The Great Modernists
West Africa is known for its great modern art, and artists who have inspired people the world over. Ben Enwonwu is one such great artist and we hear his name mentioned in museums and auction houses around the globe. I have had the privilege of working with some of the greatest living African modernists - like Kolade Oshinowo and Bruce Onobrakpeya - and I have learnt a lot about art from them.
The great modernists from Africa not only understand how the western art world works but are also immensely proud of their African heritage, which comes through in their art - a magical amalgamation of knowledge and heritage.
I would like to bring to you a series of online shows, based on some of the most amazing modernists I have had the honour of coming across in my passion for art - living masters who have changed the face of African art and also given the generations which will follow them opportunities they never had.
The first in this series is Edosa Ogiugo - a great master. He was the first artist who came and 'found me' - his work is incredible, as is the impact he's had on a whole generation of Nigerian artists.
Let's raise a toast to the great modernists!
Edosa Ogiugo is one of Nigeria’s great modern painters. He is a master of colour and brush strokes - he possesses the rare ability to recreate movement, and to convey emotion through paint.
Fascinated by human movement and activity, he draws inspiration from a range of subjects and everyday activities.
His aesthetic is bold yet classic, characterised by confident brushstrokes and vivid colours, his work possesses the same sublime quality as the Orientalists, but executed in the manner of the Impressionists. Whether it’s a Durbar scene or polo game, he captures the essence of the moment, placing himself into the scene, transferring those feelings and energies onto canvas.