Curated Projects

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Celebrating Ben Enwonwu, Modern Artist & Pioneer, with Access Bank

To mark the 100th natal anniversary of Ben (Benedict Chukwukadibia) Enwonwu, MBE (1917 – 1994, Nigeria), ART X Lagos, courtesy of the Access Bank Collection, presents to the general public for the first time ever in Nigeria, seven wooden sculptures commissioned by the Daily Mirror in 1960. The newspaper-bearing group of figures, each with unique gestures and expressions, were sculpted by the modern art master more than half a century ago for the newspaper company’s London headquarters.

Rahima Gambo. Rukyayya and Hadiza, Maiduguri, Borno State, Nigeria, 2016, courtesy the artist

Rahima Gambo

Rahima Gambo (b. 1986, London, United Kingdom) lives and works in Abuja, Nigeria. In her long-term project Education is Forbidden, the interdisciplinary artist and journalist presents a contemplative picture on the spectre of the Boko Haram conflict, the nature of memory, and the consequences of colonial education in north-eastern Nigeria.

Lemi Ghariowku. Cartoon lampooning army brutality in Lagos leading up to FESTAC ’77 from YAP News (Young African Pioneers) in 1976, courtesy......

Lemi Ghariokwu & Jazz Hole

Lemi Ghariowku (b. 1955, Agege, Nigeria) lives and works in Lagos, Nigeria. The celebrated artist, illustrator and graphic designer, coined “the King of Covers” (The Observer Music Monthly, 2004), is internationally renowned as the mastermind behind 26 record jacket artworks for Afrobeat legend, Fela Anikulapo Kuti. Two decades following the musician’s passing, this retrospective looks at the unique interplay of aesthetics and the Nigerian socio-political climate of the 1970s in Ghariokwu’s art featuring a selection of the notorious albums, in tandem with rarely and never-before-exhibited archival documents, sketches and photographs from the artist’s private collection.

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Olu Amoda

Olu Amoda (b. 1959, Warri, Nigeria) lives and works in Lagos, Nigeria. The mid-career artist presents new works, two large format assemblage sculptures which are part of the artist’s ongoing capsule series. Titled Speckle and Eye IV respectively, the dome-shaped artworks manifest what the artist describes as “the aura of the fifth dimension”. He is represented by Art Twenty One, Lagos.

Bofa Da Cara. My African Mind, 2010. Video still, courtesy of Bofa Da Cara

Bofa Da Cara

Bofa Da Cara is Nástio Mosquito and Pere Ortín, a duo whose audio-visually driven practice works with truth, lies, and perspectives. This two-part film screening presents artworks engaging with the relationship and evolution between language, and particular worldviews. While My African Mind looks at the colonial gaze and mental slavery, its sequel of sorts, My European Mind, humorously asks the serious question – “Why not rebrand Europe?”

Yaw Owusu. Midpoint, 2017. Treated Copper coins on wood, 72x120, courtesy of Gallery 1957

Yaw Owusu

Yaw Owusu (b. 1992, Kumasi, Ghana) lives and works in Accra, Ghana. The emerging artist’s sculptures, fashioned from an otherwise worthless material – the 1 Pesewa coin – presents glittering totems wryly questioning the failures of Ghana’s ongoing infrastructural development, all the while engaging complex notions of value, exchange and locality in an increasingly global environment. He is represented by Gallery 1957, Accra.

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Johnson Uwadinma

Johnson Uwadinma (b. 1982, Kaduna, Nigeria) lives and works in Port Harcourt, Nigeria. The emerging artist presents Amnesia, a site-specific mixed media installation reflecting on memory, the dynamics within Nigerian historiographies, and the difficulties associated with transcending collective memory. Established in 2014 by Zina Saro-Wiwa, Boys’ Quarters Project Space is a Port Harcourt-based contemporary art gallery committed to producing powerful, fresh storytelling and in-depth reflections on Niger Delta inner life and environments. He is represented by Boys’ Quarters Project Space, Port Harcourt.

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The ART X Absolut Commission

The inaugural ART X Absolut Art Commission invites Olatunde Alara (b. 1992, Lagos, Nigeria), an artist living and working in Lagos, to respond to the theme of The Artist as Citizen. Responding to present day societal urgencies, Alara’s site-specific installation and public engagement project SMILE addresses the spectre of mental illness, a taboo topic. Absolut supports freedom of expression, and for the voices of the unheard to be heard.

Wura-Natasha Ogunji. If I loved you, 2017. Courtesy the artist

Wura-Natasha Ogunji

Wura-Natasha Ogunji (b. 1970, St. Louis, USA) lives and works in Lagos, Nigeria. Expanding on her performance practice exploring the presence of women in public space, Ogunji presents If I loved you. This poignant intervention wrestles with questions about physical beauty and its destruction, together with the dynamics of seeing and being seen. Performance will take place on Saturday, November 4th 2017 at 7:30pm.