Tag Archives: Tunde Folawiyo Art

The work of Nigerian artist Nnenna Okore

Nnenna Okore is an artist from Nigeria, who is currently based in the US. Born in 1975, Okore took an interest in art from a young age, and after finishing secondary school, chose to study this subject at the University of Nigeria. Although she is now famed for her sculptural pieces, Okore focused on painting while studying at this institute, and only began to explore three-dimensional surfaces during her postgraduate years. After completing her Bachelor’s degree in 1999, she went on to study at the University of Iowa, and it was here that she earned both her MA and MFA.

As an art lover, Tunde Folawiyo may be aware that Okore is known for favouring discarded materials; items such as newspapers, magazines and fabric feature heavily in her work. She uses a tunde folawiyovariety of methods to re-shape and assemble these items, including sewing, waxing, weaving, tearing and fraying, aiming to create forms which mimic the intricate designs often found in nature; the finished pieces are often made up of an array of textures and patterns. The use of found objects serves as a nod to the wastefulness and excessive consumerism which plagues society, while the organic quality of the materials symbolises aging, death and decay.

Okore’s work has been exhibited in several places in London, including the October Gallery, and the headquarters of Channel 4. In addition to this, her pieces have also been displayed in New York, at the Museum of Arts and Design, and at the Goethe Institute in Nigeria. The latter is a venue that most Nigerians, including Tunde Folawiyo, are probably familiar with.

Some of her most successful solo shows include Textile, which was hosted by the Blachere Foundation Art Centre, Reflection, which was held at the Contemporary African Art Gallery, and Affrika West, an exhibition hosted in the UK at the Oriel Mostyn Gallery. Okore has also participated in several group shows, which have been hosted at the Tang Museum and the Middlebury College Museum of Art.

In 2012, she was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship, which enabled her to spend a year working on her art in her homeland of Nigeria. She has also been featured in a number of well-known art publications, including an issue of the famous Sculpture Magazine. Currently, Okore works at North Park University as an Assistant Professor of Art.


Famed African Artists: Irma Stern

Internationally recognised for her creative works, Irma Stern remains amongst Africa’s most revered painters. Her long career witnessed many successes, including a variety of solo exhibitions met with critical acclaim. tunde folawiyoYears after her passing, her paintings are amongst the most sought-after on the art market today. Tunde Folawiyo and other collectors of African art may regard her works as some of the most significant in the history of the genre.

Born in the small town of Schweitzer-Renecke, Stern was born to a German-Jewish mother and father. She and her brother Rudi, travelled to Cape Town with their mother after their father was held back due to South Africa’s war. After the end of the war, they returned, but this constant travel would later prove a great influence on Stern’s creative works.

Stern began studying art at Germany’s Weimar Academy during 1913, then picked up instruction from a variety of resources including that of Max Pechstein during 1917. Stern was widely associated with other German Expressionist artists of the period. Her first art exhibition was held in Berlin during 1919. A year later, she returned to the city of Cape Town with family, the very place she was initially dismissed for her artistry before her fame began to spread during the late 1930s.

Stern’s career saw her travel throughout much of Europe and South Africa, including Zanzibar and other regions such as the Congo. Her paintings were highly influenced by this adventurous travel, providing her quite the collection of personal artifacts. Whilst she refused to travel to Germany during the war, she spent much time travelling extensively through Africa. Two of her illustrated journals were published during this time with Congo in 1943 and Zanzibar during 1948.

Nearly one hundred moving solo exhibitions highlight Stern’s outstanding artistic career, with many held in Africa and other parts of Europe including France, Italy, Germany and England. Whilst her work was met with negative reviews during early exhibitions of the 1920s, she changed public opinion to become one of those most talented painters of her generation. A museum in her name was established during 1971, occupying the home she resided in for nearly four decades. Since her passing, her works have sold for millions at auction, breaking records throughout South Africa. Tunde Folawiyo and others with an appreciation for African art may continue to be inspired by the famed works of Irma Stern. Information about Tunde Folawiyo interest in art and other subjects may be found on his Twitter page.

African Artists: Marlene Dumas

South African artist Marlene Dumas is widely regarded amongst the African continent’s most beloved painters. Whilst her works have formed from various media throughout her career, Dumas is perhaps best known for her use of human figures to portray her point tunde folawiyoof view on contemporary issues such as race and sexuality. Her works of art have been displayed around the globe, inspiring millions of fans of art enthusiasts with her moving creations. Tunde Folawiyo and other collectors of African art may regard the works of Marlene Dumas to be amongst the most significant of the era.

Born in 1953 in the South African city of Cape Town, Marlene Dumas studied painting at Michaelis School of Fine Art in the early part of the 1970s. During this decade, the artist found herself fascinated by the photos of famed photographer Diana Arbus, who proved to be a great inspiration in Dumas’s representations of the human form. The late 1970s saw Dumas travel to Amsterdam to attend the distinguished institute de Ateliers. It was during these years that Dumas formed her own unique art style, combining media such as photographs, drawings and texts to create her works. In the years following, the artist began portraying figures and heads using photographs from the archives of a variety of personal snapshots, many torn from newspapers and magazines.

The artist’s first show of entirely paintings was comprised of nine portraits and took place at a gallery in Amsterdam during 1985. A decade later, she was chosen to represent the Netherlands at Venice’s 46th Biennale. Her first solo exhibition premiered at New Museum during 2002. During June of 2008, Dumas’s career received a significant boost in fanfare with a major exhibition at Los Angeles’s foremost contemporary art museum. The retrospective, “Measuring Your Own Grave” was widely received, later moving to New York’s Museum of Modern Art. That same year, galleries in Cape Town and Johannesburg showcased her solo exhibitions, marking a first for her homeland. Tate Modern museum, Beyeler Foundation and Stedelijk Museum are currently organising a retrospective of Dumas’s works, set to premiere in Amsterdam during September of 2014. Tunde Folawiyo and others with an appreciation for African art regard the works of Dumas as groundbreaking. Her paintings will continue to delight revelers in galleries and museums all over the globe for centuries to come.

Chike Aniakor – Nigeria’s most innovative artist

Chike Aniakor is a famous Nigerian painter, whom most art lovers, including Tunde Folawiyo, are probably familiar with. Born in tunde folawiyoAbatete in 1939, Aniakor was raised in a rural community. He was a precocious child whose artistic talents became apparent after he drew an exceptionally life-like picture of his primary school teacher. He also showed himself to be gifted at essay writing. In an interview, Aniakor said that he believed his creative inclinations came from his mother’s side of the family, as she herself was an excellent singer, and her father was able to play the oja (a traditional Igbo flute) extraordinarily well.

Aniakor received his BA from the Nigerian College of Arts, Science and Technology in 1964. Towards the end of his time at this institute, he began to move away from the use of conventional tones when painting human figures; this would mark the end of his interest in photo realistic art.

After finishing his course, he moved to the USA, in order to attend Indiana University. It was here that he completed both his master’s degree, and his doctorate degree in art history. For the latter, he chose to base his dissertation on Igbo architecture. With the help of a fellow scholar, Herbert Cole, he later went on to write a book on this subject, which he entitled ‘Igbo Arts: Community and Cosmos’.

Whilst his own artwork takes up much of his time, Aniakor has been a teacher of art history and fine art at the University of Nigeria for several decades now. In addition to this, he has been named as a fellow of Howard University, and of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

As an art fanatic, Tunde Folawiyo might know that during his time at Indiana University, Aniakor took a dislike to traditional European art forms, and instead developed a passion for re-inventing the ancient Igbo painting style, known as ‘uli’. In ancient times, uli was only used when painting the walls of houses and shrines, and human skin. This style consisted primarily of geometric shapes and patterns, but would sometimes include the use of images of celestial figures and mystic animals. Aniakor introduced these characteristic geometric shapes of this style into his own paintings, combining them with the rest of his chosen imagery.

Aniakor has continued to favour uli over the years, and as a result of this, many of his pieces – especially those in watercolour and ink – are linear in nature. He is also known for his elongation of the human body in his work, and his intelligent use of negative space.

Folawiyo enjoys collecting the work of many African artists. Those who would like to discover more about his interests should visit the Facebook page of Tunde Folawiyo.

Ben Enwonwu: His Art and Legacy

Nigeria has a long history of influential and important artists. Ben Enwonwu is regarded as one of these, and has continued to inspire both art fans and contemporary artists with his sculptures and paintings long after his death. It is testament to the importance of his work that his name is still mentioned as one of, if not the, most highly regarded Nigerian artist in his field.

Originating as a member of the Igbo people in South East Nigeria, Ben Enwonwu moved to England in the 1930s where he studied at Goldsmith College in London, before moving on to Ruskin College in Oxford. Following on from this he graduated from the Slade School of Fine Arts before moving to the USA where he completed a postgraduate course in Ethnography and Anthropology at Louisiana State University. In his time at the Slade School of Fine Arts in Oxford, the Queen sat for him as he produced a famous sculpture which is now displayed at the entrance of the Parliament in Lagos, testament to his skills.

Tunde FolawiyoWith such a rich background in both African and European cultures, Enwonwu took the controversial approach of melding both styles. He was highly vocal about the dangers of limiting artists from Africa by expecting them only to work within the traditions of their own cultural artistic heritage. He believed that there was an inequality in the treatment of artists from Africa in that they were encouraged to stay within one style, while artists from other parts of the world were not expected to limit themselves in this way. He therefore promoted the idea of expansive art where different styles could be amalgamated to produce new forms.

After teaching at several colleges and Universities, he continued to focus on the development of his own art works, and the continued fusing of African and European techniques. This can be seen clearly in his most famous work, Anyanwu, which means “Eye of the Sun”. This sculpture is displayed on the exterior of the National Museum in Lagos, and beautifully combines African traditional sculptures with a contemporary European aesthetic of the time. Enwonwu himself states that the sculpture represents the rising of Nigeria as a modern state, born from the fruit of its traditional past.

Art lovers from around the world, including Tunde Folawiyo, continue to be mesmerized by Enwonwu’s work and the impact it has had on Nigerian culture. For more information on Nigerian culture and Africa in general, visit Tunde Folawiyo’s YouTube page.

Kampala Art Biennale Showcases Contemporary African Art

During the month of August, art lovers from around the world will be treated to one of the most comprehensive exhibitions of contemporary African Art ever presented. With its goal to educate, invite debate and expose attendees to the value of art in society, the Kampala Art Biennale hopes to recognise and incorporate those African artists who are creating important works outside the mainstream of traditional tunde folawiyovenues, using themes that encompass economic, political and social values of the present.

The Kampala Art Biennale is a festival of art that encompasses several venues in Kampala, including the Makerere Gallery, the Nommo Gallery and the Uganda Museum for display of visual art from both local and foreign locations that relates to contemporary Africa as well as side events that include discussion groups, workshops, lectures, films and a chance to hear artists talk about their works.

This year’s theme “Progressive Africa” was developed to showcase the Afro-centric art of Kampala and Uganda and show the region from the artists’ point-of-view as it is now versus what it was like in the past or what the future may look like. One hundred artworks from 45 artists including painters, illustrators, cartoonists, 2-D media artists, photographers and writers from 13 African countries will exhibit during the Kampala Art Biennale. Artists have the freedom to choose themes either for or against the present economic, political and social realities of Africa, with festival organisers hoping these works will create important discussions that will enable transformative growth for the country as a whole.

Organisers of the event are the Kampala Arts Trust and Uganda Tourism Board, which have formed a strategic partnership with the goal of promoting Kampala and Uganda as art tourism locations, encouraging more art exchange between Ugandans and other countries in Africa and inspiring and motivating artists to create more art.

During the Biennale, local and little-known artists share the limelight with more recognisable names in African art such as Kenya’s Michael Soi and Ugandan artist, Eria Nsubuga. Art lovers and critics from around the world will have many opportunities to observe works that depict political and social themes as well as everyday life scenes. African art has become one of the most popular genres for collectors, such as national museums, corporate collections and private citizens with an appreciation for art, such as Nigerian businessman Tunde Folawiyo.

Contemporary Art and Artists in Western Africa

Tunde FolawiyoLiving and working between Nigeria and Ghana, El Anatsui is currently creating some of the most striking sculptures in the world. His sculptures, large and often adorning walls rather than free-standing, feature bottle caps from liquor bottles and other items most often identified as trash, showing a good eye for use, reuse, and the power of context in creating meaning. At a 2013 show in New York’s Brooklyn museum entitles “Gravity and Grace,” Anatsui displayed sculptures in wood and metal impressive in both their scale and their delicate capturing of feeling and motion. Huge sheets of bottle caps hang from the ceiling, looking rich but telling a story of poverty and conflict as well. Anatsui creates his pieces with the help of many assistants, as the bottle caps by the thousands must be flattened and manipulated to work in the sculptures. He stated in a 2013 interview that the work of many hands transforms the caps, once only suited to be discarded, into objects full of human energy, raising their status to art, and showing something about the fluidity of their nature.

Sokari Douglas Camp is counted among the first female artists out of Nigeria to be internationally recognised for sculpture. She was born in Buguma and educated in California, at the California College of Arts and Crafts in Oakland, and at the Central School of Art and Design in London. Her late-nineties solo show at the American Museum of Natural History exhibited her predominantly steel, human-sized sculptures which reflect conflicts from her homeland. A sculpture held in the British Museum collection entitled “Asoebi, or Lace, Sweat and Tears” depicts five steel figures representing women from the Niger delta. The work serves as the centre attraction for the museum’s Ground Force Africa Garden, and is also a water feature. Camp received the honour of becoming a Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 2005, and received a bursary from the Henry Moore Foundation, as well as many other awards and prizes throughout her career.

Many foundations, nonprofits, galleries and individuals are working today to promote the future of emerging artists in West Africa. Leaders in politics and business are working to cultivate interest in this field, and many citizens, such as Tunde Folawiyo, are very interested in bringing native artists to a worldwide audience. Online articles from Tunde Folawiyo have more information on his work in the arts, business and elsewhere.