At 77, Abayomi Barber is one of the oldest artists in Nigeria , and one of the most influential. A painter , sculptor and teacher, Barber has created some of the most fascinating landscapes in Nigerian art. His dual images serve both as mesmerizing sceneries and as stories of Nigeria’s past and present. His sculptures grace diverse places – the House of Commons and the National theatre. As a an art teacher in the university of Lagos , Barber has groomed some of Nigeria’s most interesting new artists
Born in 1934 in Accra, Ghana. Studied at University of science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana between 1957 and 58, Central school of Art and Design, London and Kent State University, Ohio, USA. Lectured at University of science and Technology, Kumasi, between 1965 and 1994. Founded the Artist Alliance Gallery in Accra.
Born in Lagos in 1972. Attended the Yaba College of Technology for his National and Higher National Diploma from 1994-1999. Full time studio artist in Lagos and a member of Defactori group.
Nigerian sculptor and painter; Art Adviser to Nigerian government. Born in Onitsha province in Nigeria and schooled in government colleges there before traveling to pursue secondary education in Europe, Benedict Enwonwu grew up to become perhaps the foremost Nigerian artist of his time. In England he studied Fine Art, Aesthetics, History of Western Art and Anthropology and began an artistic career in earnest. Working with diverse media in his painting and sculpture-wood, bronze, metal, plastics, plaster, cement, oil and watercolors-Enwonwu’s work was popular throughout his career, which was brought to international attention when Queen Elizabeth II sat for him at Buckingham Palace in the late 1950s. Enwonwu has exhibited sculpture around the world, at London’s Berkeley galleries (1947), Howard University (1950), the Galerie Apollinaire (1950), the Goethe Institut (1976) and the Museum of Contemporary Art, New York (2001). He has written of the political contained in visual art cultures, and was a proponent of using artistic expression to provide local or individual representation, even in the face of Western art forms or techniques.
Born in 1962 in Benin, Nigeria. Graduated from The Federal Polytechnic , Auchi in 1986. Returned to Auchi to teach art in 1991. Moved to Lagos to concentrate on his studio practice in 1995.
Born in 1933 in Agbarha Otor, Delta state. Studied at the Nigeria College of Science, Art and Technology ( now Ahmadu Bello University), Zaria from 1957 to 1962. Taught art at St. Gregory’s College, Lagos from 1963 to 1979. Since then a full time studio artist and prolific printmaker. Arguably Nigeria’s most influential living artist. Founder of the Harmattan workshop in Agbarha Otor.
Born In 1947 in Kano State. Studied art at Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria. One of Nigeria’s premier artists, working a variety of media from beads to water colour to etchings.
Asidere is idealistic, passionate and spontaneous . One of the most talented Nigerian artists .The sort of artist people will term “ahead of his time”. He captures Nigeria – ugly, brutal , stupid All the things that are hateful – yet sometimes he imbues it with a hint of what could be , if we only tried a bit more – a true visionary artist. He studied art Ahmadu Bello University , Zaria and lectured art in Auchi Polytechnic for a while before becoming a full time artist.
Born in 1961 in Ibadan, Nigeria. Enrolled at the Yaba College of Technology in 1984 to study art. Worked in advertising between 1986 and 1996 before focussing on art full-time.
Born in 1957 in Ghana. Studied at Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, graduating in 1985. Thought art till 1993 in Accra. Returned to Kumasi for a Masters degree in Art Education between 1993 and 1996. Works and lives in Accra.
Ibrahim creates vibrant , pictures of people and places in Lagos and surrounding areas. His brush strokes are broad and colourful, capturing the energy of life in Nigeria, but also capturing the hopes and aspirations of people living in difficult times Ibrahim finished from the Yaba College of Technology in 1990.
Born 1930. One of Nigeria’s most prominent art educator and printmaker. Studied at the Nigeria College of Science, Art and Technology ( now Ahmadu Bello University) , Zaria. Teaching career took him from Yaba College of Technology to the University of Ife ,where he directed the Ori Olokun workshop, then on to Ahmadu Bello university where he was head of the Department of Fine Arts. He eventually moved to The University of Benin where he rose to the position of Deputy Vice Chancellor. Died 1998.
Born in 1940 in Osogbo, Nigeria. 1964, was involved in the Mbari Mbayo workshop, an experimental workshop designed to teach young creative people art, without the ‘shackles’ of a formal art education. Went on to practice art full-time, borrowing the myths and imagery of Western Nigeria. Worked mainly on etchings.
Born in 1943 in Osogbo, Nigeria. 1964, was involved in the Mbari Mbayo workshop, an experimental workshop designed to teach young creative people art, without the ‘shackles’ of a formal art education. Went on to practice art full-time, borrowing the myths and imagery of Western Nigeria. Works in beads, oil and etchings. From 1974, thought bead paintings in several schools in the United States. Currently works from Osogbo.
Born in Lagos in 1961, Enrolled at the Yaba College of Technology in 1984 to study art. Worked with Bruce Onobrakpeya before going into full time art practice.
Born in the Volta region of Ghana in 1970. After two years of architectural studies at the Kpando Technical College, discovered his passion for painting. Subsequently enrolled at the Ankle College of Art in Accra and received a diploma in 1993. Practises in Accra, Ghana as a full-time artist and traditional jazz musician.
Born in 1957 in Ghana. Graduated in 1981 from Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Kumasi, Ghana. Has worked since then as a full-time artist, exhibiting in Ghana and abroad.
Born 1982 in Accra, Ghana. Studied art at Ghanatta College of Arts and Design, graduating in 2004. Full-time painter in Accra, Ghana.
Born In Nigeria. Graduated from the Yaba College of Technology, Lagos, 2010. Full-time painter.
Oshogbo is an idyllic town in Western Nigeria. This was the cite of an art experiment in 1969 . The idea was to bring together young, creative people without formal art training and encourage them to paint from the heart. The experiment was such a success that today Oshogbo has become the centre of an art movement in Nigeria, with an ever-growing group of artists. Oyelemi was one of the first set of Oshogbo artists. Before then he was an actor in the Ojo Ladipo Theatre in Lagos. He took on the ideas of the experiment – to create art from the inner mind without the restraint of formal training – and became the most visible and most successful of the Oshogbo artists. Of his lack of formal training he says, ‘If we had gone to a university art school, we would not have been able to develop the inner eye so early. Too many things would have been imposed upon us and it might have taken us years to free ourselves from that education. Oyelami’s themes are mainly derived from Yoruba culture. The people – their facial features and markings is one of his favorites. His works also capture the ceremonies and festivals. Oyelami is today the chief of his village – a few miles outside Oshogbo . He still paints and has exhibited widely in Nigeria and in America.
Born in 1963 in Ghana. Graduated in 1987 from Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Ghana. Worked as a teaching assistant at KNUST up till 1989. Has worked since then as a full-time artist.
Many Nigerian artists have painted the chicken markets . This is an unusual take on it, capturing not the market but a lone girl on her way in or out of the market. The colours are vibrant and expressive.
Born in 1946 In Osogbo, Nigeria. Worked in the Duro Ladipo Theatre. In 1964, was involved in the Mbari Mbayo workshop, an experimental workshop designed to teach young creative people art, without the ‘shackles’ of a formal art education. Went on to practice art full-time, borrowing the myths and imagery of Western Nigeria. Died in 1996.
Nobody in Nigerian art today captures images in water colour the way Ovraiti does. His strength is probably the ability to capture the subtlety and evanescent qualities of the medium. Like the best artists , Ovraiti works as effectively in other media like oil and pastel as he does in water colour. Ovraiti studied at the Auchi Polytechnic and after a few years teaching in secondary schools became an art teacher at the polytechnic. He remained in Auchi till the mid nineties. He is today a full time artist based in Lagos.
Tony Enebeli is one of Nigeria’s most prominent artists. His main media are plastocast and metal foil, With these unusual media he has created a distinctive style. His works capture scenes from his native Anioma area in Delta state as well as other parts of Nigeria – the ceremonies, rites and traditions. The Ipu Afia series for instance are about an annual ceremony in his Anioma village. At a fixed point in the year all indigenes of Anioma return to the village to celebrate together. To signal the beginning of the ceremony, the oldest women in the village is escorted to a hut with a gourd tied to the wall. The ceremony starts when she breaks the gourd. His series of “Ipu Afia” works capture the procession leading the woman to the hut. According to Enebeli, his art is a bridge between old Nigeria and new Nigeria, bringing disappearing traditions, ceremonies and cultures back to the fore. While his themes and ideas are a throwback to tradition, his execution is bold and unusual. Enebeli’s exhibitions include ‘The Nigerian arts exhibition’ in Fredrisveaek, Sweden and Spanua, Berlin in 1986; Contemporary West African Arts Exhibition at Impression Gallery, Boston Massachusetts in 1989; ‘In Africa’ at Avanguardia , Milan , Italy in 1993; ‘Visions of Ancestral Heritage’, Italian Cultural Institute, Lagos in 1992 ; ‘African Passage’, Air Gallery, London in 2003.
Many of Enebeli’s themes a derived from his native Anioma area of Delta State. According to Enebeli , his art is a bridge between old and new Nigeria, capturing fast-disappearing traditional festivals and rites and highlighting aspects of Nigerian culture that are being submerged by today’s more international culture. His main media are cast and metal foil . With these unusual media he has been able to create a distinctive style that, like his themes, captures the strength of old Nigeria
Born in 1964. Studied art specializing in sculpture at Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria. Graduated in 1989. Has practised as a painter though his paintings have been heavily influenced by his training as a sculptor.
Born in 1965, Orara’s emotive renditions of life and living invoke beauty even in ruins or rust . His works are simple and pared down yet emotive and warm. Orara graduated from Auchi Polytechnic.