The Next Fifty Years: Contemporary Nigerian Art
JULY 8 – AUGUST 2, 2014
From July 8 to August 2, 2014, The Society of Nigerian Artists (SNA) in collaboration with Omenka Gallery will present The Next Fifty Years: Contemporary Nigerian Art an exhibition of paintings, sculpture and installation. The exhibition features the work of the most exciting contemporary Nigerian artists; exploring new themes and visual vocabularies in their work. It is the first in a series of shows to provoke contemporary discourse and encourage the development of new techniques around these traditional media, which feature albeit prominently on the Lagos contemporary art scene.
The Next Fifty Years is grouped broadly around three themes; the body and society; the abstract and the poetics of materiality; and contemporary African politics. Working mainly with acrylics, oils, and gold leaf, artists like Joseph Eze, Uche Edochie, Ibe Ananaba, Lemi Ghariokwu and Jefferson Jonahan engage with the body and how we negotiate our identities in our society and within a larger global context, while others like Gbolahan Ayoola draw on Yoruba folklore and mythology.
The abstract and works that are crafted from found material feature prominently in the exhibition. They underscore the African way of making things as against the technological processes of the West. Artists like Uche Joel Chima, Peju Alatise, Adeola Balogun, Raqib Balogun and Olu Amoda are notable in this respect. These artists’ chief concerns lie in recycling and the sustenance of our natural environment.
Many of the artists like Jerry Buhari, Yomi Mohmoh, Michael Kpodoh, Victor Ehikamenor and Bob-Nosa Uwagboe engage with contemporary politics. Theirs is a critique of the leadership and government of many African countries who line their pockets with earnings from oil and vast natural resources while the masses live below the poverty line, and are left to deal with issues such as epileptic power supply and poor housing infrastructure.
In all, the works presented here are strongly individual and are a testament to each artist’s quest in exploring new visual possibilities. They offer us something different, something fresh, away from the over-exposed themes of modernity and street scenery, dancing figures, milkmaids and cattle herdsmen. Collectively, the works form a part of a significant trajectory in our recent artistic history− a glimpse into the next fifty years of contemporary art in Nigeria!
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High-resolution images and more information on the artists are available on request.