Saturday, 18 January 2020

Heritage laws to prosecute govt official violators, others coming

A declared national monument, Ilojo Bar, Lagos Island, before it was demolished in 2016 by suspected agents of Lagos State Government.
The powers of Federal Government as managers and regulators of heritage in Nigeria may be strenghtened should a proposed amendment bill becomes law. Currently said to be with the Senate Committee on Culture and Tourism, the document tagged 'A Private Bill To Amend The Enabling Act Of The National Commission For Museums and Monuments (NCMM)', when passed into law, could place some institutions of governments, federal or state, on collision with NCMM over heritage sites, given the history of violations in Nigeria.

Saturday, 11 January 2020

British Diplomat, Thompson's view on art as Instrument for Peace, Conflict Resolution, Others

Ms. Harriet Thompson, Deputy British High Commissioner to Nigeria, delivering the paper for 11th Ben Enwonwu Distinguished Lecture, in Lagos.
Ladies and gentlemen, distinguished guests, it’s truly an honour to take part in this morning’s event. When Oliver asked me to give the 11th Ben Enwonwu Foundation Lecture, I was delighted to be asked and immediately said yes. When he told me the topic of the lecture, I was intrigued and, I’ll admit, a little apprehensive. 

There is a huge body of work on the role art can play in peace, conflict resolution and socio-economic transformation. There are many highly respected, knowledgeable experts on the topic. I have to admit I am not one of them!  But then Oliver knew that when he invited me to speak. So what I have to offer this morning is the perspective of an enthusiastic amateur.  An art lover, yes. An advocate for peace and socio-economic transformation, certainly. A naija-phile, 100%. A learned expert, maybe not – but I hope my reflections are useful nonetheless.

Art, culture promotion, philanthropic strides of Oni-Okpaku

Chief (Mrs) Aino Oni-Okpaku
Art and culture appreciation in Nigeria suffered a loss when the news of the death of Chief (Mrs) Aino Oni-Okpaku took over the air of new year euphoria. Oni-Okpaku, a Swedish, but married to late Olusegun Gabriel Oni-Okpaku, was the proprietress of one Nigeria’s oldest arts and culture outlets, Quintessence, in Lagos. Born January 2, 1939, she died Thursday, December 26, 2019 in Gothenburg, Sweden.

Sunday, 5 January 2020

Eni’s ‘new light painting’ illuminates future from Germany

Open Eyes, one of the new light paintings of Emmanuel Eni.
The resilience of painting, from generations to cultures and across regions of the world, never stopped evolving as Germany-based Nigerian artist, Emmanuel Eni adds to 21st century visual lexicon. Eni calls his technique of illuminating the canvas 'New Light Painting.'

Saturday, 4 January 2020

Nzekwe’s sculptural probity of human goes Raw Intuition

A wood sculpture titled Curious Mind (122 x 77cm, Wood fiber, 2019), by Philips Nzekwe.
Against increasing socio-economic challenges, Philip Nzekwe brings sculptural probity into people's behavioural patterns. He applies, mostly youth subjects, African contents and man’s relationship with his pet to build his visual narrative.

Titled Raw Intuition, Nzekwe's solo exhibition, held at National Museum, Onikan, Lagos, exposed an artist with depth of analogous themes in communication. Specifically, his works also project into the widening window of freedom of expression, in the 21st century.

Saturday, 21 December 2019

'Celebration of Legacies' for 'Zaria Rebels' as modern-contemporary transit artists

Curator, Prof Jerry Buhari (left); Lagos State Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu; and CEO, Arthouse Contemporary, Mrs Kavita Chellaram during the opening of Celebration of Legacies… in Lagos
IT was another historic gathering in Lagos for artists famously revered as ‘Zaria Rebels’ in the Nigerian art parlance. Titled Zaria Art Society: Celebration of Legacies, the art exhibition, shown by Arthouse Contemporary, from October 27 through November 15, 2019 at Kia Showroom, Victoria Island, Lagos, came 59 years after some of the artists had their first group art show in Lagos.

The exhibited artists who were members of Zaria Art Society from Nigerian College of Art, Science and Technology (NCAST), include Yusuf Grillo (b.1934), Demas Nwoko (b.1935), Emmanuel Odita (b.1934), Simon Okeke (1937-1969), Uche Okeke (1933-2016), Bruce Onobrakpeya (b.1932) and Oseloka Osadebe (b.1935).

Tuesday, 17 December 2019

For Onobrakpeya, 20 others, The Bloom-2 creates ‘abundance’

‘Broken Bridges’, oil on canvas by Duke Asidere.
Irrespective of the argument for or against relativity in mastery of art, the commercial galleries would not stop projecting its preference for established signatures as just asserted by a second gathering of artists in Lagos.

Saturday, 14 December 2019

In retrospective of 43 years, Smart-Cole enriches photojournalism

Sunmi Smart-Cole during the opening of Sunmi's Lens at Terra Kulture. Pic: by Tobi Magnus Smart-Cole.
Across genres and diverse themes, veteran photojournalist, Sunmi Smart-Cole's retrospective of 43 years exposes his strength in documentary and social commentary photography.

Shown as Sunmi’s Lens, from December 1-14, 2019, at Terra Kulture, Victoria Island, Lagos, the exhibition, displayed in monochrome renditions exudes Smart-Cole's trajectory in analogue and digital photography. Quite a number of celebrity portraits taken, either in the past one decade or much longer also strengthen the retrospective show. Accompanied with a book launch of the same title, the exhibits included six works from the photographer's son, Tobi Magnus Smart-Cole.

How boldness of 'Impart Artists' Fair' debut dared traditions

Visitors viewing sculptures on display at Impart Artists’ Fair. Pic: Lasmara.
In changing the narrative of large-scale art shows such as expo, fair or biennial, which are increasingly doting landscapes of big cities across the world, Lagos just experienced how innovations struggled against traditions.

A new entrant Impart Artists' Fair, striped art galleries of their traditional powers of representation and gave artists the opportunity to represent themselves. However, there were quite some innovative contents of the fair that suggested fragility of the curatorial adventure as regards sustaining the format.

Tuesday, 10 December 2019

Tomorrow, Ben Enwonwu Lecture revisits peace, conflict resolution

'Storm Over Biafra' (oil on canvas, 1972), by Ben Enwonwu.
When The 11th Distinguished Ben Enwonwu Lecture holds on December 12, 2019 at MUSON Centre, Lagos Island, the artist’s 1966 peace mission to the world will be revisited.

Saturday, 7 December 2019

Egonu’s ‘Portrait Of A Northern Man’ tops sales at Arthouse auction

Portrait of a Northern Man, (oil on canvas, 61 x 50.5cm), by Uzo Egonu and sold for N9,400,000 ($26,111).
With a total of N107,524,250 ($298,678) recorded during Arthouse Contemporary auction, held on November 25, 2019, at the Kia Showroom, Victoria, Lagos, the top sale of the evening was 'Portrait of a Northern Man, an oil on canvas, 1964, by Uzo Egonu and sold for N9,400,000 ($26,111).

Sunday, 1 December 2019

In Enugu, Ogakwu’s 'Illimite-II' unchains creativity from time, space

'Family Picture', (mixed media (30x38in, 2019), by Chinedu Ogakwu.
Against the tide of norms and traditions, Chinedu Ogakwu appears to have strengthened its visual vocabulary, as the artist broadens his technique launched four years ago. In 2015, Ogakwu showed a technique tagged Illimite in Lagos, marking the artist’s first solo exhibition in the city.

After pushing the technique into the consciousness of art aficionados, over the last four years, Ogakwu returns to the exhibition circuit, showing Ilimite-II from December 6-13, 2019 at National Gallery of Art, Temple Avenue, Enugu. A borrowed French word, ‘Illimite’ means unlimited, but adapted by Ogakwu to enhance his mixed media works on canvas.

Thursday, 28 November 2019

Nigeria announces campaign for recovery of stolen artifacts

'Ife Head' (Brass, circa 1300 C.E. 35cm high), on display at The British Museum, London.

One year after ECOWAS' declaration on recovery of looted artifacts, Nigeria has announced its intention to launch a formal campaign for return and restitution of the country's cultural objects in possession of foreign museums and private hands across the world. The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed made the announcement, in Lagos on Thursday.