987 AFA. OCLC 21588846.

The 1987 symposium on patronage of modern Nigerian art provided four artists a platform to air their views on the subject. In their individual presentations, Yusuf Grillo, Dele Jegede, Uche Okeke, and Bruce Onobrakpeya agreed that without local patronage and appreciation, the whole foundation of modern art in Nigeria is shaky. Creating works of art solely for foreign patrons/collectors runs the risk of a commercial enterprise devoid of vision and commitment. Other topics touched upon by the artists and other participants were government support for artists, the need for "visual literacy" in Nigeria, the absence of real art criticism, the contribution of foreign cultural institutions, such as the Goethe Institute or the Italian Cultural Institute and the handful of private galleries, in broadening exposure to modern Nigerian art. Other participants were Frank Aig-Imoukhuede, director of the National Council for Arts & Culture; Newton Jibunoh, art patron and founder of Didi Museum, Lagos; Gabriele Tombini, director of the Italian Cultural Institute; and Alfons Hug, director of the Goethe Institute, Lagos.



Nigerian art: kindred spirits. [videorecording] / a co-production of WETA-TV and the Smithsonian Institution in association with Blue Sky Productions; narrated by Ruby Dee. Washington, DC: WETA, 1990. 1 videocassette (58 min.): sd., color: ½ in. (Smithsonian World series, Washington, DC). mvideo 70 AFA. OCLC 21555554.

The Smithsonian World took its cameras to Nigeria and London to capture a bit of the world of modern Nigerian art and some of the creative practitioners who are making their mark. The narrator plays the theme of interweaving old and new, how these artists, each in his own way, is synthesizing and adapting cultural forms and values into new and transformed idioms. The featured artists are El Anatsui, Sokari Douglas Camp, Nike Davies, Ben Enwonwu, Lamidi Fakeye, Taiwo Jegede, Uche Okeke, Bruce Onobrakpeya, and Obiora Udechukwu.

Previewed by Michael Hill, "Smithsonian World explores African art, artists," Baltimore sun (Baltimore) May 2, 1990; Rick Kogan, "Special gives real feel for spirit of Nigerian art," Chicago tribune (Chicago) May 2, 1990.

Reviewed by Gbile Oshadipe, "Nigerian arts hit American TV," Lagos life (Lagos) June 21-27, 1990; Andy Ike Ezeani, "Taking Nigeria to America, the Smithsonian project," Daily champion (Lagos) June 29, 1990; Muyiwa Kayode, "Kindred spirits: kindred pull," Guardian (Lagos) July 8, 1990, page B5.

Accompanying teachers' guide: Nigerian art, kindred spirits: teacher's guide by Stephanie Dailey and Kwaku Ofori-Ansa (Washington, DC: WETA [and] Smithsonian World, 1990). 6pp.



Nigerian artists and Nigerian contemporary art / edited by Simon Ottenberg. Washington, DC: Smithsonian National Museum of African Art; Seattle: in association with University of Washington Press, 2002. xvii, 330pp. illus (pt. color), bibliog. N7399.N52N785 2002X AFA. OCLC 49285641.

These are the proceedings of a two-day symposium at the National Museum of African Art held in October 1997 in conjunction with the exhibition “The Poetics of Line: Seven Artists of the Nsukka Group.” Simon Ottenberg, curator of the exhibition, organized the symposium and invited as speakers all of the seven artists plus art historians, critics, and other artists. The art of the Nsukka school – that is, the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Department of Fine and Applied Arts – is the central focus, but some presentations draw in other Nigerian contemporary art. The seven Nsukka artists are Uche Okeke, Obiora Udechukwu, El Anatsui, Tayo Adenaike, Chike Aniakor, Ada Udechukwu, and Olu Oguibe. There are also three presentations on traditional uli painting and nsibidi symbols, which provide the starting point for the “poetics of line.” Reviewed by Philip Peek in African studies review (New Brunswick, NJ) 47 (2) September 2004, pages 193-196.



Nigerian women in visual art: history, aesthetics, and interpretation / edited by Paul Chike Dike and Patricia Oyelola. Lagos, Nigeria: National Gallery of Art, 2004. V, 259pp. illus. (pt. color), bibliog. (pp. 229-241). N7399.N5N59 2004 AFA. OCLC 70175197.

Nigerian women in visual art promises more than it delivers by offering a series of overlapping, repetitious essays. Still, submerged in the verbage are recurring references to Nigeria’s significant and emerging women artists. There is a generous selection of illustrations of artworks by painters, sculptors, textile and graphic designers, potters and ceramicists.

Contents: Nigerian women in art / Pat. Oyelola -- Nigerian women visual artists / Kolade Oshinwo -- Female presence in contemporary Nigerian art / Kunle Filani -- Crossing boundaries : gender transmogrification of African art history / Chike Aniakor -- Between Nkiru Nzegwu and the politics of gender transmogrification / C. Krydz Ikwuemesi -- The challenges of Nigerian women's art / Stella Idiong -- The changing female calendar / Jerry Buhari -- Female artists : visual art communication and cultural limitation / Mike Omoighe -- Women in visual arts : contributions to national development / Donatus Akatakpo and Kenneth Ubani -- Art and gender : the Nigerian example / Jacob Jari -- Women sculptors in Nigeria : an intense look at Princess U. A. Olowu, Ndidi Dike, and Veronica Otigbo / Efemena I. Ononeme -- A creativity index profile of the 60 most popular female artists in Nigeria / A. U. Okpara -- Nigerian female artists : old problems and new directions / Okpara, Chukwuemeka, Vincent -- Thoughts on women's art and the role of galleries, museums, and cultural bodies in Nigeria / Tonie Okpe.



Nku di na mba: Uche Okeke and modern Nigerian art / edited by Paul Chike Dike, Patricia Oyelola. Abuja, Nigeria: National Gallery of Art of Nigeria, 2003. viii, 368 p. illus. (pt. color), bibl. refs. N7399.N5N58 2003 AFA. OCLC 61513950.

Although centered on the life and career of Uche Okeke, this book offers a perspective on modern Nigerian art in the middle decades of the 20th-century, when Uche Okeke was most active. Witness and testimony comes from colleagues who worked with Okeke at the Nigerian College of Arts, Science, and Technology, Zaria; at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka; at Mbari Art Centre, Enugu; or at Asele Institute, Nimo. Okeke's arc traces the trajectory of Nigerian modernism.



Nucleus: a catalogue of works in the national collection on the inception of the National Gallery of Modern Art. Lagos: Federal Department of Culture, 1981. 115pp. chiefly illus. (pt. color). N3885.L3N96 AFA. OCLC 10825239.

The National Gallery of Modern Art in Lagos was a long time in the planning before it became a reality, and the works of art that form the nucleus of the collection were acquired some years before the official opening. This catalog showcases the collection.

Featured artists, among others: Tayo Adenaike, Simeon Agbetuyi, Bernard Aina, Thomas Airen, Ayo Ajayi, Michael Ajayi, Josy Ajiboye, Joshua Akande, Benson Ake, J. D. Akeredolu, Jimo Akolo, Chuka Amaefunah, Chike Aniakor, Chuks Anyanwu, Ben Aye, Abayomi Barber, Emmanuel Bojerenu, Jimoh Buraimoh, David Dale, Haig David-West, Anthony Efionayi, Uzo Egonu, Jerome Elaiho, Erhabor Emokpae, Ben Enwonwu, Bisi Fakeye, Yusuf Grillo, Felix Idubor, Paul Igboanugo, Dele Jegede, Anthony John-Kamen, Akinola Lasekan, Theresa Luck-Akinwale, Etso Ugbodaga Ngu, Amos Odion, Ade Odus, Gani Odutokun, Sunday Ogbebor, R. U. Ogiamien, Rufus Ogundele, Eke Okaybulu, Aina Onabolu, Josiah Onemu, Bruce Onobrakpeya, Francis Osague, Ben Osawe, Olajide Oshiga, Kolade Oshinowo, Evans Osuchukwu, Isiaka Osunde, Muraina Oyelami, Twins Seven-Seven, Obiora Udechukwu, Inyang Udo-Ema, S. Irein Wangboje, Henderson Yebusika, and Sina Yussuff.



Odutokun, Gani, 1946-1995. "Art in Nigeria since independence," chapter 7, pp. 139-151. In: Nigeria since independence: the first twenty-five years, volume 7: culture / edited by Peter Ekeh and Garba Ashiwaju Ibadan: Heinemann Educational Books (Nigeria), 1989. bibliog. VF -- Artists - Nigeria. DT515.8.N5234 1989X AFA. OCLC 24911400.

The economic hardships of the late 1970s and the 1980s forced an inward-looking consciousness that ironically engendered a remarkable resourcefulness and creativity in the arts. By contrast, the accomplishments of the early years of Nigerian independence were more tentative and sporadic, despite the sudden effervescence of the Oshogbo group. Even today, a "Nigerian style" is yet to evolve, although several earnest artists along the way have contributed their unique vision toward a national consciousness: Felix Idubor, Ben Enwonwu, Isiaka Osunde, Uche Okeke, Demas Nwoko, Ben Osawe, and Bruce Onobrakpeya. Modern architecture has fared less well and is still to find a coherent indigenous expression, despite some isolated innovators who have tried to adapt and to incorporate art into architecure.

Artists discussed: Kenny Adamson, Tayo Adenaike, S. A. Adetoro, Ayo Ajayi, Adebisi Akanji, Chike Aniakor, Jimoh Buraimoh, Erhabor Emokpae, Ben Enwonwu, Lamidi Fakeye, Agbo Folarin, Yusuf Grillo, Felix Idubor, Dele Jegede, Akinola Lasekan, Demas Nwoko, Uche Okeke, Asiru Olatunde, Aina Onabolu, Bruce Onobrakpeya, Ben Osawe, Osagie Osifo, Kolade Oshinowo, Isiaka Osunde, Twins Seven-Seven, Obiora Udechukwu, S. Irein Wangboje, Susanne Wenger, and Sina Yussuff.



Oguibe, Olu, 1964- . The image of woman in contemporary Nigerian art, 1970 to the present. M.A. thesis, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, 1989. v, 106 leaves. illus., bibliog. N7399.N5O35 1989 AFA. OCLC 32216118.

To study the image of woman in the recent works of Nigerian artists, it is advisable to move away from the sociological and certainly to avoid loaded Western concepts, such as "feminist" or "male-chauvinist." Art history needs to be situated squarely in the realm of historical realities of the artists concerned; it is not enough to look for thematic categories of depictions of women without exploring what lies behind these artistic choices.

Early renditions by artists such as Aina Onabolu, J. D. Akeredolu, or Akinola Lasekan belong to a genre tradition, woman as mere object of artistic interest. Ben Enwonwu broke away from genre and explored the theme of woman as mythic person. This theme was later picked up by many others, Uche Okeke among them. Woman as archetype of motherhood or as symbol of fertility and continuity emerged in the 1960s and 1970s among a number of artists. That and other stock images, e.g., woman as milk maid, as dancer, became common, too common. Their shallowness reflects a certain aridity of imagination and lack of depth.

The image of Western women introduced during the colonial period affected the image of the African woman. Depictions of women became ornamental, elitist, fashion-conscious. The village woman, when depicted, remained idyllic and generic. Neither of which made reference to realities of the changing roles of women, for example, the impact of Christianity.

The Negritude movement, among whose followers was Ben Enwonwu, depicted woman (ironically) by borrowing European fin-de-siècle imagery. This stylized, romanticized image has been perpetuated by some Nigerian artists. Woman as metaphor may be used to express the social condition, for example, suffering woman as metaphor for futility of war. Obiora Udechukwu has invoked this metaphorical woman. Other metaphorical women are the lone woman, the aged woman, the beggar.

What of Nigerian women artists? Though few in number (or perhaps because of this), women artists are decidedly not "feminist" in their depictions of women. They are indistinguishable from their male counterparts. Artists such as Etso Ugboadaga-Ngu, Ndidi Dike and Ego Uche-Okeke fall into this copycat mold. One who breaks the mold is Sokari Douglas Camp, whose depictions of women reflect individuality and Kalabari identity.



Oguntona, Toyin. The Oshogbo workshops: a case study of non­formal art education in Nigeria. PhD dissertation, University of Wisconsin, 1981. Ann Arbor: University Microfilms International, 1981. 210pp. illus., bibliog. N277.6.N5O35 1981a AFA. OCLC 8839582.

Oguntona describes the evolution of the Oshogbo workshops, which emerged outside a formal educational structure. The success of the Oshogbo artistic experiment in drawing on cultural heritage, while developing new skills and sensibilities, remains its most significant legacy. This integrative approach, already tried in other contexts, e. g., the National Youth Service Corps, has fostered an "aesthetic socialization" in Nigeria.

Artists discussed: Bisi Adeyemi, Yinka Adeyemi, Jacob Afolabi, Adebisi Akanji, Gbade Akintunde, Jimoh Buraimoh, Nike Davies, Adebisi Fabunmi, Tijani Mayakiri, Raufu Ojewale, Rufus Ogundele, Joseph Olabode, Jinadu Oladepo, Asiru Olatunde, Philip Oluwafemi, Muraina Oyelami, Saka, Twins Seven-Seven, and Susanne Wenger.



Ojo, Bankole. "Two decades of Ori Olokun Art: the years 1969-1989," pp. 188-198. In: Oritameta: proceedings, 1990 / edited by Moyo Okedjii. [Ile-Ife]: Department of Fine Arts, Obafemi Awolowo University, [1991]. bibl. refs. qN7399.N6I615 1990 AFA. OCLC 25306723.

Ori Olokun Experimental Art Workshop, founded in 1969 under the wing of the Institute of African Studies at the University of Ife, was the spiritual successor to the Mbari Mbayo workshops in Oshogbo. Ori Olokun, unlike Mbari Mbayo, existed within a somewhat more institutional setting and employed instructors who were professional artists. It was, however, informal and improvisional in approach and attracted as its "students" a lively coterie of apprentices along with a few transplants from Oshogbo.

Directed initially by printmaker Solomon Irein Wangboje, Ori Olokun artists concentrated on printmaking. The Ori Olokun experiment ran out of steam after a few years, following Wangboje's departure in 1971. Ulli Beier, who returned to Nigeria soon afterward, is said to have been unenthusiastic about Ori Olokun. Whatever the cause, Ori Olokun disbanded, but it did sow some seeds that later bore fruit. Among the artists who have gone on to establish names for themselves are Ademola Williams, Rufus Orishayomi, James Adedayo, Raifu Oladepo, and Peter Badejo (though in dance).



Okediji, Moyo. "Onaism in The Nucleus," Kurio Africana; journal of art and criticism (Ile-Ife) 1 (2): 89-99, 1989. bibliog. qN1.K966 AFA.

Onaism, referring to an artistic movement initiated by a group of Yoruba artists based in Ile-Ife, derives from the Yoruba concept ona, which means decoration, embellishment, design, or motif. Ona relates to sculpture, patterning of textiles and many other art forms; it can also refer to artistic vision and aesthetics. Okediji illuminates this concept in the works of Yoruba artists reproduced in The Nucleus, the catalog of the National Gallery of Modern Art in Lagos. Some artists reveal onaism in their works more clearly than others. Gani Odutokun, for example, does so in the interplay of color; Abayomi Barber, a realistic portrait painter, shows a more subtle use of decorative elements but still falls within the category of onaism, as do the other realists -- Josy Ajiboye, Aina Onabolu and Akinola Lasekan.

Tayo Adenaike is an interesting case; though a Yoruba, he is clearly identified with the Igbo school of ulism, yet in his work too, Okediji sees uli itself as an element of ona. Other Yoruba artists represented in The Nucleus fall into mainstream onaism: Ayo Ajaye, Sina Yusuf and Jimoh Buraimoh. Okediji compares the stylistic range of onaism with that of ulism, finding the latter restricted to non-realistic styles while onaism embraces both realistic and non-realistic.

Artists discussed: Tayo Adenaike, Ayo Ajayi, Josy Ajiboye, Abayomi Barber, Jimoh Buraimoh, Akinola Lasekan, Aina Onabolu, Gani Odutokun, and Sina Yussuff.



Okediji, Moyo. African renaissance: new forms, old images in Yoruba art. Boulder: University Press of Colorado, 2002. xvi, 201pp. illus. (some col.)., bibliog. (pp. 191-194). N7399.N5O38 2002X AFA. OCLC 49260168.

This study of 20th century Yoruba art investigated the transition from traditional to post-colonial art practice as exemplified by the work of selected artists. Okediji focuses on Olowe, Areogun, Aina Onabolu, Bamgboye, Lamidi Fakeye, Akin Lasekan, Justus Akeredolu, Yusuf Grillo, Jimoh Akolo, Twins Seven Seven, Jimoh Buraimoh, Gani Odutokun, Kunle Filani, Bolaji Campbell, Moyo Ogundipe, Remi Fani-Kayode, and diaspora artists Michael D. Harris and Israel Garcia.


Okeke, Chika, 1966- "The quest: from Zaria to Nsukka," pp. 38-75. In: Seven stories about modern art in Africa / organized by the Whitechapel Art Gallery; concept and general editor, Clémentine Deliss. Paris; New York: Flammarion, 1995. illus. (pt. color). N7380.5.S49 1995 AFA. OCLC 33663281.

Includes discussion of Nigerian artists affiliated with the art schools in Zaria and Nsukka: Uche Okeke, 1933- ; Bruce Onabrakpeya, 1932- ; Ben Enwonwu, 1921- ; Erhabor Emokpae, 1934-1984; Obiora Udechukwu, 1946- ; El Anatsui, 1944- ; Gani Odutokun, 1946-1995; Tayo Tekovi Quaye, 1954- ; Jerry Buhari, 1959- ; Jacob Jari, 1960- ; Ayo Aina; Tayo Adenaike, 1954- ; Ndidi Dike, 1960- ; Olu Oguibe, 1964- ; Chika Okeke, 1966- .

See the critique of the Nigeria section of "Seven Stories" by Sylvester Okwunodu Ogbechie, "Exhibiting Africa: curatorial attitudes and the politics of representation in `Seven Stories about Modern Art in Africa,'" African arts (Los Angeles) 30 (1): 10, 12, 83-84, winter 1997.



Okeke, Uche, 1933- "History of modern Nigerian art," Nigeria magazine (Lagos) nos. 128/129: 100­-118, 1979. illus. DT515.A1N68 AFA.

Okeke casts the emergence of modern Nigerian art as one of struggle: a struggle for artists to redefine themselves in face of Western-Christian cultural imperialism, a struggle to relearn what was rich and enriching about their own cultures, and a struggle to create a modern idiom. The polarities of Aina Onabolu, the elitist, and Kenneth Murray, the experimenter, were both in their separate ways revolutionary. Their legacy was not great art, but new ways of thinking about art.

The scene was thus set for the entrance of the first self-consciously committed generation of artists, the Zaria group, who thrashed out their own solutions and individually sought a synthesis of old and new. By the 1960s, things began to happen quickly -- the Oshogbo workshops, founding of the Society of Nigerian Artists, and the opening of new art schools.

Artists discussed: Jacob Afolabi, Ayo Ajayi, S. A. O. Chukueggu, Jimoh Buraimoh, Felix Ekeada, Afi Ekong, Ben Enwonwu, Lamidi Fakeye, Yusuf Grillo, C. C. Ibeto, Ovia Idah, Festus Idehen, Felix Idubor, Akinola Lasekan, Uzo Ndubisi, Ogbonnaya Nwagbara, Demas Nwoko, E. Okechukwu Odita, Eke Okaybulu, Aina Onabolu, Simon Okeke, Uche Okeke, Bruce Onobrakpeya, Gift Orakpo, Oseloka Osadebe, Twins Seven-Seven, Obiora Udechukwu, Inyang Udo-Ema, J. O. Ugoji, A. P. Umana, S. Irein Wangboje, and Susanne Wenger.



Okeke, Uche, 1933- "The search for a theoretical basis for contemporary Nigerian art," Nigerian journal of the humanities (Benin City) l (l): 60-66, 1977. bibl. refs. AS633.A1N53X AFA.

The Zaria Art Society attempted to articulate a creative philosophy for Nigerian visual artists, which embodied an appreciation and understanding of one's own cultural heritage and which could go beyond Western-colonial boundaries in seeking artistic solutions. Okeke, the president of the Zaria Art Society, quotes at length from two of his presidential addresses of 1959 and 1960.

Artists discussed: Ben Enwonwu, C. C. Ibeto, Akinola Lasekan, Eke Okaybulu, Simon Okeke, and Aina Onabolu.



Okeke, Uche, 1933- . Art in development: a Nigerian perspective / edited by Leclair Grier Lambert. Nimo, Anambra State: Documentation Centre, Asele Institute; Minneapolis: African American Cultural Center, 1982. 90pp. illus. N7399.N5O41a AFA. OCLC 8743815.

A collection of essays, interviews, and papers by Uche Okeke, dating from 1959 to 1982, on the growth and development of Nigerian contemporary art. Okeke seeks to give a new sense of meaning for Nigerian art and a sense of new direction for present-day artists.

Reviewed by Fred T. Smith in African arts (Los Angeles) 16 (2): 84­85, February 1983.



Okoro, Godwin Imarhia Peter. African contemporary art in Nigeria. EdD dissertation, Columbia University, Teachers College, 1984. Ann Arbor: University Microfilms International, 1984. 196pp. illus., bibliog. N7399.N5O411 1984a. OCLC 12483692.

This in-depth look at the history and evolution of twentieth-century Nigerian art addresses the dilemma confronting modern artists: how to accommodate the pressures of Western culture without losing one's own cultural identity. By describing his own art education and experience, Okoro shows the need for Nigeria to develop its own cultural identity.

Artists discussed: Adebisi Akanji, Jimoh Buraimoh, Afi Ekong, Ben Enwonwu, Yusuf Grillo, Festus Idehen, Lamidi Fakeye, Aina Onabolu, Osagie Osifo, Twins Seven-Seven, and Susanne Wenger.



Oloidi, Ola, 1944- "Art and nationalism in colonial Nigeria," pp. 192-194, 317. In: Seven stories about modern art in Africa / organized by the Whitechapel Art Gallery; concept and general editor, Clémentine Deliss. Paris; New York: Flammarion, 1995. illus., bibl. refs. (page 317). N7380.5.S49 1995 AFA. OCLC 33663281.

Includes discussion of pioneer artists and art educators on the Nigerian art scene -- Aina Onabolu, Kenneth C. Murray, Akinola Lasekan, and the Zaria Art Society founder Uche Okeke. Note: Reprinted from Nsukka journal of history (Nsukka) no. 1, 1989, pp. 92-110.


Oloidi, Ola, 1944- "Elitism and modern African artists," Nigeria magazine (Lagos) nos. 134/135: 71­84, 1981. illus. bibliog. DT515.A1N68 AFA.

There is a danger in modern Nigerian art becoming too elitist, thematically, and economically out of reach. The art personality can also become out of touch, hence ineffective. A democratization of the arts is called for.

Artists discussed: Ben Enwonwu, Yusuf Grillo, Demas Nwoko, Uche Okeke, Bruce Onobrakpeya, and Isiaka Osunde.



Oloidi, Ola, 1944- "Growth and development of formal art education in Nigeria, 1900-1960," Transafrican journal of history (Nairobi) 15: 108-126, 1986. notes, bibl. refs.

The man credited with introducing formal Western-style art education into the curriculum in Lagos was not a European, but the self-taught painter Aina Onabolu. Though committed and perservering in the face of official indifference, his real success was not in the classroom but in bringing Kenneth Murray to Nigeria in 1927. Murray's "culturistic" ideology differed from Onabolu's more conventional approach, and it is Murray's students who form the first generation of established artists: Ben Enwonwu, Christopher Ibeto, A. P. Umana, Uthman Ibrahim, D. L. K. Nnachi and J. Ugoji. They in turn spanned out, influencing subsequent generations of art students through their teaching and writings. In 1952 the first formal art school was established at Yaba Technical Institute (now Yaba College of Technology); college art departments soon followed, and they in turn merged into the universities of the 1960s.

At the Nigerian College of Arts, Science and Technology in Zaira, where Etso Clara Ugbodaga-Ngu pioneered as an art teacher, the congenial atmosphere spawned the free thinking, politically minded Zaria Art Society composed of articulate, talented artists, such as Yusuf Grillo, Uche Okeke, Bruce Onobrakpeya, and Demas Nwoko, who were ignited by both the euphoria of Nigerian Independence and by their own artistic rebellion and quest for relevance. Enter Ulli Beier, who embraced and publicly supported the work of this group of rebel artists, and the foundation is laid.

Artists discussed: S. A. O. Chukueggu, Ben Enwonwu, Yusuf Grillo, C. C. Ibeto, Akinola Lasekan, Etso Ugbodaga Ngu, Demas Nwoko, Uche Okeke, Geoffrey Okolo, Aina Onabolu, Bruce Onobrakpeya, J. O. Ugoji, and A. P. Umana.



Onobrakpeya, Bruce, 1932- . Sahelian masquerades: artistic experiments, November 1985-August 1988 / edited by Safy Quel. Papa Ajao, Mushin, Lagos: Ovuomaroro Gallery, 1988. xi, 132pp. illus. (pt. color). N7399.N53O582s 1988 AFA. OCLC 18847528.

Bruce Onobrakpeya is one of the few modern artists in Africa who has systematically published collections of his works and writings. Sahelian masquerades is his latest offering. Earlier compilations include Symbols of ancestral groves (1985), Sabbatical experiments, 1978-1983 (1983) and a series of limited edition Print notes and comments (nine of which have appeared to date).

The arid Sahel of Northern Nigeria, a region Onobrakpeya first encountered during his student days in Zaria, inspired the present series of artistic experiments. The illustrated works include plastographs and metal foil reliefs. Onobrakpeya gives a brief explanation of each and offers his poetry as complementary text.

In addition, there are seven of Onobrakpeya's essays addressing more general themes: "Nigerian visual arts since 1960," (pp. 46-54), "Tourism, arts and culture: Nigeria's untapped export goldmine," (pp. 62-72), "Exotic worlds and European fantasies," (pp. 74-80), "Role of women in arts," (pp. 85-89), "Traditional arts and crafts in Africa's educational programme," (pp. 90-93), "Nigerian art: influence of traditional tales and culture through the ages," (pp. 94-101), and "Nigerian and foreign patronage of the arts," (pp. 104-110).

Reviewed by Bolaji Campbell in Kurio africana; journal of art & criticism (Ile-Ife) 1 (1): 132-134 [127-129 in revised edition], 1989.



Ottenberg, Simon. New traditions from Nigeria: seven artists of the Nsukka group / foreword by Isidore Okpewho. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution Press in association with the National Museum of African Art, 1997. xvii, 302pp. illus. (pt. color), bibliog. (pp. 281-297). N7399.N52N786 1997X AFA. OCLC 36446879.

The 1997 exhibition "The Poetics of Line: Seven Artists from the Nsukka Group," at the National Museum of African Art, featured Nigerian artists Uche Okeke, Obiora Udechukwu, Tayo Adenaike, Chike Aniakor, Ada Udechukwu, Olu Oguibe, and Ghanaian-Nigerian artist El Anatsui -- artists associated with the uli art tradition and with the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. The unifying artistic dimension is the influence of Igbo uli motifs and design on the work of these artists. Uli painting is a women's art form found in body painting and on shrine murals.

In the accompanying book, Ottenberg discusses each of the artists within the context of life histories and the socio-political milieu of Nigeria. There are separate essays on each artist (three on Uche Okeke and two on Obiora Udechukwu) and two general essays on the evolution of modern art in colonial and post-independence Nigeria, art schools and movements, and patronage.

In the accompanying book, Ottenberg discusses each of the artists within the context of life histories and the socio-political milieu of Nigeria. There are separate essays on each artist (three on Uche Okeke and two on Obiora Udechukwu) and two general essays on the evolution of modern art in colonial and post-independence Nigeria, art school and movements, and patronage.

Reviewed by Krydz Ikwuemesi, "Under Western eyes," Glendora books supplement (Lagos) nos. 3-4: 32-36, 1998.



Oyelola, Pat. "The modern scene," pp. 62-141. In the author's Everyman's guide to Nigerian art. Lagos: Nigeria Magazine, Cultural Division, Federal Ministry of Information, 1976. illus. N7399.N5O98 1980 AFA. OCLC 11411332.

On the occasion of FESTAC `77, Nigeria Magazine takes a panoramic look at Nigerian arts. Oyelola summarizes some of the achievements of practicing artists, who represent different backgrounds, training, and styles in sculpture and painting. She gives brief biographical sketches of artists, their media, styles, techniques and training.

Artists: Yinka Adeyemi, Zaenab Adeyemi, Jacob Afolabi, Adebisi Akanji, J. D. Akeredolu, Jimo Akolo, Chuks Anyanwu, Yemi Bisiri, Jimoh Buraimoh, Nike Davies, Ben Enwonwu, Uzo Egonu, Erhabor Emokpae, Peter Eriamiatoe, Adebisi Fabunmi, Akin Fakeye, Lamidi Fakeye, Agbo Folarin, Buraimoh Gbadamosi, Yusuf Grillo, Ovia Idah, Festus Idehen, Felix Idubor, Dele Jegede, Akinola Lasekan, Tijani Mayakiri, Etso Ugbodaga Ngu, Bons Nwabiani, Demas Nwoko, Amos Odion, R. U. Ogiamien, Rufus Ogundele, Simon Okeke, Uche Okeke, Jinadu Oladepo, Kikelomo Oladepo, Asiru Olatunde, Olu Olayemi, Z. K. Oloruntoba, Billy Omabegho, Colette Omogbai, Aina Onabolu, Ademola Onibonokuta, Bruce Onobrakpeya, Gift Orakpo, Ben Osawe, Kolade Oshinowo, Osagie Osifo, Muraina Oyelami, Saka Sangodare, Twins Seven-Seven, Obiora Udechukwu, S. Irein Wangboje, Susanne Wenger, and Sina Yussuff.

A revised edition was published in 1980, although the text in the second edition is essentially the same as first edition. There are a few new illustrations in the 1980 version.



Probst, Peter. Osogbo and the art of heritage. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 2011. xi, 207pp. illus. (some color), bibliog. N72.S6P76 2001 AFA. OCLC 641506642.

The art of Oshogbo is a major part of this study of the heritage of this Yoruba city anchored by the deity Osun. The Osun grove is now a World Heritage site, and “heritage” has assumed a political and commercial place in the collective memory. Of central interest are chapters 2-4, which discuss Susanne Wenger, Ulli Beier, and the Oshogbo artists (three generations of them).


Pruitt, Sharon Yvette. Perspectives in the study of Nigerian Kuntu art: a traditionalist style in contemporary African visual expression. PhD dissertation, Ohio State University, 1985. Ann Arbor: University Microfilms International, 1985. 2 volumes (x, 713 leaves). bibliog. N7399.N5P97 1985a AFA. OCLC 17284963.

Pruitt attempts a systematic study of Nigerian kuntu art, defined here as "the tradition-oriented art style in contemporary Nigerian art." She identifies practicing artists who fit her definition of working within the kuntu style and anlayzes their work in terms of its distinguishing forms and aesthetics. Pruitt interviewed twenty-four artists, and the transcripts of those interviews are reprinted in an appendix, which makes for very interesting reading.


Symposium on Nigerian Contemporary Art (1976: University of Nigeria, Nsukka). Papers presented at the Symposium on Nigerian Contemporary Art: 21st-24th March, 1976. [Nsukka: Department of Fine and Applied Art, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, l976]. 3 volumes. (various pagings). bibliogs. [unpublished; set available in the National Museum of African Art Library]. fN7399.N5S98 1976 AFA. OCLC 11206674.

Volume l: A collection of papers delivered by scholars and artists: "Graphic Communication in Contemporary Nigeria," by Chuka Amaefunah; "The Place of Art in Education," by U. Uko Akpaide; "Factors which Influenced Igbo Traditional Woven Designs for Apparel Fabrics," by Chukwuanugo Okeke; "Contemporary Nigerian Art - The Future Participations of Ceramic Art in Nigeria," by Benjo N. Igwilo; "Creative Cooperation in the Arts," by Kalu Uka; "Experiments in the Revival of a Traditional Art Form in Southeastern Nigeria," by Keith W. Nicklin; "Change and Continuity in Anang Art: A Case Study of the Carving Village, Ikot Abia Osom, Cross River State," by Jill Nicklin; and "The Contemporary Nigerian Artist: His Patrons? His Audience and His Critics: A Preliminary Survey," by Michael Crowder.

Volume 2: "The Search for Identity in Contemporary Nigerian Art: Problems and Prospects," by Babatunde Lawal; "The Contemporary African Artist: The Aesthetics of Role and Audiences," by John Povey; "Search for the Theoretical Basis of Contemporary Nigerian Art," by Uche Okeke; "The Aesthetic Pseudo-Concept in Contemporary Nigerian Art," by Abayomi Barber; "Aesthetics and the Arts: From Traditional to Modern," by Meki Nzewi; "The Contemporary Nigerian Artist and Tradition," by Chike C. Aniakor; "Training of Young Artists: The Influence Which Future Generations of Artists Will Have on the Environment in the Different Continents (Africa)," by Uzo Egonu; "Humane Expressionism of Contemporary Nigerian Art," by Alois Wokoun; "The Aesthetics of Art in Technology," by Demas Nwoko; "Nigerian Art: Tradition, Change and the Future," by William Udosen; and "The State of Art Criticism in Nigeria: Preliminary Notes," by Obiora Udechukwu.

Volume 3: "Lines, Patterns and Spaces: A Consideration of Some Characteristics of Style in Contemporary Nigerian Art," by Nick Wilkinson; "The Influence of African Art on Western Art," by Vicki Mundy-Castle; "Cultural Awareness in Contemporary Africa: Continuity and Change in Nigerian Hairstyles," by Laz. E. N. Ekwueme; and "European Modern Art and the Discovery of African Art," by Jean-Louis Paudrat.

[N.B. Although this set of conference papers was not published, the unpublished papers have been gathered into three volumes for the purposes of cataloging at the National Museum of African Art Library].



Terms of art: symposium: neue Kunst aus Nigeria im internationalen kontext, 7 und 8. November 1991. [Düsseldorf]: Kultusministerium Nordrhein-Westfalen in Zusammenarbeit mit der Kunstsammlung Nordhein-Westfalen, 1991. 2 portfolios ([16] pieces). N7399.N5T319 1991 AFA. OCLC 25733106.

Partial contents: Einige Anmerkungen zur Geschichte der zeitgenössischen Kunst in Nigeria--Dele Jegede; Gehört afrikanische Gegenwartskunst ins Völkerkunde-Museum?--Brigitta Benzing; Meine metaphorische Reise in den Westen--Uzo Egonu; Neue Kunst aus Nigeria im Spannungsfeld von Macht und Markt--Brigitta March; Das Fremde wahrnehmen--Luisa Francia; Neuere Aspekte der Nigerianischen Kulturdiplomatie--Sule Bello; Kunst aus Nigeria: Weltkunst, Künstlerkunst, Afrika--Freimut Duve; Gedanken zu Kunst und Leben in Einer Nomadischen Welt--Paolo Bianchi; Mein Kreatives Konzept--E. T. Jegede; Kulturdialog und bildende Kunst: Konzeption und Perspektiven der Unesco-Weltdekade für kulturelle Entwicklung--Hans-Dieter Dyroff; Das Asele-Institut, eine Private Organisation für die kulturelle Entwicklung--Uche Okeke; Kulturaustausch = Rezeptionsproblematik--Hermann Pollig.

Conference reported by Gisela Zimmermann-Thiel, "`Terms of Art': a symposium on Africa," Kultur-Chronik (Bonn) no. 1: 13, 1992.



Udechukwu, Obiora, 1946- "Observations on art criticism in Nigeria," Nigeria magazine (Lagos) nos. 126/127: 35­43, 1978. bibliog. DT515.A1N68 AFA.

Art criticism in Nigeria lags behind literary criticism. The underdeveloped state of art criticism is all the more glaring in face of the rapid progress of modern art in Nigeria, which has far outpaced any serious critical assessment. Udechukwu identifies three categories of critics: artist-critics, journalist-critics, and professional-critics. The first group tend to pursue and perpetuate their own artistic visions and philosophies and evaluate all other art in that light. The journalist-critics are, by and large, an uninformed lot. Of the professional type, there are none with the sole exception of Ulli Beier.

Artists discussed: J. D. Akeredolu, Jimo Akolo, Ben Enwonwu, Okpu Eze, Lamidi Fakeye, Agbo Folarin, Yusuf Grillo, Ovia Idah, Festus Idehen, Felix Idubor, Dele Jegede, Akinola Lasekan, Demas Nwoko, E. Okuchukwu Odita, Simon Okeke, Uche Okeke, Colette Omogbai, Aina Onabolu, Muraina Oyelami, and Sina Yussuff.



Uli: traditional wall painting and modern art from Nigeria; [exhibition held at Iwalewa-Haus, Bayreuth, June-July 1989 and at Goethe Institute, Lagos, January-February 1990]. Bayreuth: Iwalewa-Haus; Lagos: [Goethe-Institut], 1990. 63pp. illus., bibliog. qND2867.6.N5U39 1990 AFA. OCLC 21740967.

Igbo wall paintings, using abstracted designs known as uli, have been a source of visual inspiration for contemporary painters in eastern Nigeria. This exhibition emphasized the artistic continuities between the older, women's art form and the newer, largely male-dominated art. While the wall painting tradition is declining, the modern uli artists are only beginning to explore the visual possibilities. Featured artists include Tayo Adenaike, Uche Okeke, and Obiora Udechukwu.

Reviewed by Chinwe Uwatse, "Uli: a unique heritage reborn," Guardian (Lagos) January 28, 1990, page B7.



Wangboje, Solomon Irein, 1930- "Western impact on Nigerian arts," Nigeria magazine (Lagos) nos. 122/123: 100­112, 1977. illus. DT515.A1N68 AFA.

The lack of understanding and the sense of superiority of Christian and Islamic missionaries, and colonial administrators, served to disturb traditional cultural values. The influence of tourist-collectors corrupted local art forms. Technology imposed demands that modified old cultures. Secondary art education taught by expatriates did not explore local materials and talent, assuming that painting did not exist previously as an art form. The tendency to copy Europeans was motovated by the belief that anything imported must be better. Contemporary artists in transition sought to identify and find values in their heritage as an aesthetic expression.

Artists discussed: Ben Aye, Abayomi Barber, Jimoh Buraimoh, Erhabor Emokpae, Ben Enwonwu, Asiru Olatunde, Aina Onabolu, Bruce Onobrakpaya, Isiaka Osunde, Inyang Udo-Ema, and Solomon Irein Wangboje.

See also: "Visual Supplement," pp.113­124, and illustrations on back cover and inside back cover. Artists discussed: S. A. O. Chukueggu, Ben Enwonwu, Lamidi Fakeye, Festus Idehen, Felix Idubor, Dele Jegede, Simon Okeke, Uche Okeke, Bruce Onobrakpeya, Francis Osague, and Obiora Udechukwu.



Wewe, Adetola F. "Thematic growth in Nigerian contemporary paintings: 1920-1964," Kurio Africana; journal of art and criticism (Ile-Ife) 1 (2): 80-88, 1989. bibl. refs. qN1.K966 AFA.

The two pioneer painters, Aina Onabolu and Akinola Lasekan, dealt mainly with portraiture, landscape and other naturalistic themes. Lasekan, the more political of the two, was a newspaper cartoonist in the 1940s, critical of the colonial regime. By the 1950s, Nigerian artists began adopting images from traditional sculptures and local culture generally. Ben Enwonwu and Yusuf Grillo are good examples of this trend. Demas Nwoko took a grimmer tone in his painting of social realism, e.g., "Beggars." The Beiers' Oshogbo experiment in the 1960s with its thematic repertoire of Yoruba myths and folklore, seems a reversal of the general direction of contemporary art which until then led in the direction of social criticism and commentary. Oshogbo is portrayed as a "neocolonial implant."


Zaria art school, 1955-1990: catalogue of an exhibition by students and lecturers of the Department of Fine Art and Industrial Design, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria; [exhibition held at the National Gallery of Arts and Design, Iganmu-Lagos, Nigeria, May 31-June 1990]. Lagos: National Council for Arts and Culture, 1990. 72pp. illus. (Evolution in Nigerian art series 5). N7399.N5Z19 1990 AFA. OCLC 25014419.

The Zaria art school can claim to be the first degree-granting institution in Nigeria, having graduated its first fine arts students in 1963. Prior to that, it was a diploma-granting institution, then known as the Nigerian College of Arts, Science and Technology; its first set of diploma students finished in 1959, including in its number S. Irein Wangboje.

The most illustrious of early diploma sets was the one of 1961, including Bruce Onobrakpeya, Demas Nwoko, Uche Okeke, and Jimo Akolo. Today Ahmadu Bello University's art faculty is large with fifty-five staff members and is divided into two departments: Fine Arts and Industrial Design. S. A. Adetoro discusses the history and evolution of the art school at Ahmadu Bello University, its achievements and prospects. The catalogue lists all the students who have passed through Zaria's art school, their areas of specialization, and the current faculty list.

The featured artists: S. A. Adetoro, Jimo Akolo, Richard Baye, Lucas T. Bentu, Rufus Fatuyi, Dele Jegede, Tonie Okpe, Kolade Oshinowo, Solomon Irein Wangboje, among others.



Zaria Art Society: a new consciousness / edited by Paul Chike Dike and Pat Oyelola. Lagos: National Gallery of Art, 1998. 298pp. illus. (pt. color). N7399.N52Z37 1998 AFA. OCLC 43372888.

The Zaria Art Society existed for only three years from October 1958 to June 1961, but its impact and legacy resonate into the 21st century. Of its eleven members most went on to very successful and influential careers in Nigeria and abroad. In 1998 on the 40th anniversary of its founding an exhibition and symposium were organized to celebrate the multiple achievements of these Zarian artists. The leader of the Zaria Art Society was clearly Uche Okeke, and he was closely allied with Bruce Onobrakpeya, Demas Nwoko, and Yusuf Grillo. Simon Okeke, who died during the Biafran war, might have been in this first tier had he lived. E. Okechukwu Odita and Oseloka Osadebe decamped to the United States. Ogbonnaya Nwagbara, Felix Ekeada, and William A. Olaosebikan had respectable careers in Nigeria. The one woman, Ikponwose Omagie, seems to have faded away early on.

Nine of the major Zaria artists are profiled here; five are interviewed, so we get their remembrances of Zaria and student days. Essays by several Nigerian art historians and curators provide historical perspectives on these “Zaria rebels” and the nature and extent of their impact on 20th century Nigeria art practice. The book is extensively illustrated (but poor quality reproductions).