JOBURG ART FAIR 2011
SEPTEMBER 23-25, 2011
From September 23 to 25, 2011, at the Sandton Convetion Centre, Johannesburg, the Omenka Gallery will present an exhibition of three leading contemporary artists from Nigeria, Alex Nwokolo, Oliver Enwonwu, and Mudi Yahaya.
The works are presented in diverse methods and techniques. Although the artists work and live in Nigeria, there are considerable and significant differences in the contemporary reality of each artist’s cultural environment.
Nwokolo adopts an instinctive and methodological system of expression that he has mastered over the years. His works are experimental in nature and have examined mainly the technique of creative colouring and the effect of light and dark on colours. His canvases are laced with textural qualities, the paint, applied boldly as a thick impasto, which, worked by deft strokes of the palette knife, accumulates weight as it builds, in repeated planes, into a thick carpet of lights and shade.
Nwokolo’s works probe the social problems, global issues about the environment and economic stability. His oeuvres explore the urban Nigerian space, aesthetics and politics. Though his compositions are not formed exclusively from recycled materials, he is undeniably one of the Nigerian contemporary artists motivated by the use of ordinary discarded materials to create extraordinary pieces.
A cultural activist, Yahaya’s photography has evolved from social documentary essays to critical conceptual photography. Mallam Mudi, works largely on long term, self-assigned projects that focus on the aesthetic relationship between images and post-colonial deconstruction of the African identity in syncretic African spaces. His work presented here, Conrad’s Circus: Crown and Country, reflects on the role of photography in the visual construction of colonization whilst also continuing his probe of identity. He also addressed the issue of photography as a tool by the West to create a cynical history of Nigeria and Africa satirizing with some of the works in the show.
Oliver Enwonwu’s works centre on diverse expressions of identity in an increasingly globalized world dominated by mass communication. He also explores the effects of post-colonialism and addresses issues of self-discovery, history and social organization.
The exhibition is a platform to challenge the publicized perception of corruption thrust on Nigeria by the West as well as address issues on socio-political instability.