18 May Excerpts from ‘Duke Asidere’s Sketches & Therapy’

Ogwuashi-Uku July 24, 2004 Duke Asidere’s bags are packed. Everything he needs is in his Nissan Micra car. It’s a tiny, brown car, slightly beat-up but reliable. He gets in, turns on the ignition and begins his journey to Ogwuashi-Uku. He’d just agreed to take a teaching position in the art department of Delta State

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17 May Discussions and disagreements – Odutokun and Oshinowo

Kolade Oshinowo created the artwork ‘The conference’ in 1975. In the seventies and eighties, he experimented with abstract, mixed media artworks. These abstract artworks were a marked deviation from the landscapes and figurative artworks he was known for at the time. The abstract pieces, like ‘The conference’ present a more adventurous side of the great

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17 May NoDistance

We hope you’re keeping safe. Unfortunately, we can’t have exhibitions at the gallery at the moment. But that doesn’t mean we can’t present interesting artworks to you. So, we’ll be sending you a series of themed show reels. The first, ‘No Distance’ is a look back at the time before social distancing using the artworks of

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20 Apr Stay Safe And Inspect Those Artworks

We hope you’re safe. Who would have thought that the phrase, ‘we hope you’re safe’ would be standard greeting? But here we are. We do hope you’re safe in your homes, and our thoughts are with you. Since you’re stuck at home, this might be a good time to look at your artworks. Not just

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16 Mar Jimoh Akolo’s ‘God of Thunder’

It’s interesting how the different layers of an artwork can unfurl over time. We’ve had the artwork “God of Thunder” by Jimoh Akolo for a couple of months. It’s an interesting artwork done in 1964 in Akolo’s breezy, figurative style. His artworks of that period, while figurative, always seem somewhat restrained, designed to provide enough

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20 Jan Onitsha and London

Uzo Egonu (1931 – 1996) An introspective, deeply private artist in his lifetime, Uzo Egonu’s reputation has grown steadily in Nigeria in the past decade or so.  Part of the reason for this is the increased interest in the art of modernist pioneers like Ben Enwonwu, Abayomi Barber, Bruce Onobrakpeya, Yussuf Grillo, Jimo Akolo and

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10 Jan How to love your artworks

Collecting art can be the beginning of a life-long romance. And like the best romantic encounters it needs nurture and some attention. So, here are a few guidelines to always remember in this love affair. Where to hang your artwork Artworks generally need minimal maintenance once they are displayed or stored properly. Avoid direct sunlight

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02 Oct Barber – Sculptor and Painter

Is Abayomi Barber a painter or a sculptor? Most people would say painter. His surrealist paintings are easily recognizable and have enchanted art enthusiasts for decades. Landscapes, brimming with hidden objects; incredibly detailed character studies that meld reality and fantasy. Yet Barber has always viewed himself as much a sculptor as a painter – maybe

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25 Sep Kine Aw’s art

Kine Aw’s themes are inspired by the world of women in the Sahel: round forms, beauty, tradition versus modernity. Most of her paintings and sketches have a distinct cubist style, characterised by organic geometric forms.   She utilizes powerful outlines in various colours to create artworks that explore the universe of women. Her art tackles

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26 Jul Kaloki Nyamai – The past, the present and the future

Mr Trump, in colourful language says, we are inferior countries. We bristle. How dare he? But we also question ourselves. Might he be right? Whose fault is it? The colonialist who eviscerated our pre-colonial systems and who still treat us like indulged children? Or should we blame ourselves? Should we be hopeful? Have we been

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23 Jul Sunny side up – Kofi Agorsor’s abstract canvases

The title of the artwork ‘Accumulated Wealth’ is deceptive.  It’s understandable to see it as a paean to the virtues of the accumulation of riches. It is not. That’s not to say Kofi Agorsor has anything against riches. He does not.  In this artwork and in many of his other abstract artworks, he views wealth

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21 Jul Side by Side – Camara Gueye

The sweeper sweeps a lonely street in Dakar. It’s a hard, thankless job. It doesn’t pay him a lot. But he must earn a living. Nobody notices him. Except the man sitting at the street corner, who is probably worse off. He’s unemployed. The sweeper sweeps. The chicken gets out of the way. The job

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17 Jul Papers of Freedom

My uncle, Eddy, lived in Leeds, UK for many years. He schooled and worked there before returning to Nigeria in the eighties. He didn’t burn his passport when he returned but, I suspect he vowed never to return to Leeds. He was sick of living in a foreign country where he didn’t belong. He got

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28 Jun Onobrakpeya’s Musicians

Since respect for elders is all the rage at the moment, we thought we’d praise the ultimate elder, Bruce Onobrakpeya – the storyteller of Agbarha-Otor, master printmaker, probably Nigeria’s most famous living artist, and certainly the most influential over the past 5 decades. The artwork ‘Musicians’, is a rare sketch on aluminium printer’s plate done

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24 May Towards Beauty – Abiodun Olaku

You might not see a link between the Niger Delta landscape and the Argungu festival in the North. But then you’re not Abiodun Olaku. Olaku is obviously one of the country’s most respected artists. He has earned his reputation the hard way or maybe the beautiful way, judging by his paintings. Olaku has worked consistently

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25 Jan 2 Views of Accra

Glover’s Lorry Station It’s a scene Glover has explored consistently – the bustle at Accra lorry stations. The lorries with their crazy signs and graffiti – a raucous, moving display panel for goods and wacky ideas; the passengers getting on, getting off, always moving.  As with many of his themes, he finds order and rhythm

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06 Dec Stations of the Cross – Worship as style and statement

1969. Bruce Onobrakpeya would create his Station of the Cross paintings for St. Paul’s Church, Ebute Metta. He would go on to create these artworks as etchings. With the consent of the Church priest, Father Kevin Carroll, Onobrakpeya interpreted the idea of the Stations of the Cross as a local event using African characters to

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17 Oct Amon Kotei – A Lightness of touch

Someone said to me a while back that he was sick of paintings of struggling African market women. Too grim. I understood. I’ve also always preferred the expression of markets and market women as something other than toil and hardship. Amon Kotei’s Accra market paintings offer us the joy and warmth of the women in

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