Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Cultural Independence Day activities at CCA,Lagos on 1st October 2009 2pm

Centre for Contemporary Art,Lagos is pleased to present its Independence day public programme on Thursday 1st of October as follows

Time 2pm (prompt)

Artist Kainebi Osahenye talks about his exhibition Trash-ing with CCA,Lagos Director Bisi Silva. They are then joined in a panel discussion by Uche Edochie and Jess Castellote and guest author Toni Kan
, who will review the artworks of Kainebi Osahenye with pages from his books. ‘Nights of the Creaking Bird’ and ‘When a dream Lingers too Long’

Toni Kan is an award winning poet, essayist and short story writer. He holds both a B.A. and M.A. English (Literature) degrees from the Universities of Jos and Lagos. His works have been published widely in the Art pages of prominent Nigerian newspapers and his poems have appeared in the anthology 25 New Nigerian Poets edited by Toyin Adewale. He is currently working on a novel, Secrets of the Untold.

P.A.G.E.S, is the confluence of literature, art works, comics and photography brings together two patriot and compatriot in dialogue with their country - Nigeria with their art and literature. This programme is designed to converge fictionist, poets and playwrights, arts and literary lovers at the Center for Contemporary Art, Lagos, to give literary interpretation to the works being exhibited and dialogue around it at the Centre every month.

3.30pm – Refreshments

4. 00pm Talk by Giles Peppiatt, MRICS, Director, Bonhams,

Mr Peppiatt's talk will give an overview of the international auction house Bonhams as well as focus on the contemporary African art sales within an international context.

Giles Peppiatt studied at St. Andrews University before joining Bonhams in 1989. In 1993 he trained as an auctioneer and conducted his first auction in that year. In 1997 he qualified as a ‘Chartered Arts & Antiques Surveyor’ with the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors.

Giles is also the world leading expert on South African Art and in 2007 he established the first ever London auction devoted entirely to South African artists, “The South African Sale”. These sales have now established London as the global centre for South African Art with the turnover in 2008 in excess of $20 million.

In 2008 Giles organised and curated the first ever commercial auction of modern and contemporary African art to have been held in London. The sale was titled ‘Africa Now’ and was an enormous success. The auction showcased some of the best works in this field and was a new fresh manner to extend Bonham’s already powerful reach in this area. The sale included work by El Anatsui, Ben Enwonwu, Bruce Onobrakpeya, Malagatana and many others.

The next ‘Africa Now’ sale will be held in February 2010 in Bonham’s Madison Avenue galleries in New York.

Venue - CCA,Lagos 9 McEwen Street, Sabo, Yaba


Sunday, 20 September 2009

The 'new' face of Contemporary Nigerian Painting?

In 2000, British curator, Eddie Chambers, was a guest speaker in Lagos at a programme on contemporary visual art and culture organised under the auspices of IVAC which has now metamorphosed into the Centre for Contemporary Art (CCA), Lagos.

Chambers also had the opportunity to visit local galleries and interact with some artists. While he found the level of activity within the art sector considerably dynamic, he was nonetheless dismayed by the stasis of artistic output, considering it ‘apolitical’ and ‘ahistorical’, existing largely in a contextual and temporal vacuum. Read...

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Friday, 18 September 2009

CCA,Lagos Trustee, artist El Anatsui is a Prince Claus Fund Laureate for 2009

El Anatsui, Black River, 2009. Courtesy Artist and CCA,Lagos

Centre for Contemporary Art, Lagos is pleased to announce that a prominent member of its board of trustees, internationally renowned artist El Anatsui is one of 11 Prince Claus Fund Laureates for 2009. Each year individuals, groups, organisations or institutions that have made outstanding contributions to culture and development within the Prince Claus Fund’s area of interest receive the prize. The awards are given to individuals, groups and organisations around the globe, but primarily in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean. The principal award of 100,000 euros was awarded to Colombian architect Simon Velez whilst 10 others receive the sum of 25,000 euros each.

Quality is a sine qua non for a Prince Claus Award. The quality of a laureate’s work is assessed in professional and personal contexts and for its positive impact on wider cultural and social fields. The creation of interactions and links between different cultures, the fostering of commonalities and the initiation of shared cultural currents are highly valued. The Prince Claus Awards recognise artistic and intellectual qualities that are relevant in the contemporary context. They legitimise experimentation and innovation, recognise audacity and tenacity, support inspirational developments and seek to enhance their beneficial impact.

The 2009 Principal Prince Claus Award

Simón Vélez (b. 1949, Manizales, Colombia)

Simón Vélez is an outstanding architect whose aesthetic and technical innovations have enhanced the construction potential of bamboo and challenged mainstream architectural trends. Completing his studies at Universidad de los Andes, Bogota, Vélez moved away from the predominant international modernist stream to focus on indigenous architectural practices. Vélez has successfully synthesised indigenous design, avant-garde technology and ecological processes. His architectural practice, seminars and workshops demonstrate that bamboo is an efficient and aesthetic building material, with profound implications for social development and the environment. Because it flourishes in diverse climates, particularly in less developed countries, bamboo has the potential to revolutionise developing economies through low-cost construction and reduced imports. Its cultivation and processing are ecologically sound and sustainable, and it is one of the best plants for absorbing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

Simón Vélez is honoured for his aesthetic use of natural materials for contemporary design, for transforming local traditional indigenous knowledge through innovation that renews and extends its relevance as a source of solutions for global problems, and most importantly he is honoured for highlighting the essential rapport between sustainable design practices and social development, and between culture and nature.

El Anatsui (b. 1944, Anyako, Ghana)

Highly original sculptor, El Anatsui is a beacon in contemporary African art. Graduating from Kumasi University of Science and Technology with art and art education degrees that focused on European traditions, he turned his attention to African aesthetics. Researching and experimenting with local symbolic vocabularies, forms, artisanal processes and materials, he has developed an open eclectic approach. Using an unusual range of natural materials and processed items, Anatsui’s artworks interrogate issues through the layers of meaning embodied in their substance and form. Professor of Sculpture and Head of Fine and Applied Arts at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Anatsui is staunch defender of artistic freedom and promoter of art’s role in local development. A generous mentor and an inspiring teacher, his lifelong dedication to intellectual exploration of political and environmental issues has influenced local social and cultural development not only through his artwork but also through his influence on generations of young artists.

El Anatsui is honoured for the outstanding aesthetic and intellectual qualities of his creations, for his innovative use of materials to highlight the dialogue between culture and nature, and for his dedicated and inspirational role in the development of the visual arts in Africa.

Other Nigerian art professionals who have won include photographer Uche Iroha and CORA.

Other African laureates that Centre of Contemporary Art,Lagos has links and contact with include

Doual’art (founded 1991, Douala, Cameroon)

Doual’art is an independent, non-profit organisation that has revolutionised the art scene in Cameroon. Under the leadership of Marilyn Douala Bell and Didier Schaub, Espace Doual’art presents high quality exhibitions, artists’ talks, debates and conferences. This first Prince Claus Award to Cameroon honours Doual’art for its clearly articulated vision encompassing aesthetic quality and social engagement, for its innovative efforts to raise awareness of citizens’ role in imagining and constructing their city, and for its inspirational impact on the visual arts and on social and cultural development in Central Africa.

Santu Mofokeng (b. 1956, Johannesburg, South Africa)

Santu Mofokeng is honoured for the outstanding quality and content of his work, for his refiguration of the powers of photographic representation, for his acute insight into the cultural meanings in landscapes and the reciprocal relations of environment and development, and for his significant contribution to photography in Africa.

Sammy Baloji (b. 1978, Lubumbashi, DR Congo)

Sammy Baloji is awarded for his highly original inscription of the painful history of human and environmental exploitation into the present-day landscape, for bringing Congo’s current realities to an international platform, for his important contribution to the memory of the Congo providing a new reading of the present, and for his challenging demonstration that development can only be realised after duly taking into account the traumas of the past.

More information

Sunday, 13 September 2009

What an opening!!! And they just kept smiling for a Trash-ing by Kainebi Osahenye

We were expecting a significant turnout due to the position and popularity of Kainebi within the Nigerian - especially the Lagosian - art community, but this opening surpassed all expectations. Artists, art patrons and friends one hadn't seen in a long time all came on this occasion to celebrate with Kainebi and with CCA,Lagos. I think the faces say it all.

Outside CCA,Lagos.
The big smiles inside!!!

Kainebi Osahenye - almost elusive in most of the pics (L) talking to art journalist Victor Eze

Installation view (detail) at CCA,Lagos

Poet, writer and critic Odia Ofeimum. Artist/Photographer Kelechi Amadi-Obi

Artist Uchay Chima and Bisi Silva. Elder Artist Bruce Onobrakpeya
Kainebi Osahenye, 'Crossing' 2009

Creative director 234Next Victor Ehikhamenor. Cross section of the Lagos art community

Mrs Bello and Oyinda Fakeye. Photographer Uche Iroha talking to Antawan Byrd

Mr Iria Ojeikere - (son of Pa) IT specialist and art patron

Artists (l-r) Nkechi Nwosu-Igbo, Uche Udochie and Segun Adejumo

Mr Odimayo of Treasure House Gallery and Oyinda Fakeye CCA,Lagos Project Co-ordinator

(Pic 1)Art Patron Mrs Sylvia Bello, Ndidi Dike and CCA,LagosFulbright Fellow Antawan Byrd. Director Bisi Silva with
CORA member Toyin Akinosho

More information about the exhibition or to inquire about international touring possibilities contact Centre for Contemporary Art, Lagos

Saturday, 12 September 2009

Kainebi Osahenye's exhibition starts coming to life at CCA,Lagos

Friday, 11 September 2009

Still more interesting guests at CCA,Lagos

I took the opportunity of the visit of Mr Kawaguchi and Mr Misuzawa to El Anatsui to finalise their plans for his forthcoming touring exhibition in Japan to invite on their during their trip back to Lagos to give an informal talk about work in Japan.

Cross section of the audience at the talk by Mr Kawaguichi and Mr Misuzawa at CCA,Lagos

Yukiya Kawaguchi spoke about showing contemporary African art within an ethnology museum to a Japanese audience highlighting the advantages and the disadvantages, whilst Tsutomu Misuzawa gave a fascinating talk about the curatorial process and choices for the 3rd Yokohama Triennale 'Time Crevasse' of which he was the artistic director in 2008.

Both talk provided a fascinating and enriching exchange especially within the context of how contemporary art from Africa is received in Japan. There was also substantial diagolue even after the talks had finished. We look forward to receivingmore guests from Japan someday.

Mr Kawaguchi (black shirt) and Mr Misuzawa

More interesting guests visit CCA,Lagos

It was with great joy that I received artist, friend, colleague and neighbour Dominique Zinkpe from Rep of Benin at the Centre for Contemporary Art, Lagos. I had worked closely with him on the inaugural exhibition for the National Museum of Bamako 'Contact Zone' when I commissioned the work Taxi Bamako which is now in the collection of the museum. During my curatorial research visit to his home in Cotonou we used to spend many hours on his large balcony ( which also harboured his studio) overlooking the beach talking about life, about art and about our hopes and aspirations within the art sector for our respective countries and for our continent - and of course we talked about his new work. I had always encouraged him to come to Lagos but like many of our smaller neighbours this megacity of over 15million seems overwhelming for them.

Bisi Silva and Dominique Zinkpe
I am glad he made the trip finally and we continued our conversations with visiting curator Claire Tancons who was in Nigeria doing research on a longterm project she was working on.
Kudos to Claire for her adventurous spirit - which almost put me to shame - as she struck out on a not very easy road trip to Osogbo, Benin and then to Enugu by road before flying from Enugu back to Lagos all in 4 days. On the way she had to let go of her 'supposed' expert guide who didn't seem to know the way or much more than she did about getting from one place to another and continue on her own. And she did!!!! She is then went on to Douala, Cameroon. I hope she adds a travelling through Africa journal to her project.

Claire Tancons and Dominique Zinkpe

Some great people passing through Lagos and CCA,Lagos

South African curator, Gabi Ngcobo visited Lagos in July 09 and gave a talk on South African artists who deal with the issue of African Masculinity in their work. During her stay she also interacted with artists based in Lagos as well as visiting the important OYASAF Foundation.

I took a group of family members, friends and other guests to the OYASAF Foundation where we were graciously received and taken round the sculpute garden by collector Engr. Yemisi Shyllon (founder of OYASAF) and artist Kunle Adeyemi.

Thumbs (or is index fingers up) by Gabi at OYASAF Foundation.

Gabi viewing the artist porfoli of performance artist Jelili Atiku at CCA,Lagos library

A cross -section of the audience at the talk by Gabi.

Gabi in the middle of her presentation. Prof Sylvester Ogbechie in 2nd row.

Monday, 7 September 2009

Trash-ing. New Works by Kainebi Osahenye at CCA,Lagos

Opening Saturday 12th September, 2009 at 3pm

Centre for Contemporary Art, Lagos is pleased to present an exhibition of new mixed media and painterly installations by acclaimed Lagos based artist Kainebi Osahenye. With over twenty years of artistic practice, this current incarnation Trash-ing builds on the continuous process of experimentation which has pushed the boundaries of his painting.

Trash-ing signals a new departure from his well-known large-scale neo-expressionist paintings towards the incorporation of more conceptual concerns through a format that increasingly borrows from an installation orientated process. Losing none of his gestural signature strokes, nor the luminosity of his colours or the edginess of his subject matter, Trash-ing highlights some of the issues that have pervaded his work for over a decade. In the recent works these existential, political, religious and everyday themes which habitually manifested with a degree of playfulness are presented less implicitly in favour of a suggestiveness which attests to the state of maturity he has attained in his career.

Osahenye moves seamlessly from the metaphysical to the physical, from the unreal to the real, foregrounding issues for which he is well-known and expanding on others such as globalisation, consumerism, man’s inhumanity and the environment forming the entral(nodal) focus of this new body of work. In so doing the exhibition’s title succeeds in playing on the multiple connotations of the word to ‘trash’ to signify destruction, abuse, rejection and waste. It also serves as an explicit reminder on the one hand of man’s disregard for one other and on the other, towards the environment.

Using appropriation as a tool, Osahenye’s most ambitious work to date is the ceiling to wall installation titled ‘Casualty’, 2009. Made of thousand of beer cans, the work is less about the ‘trendy’ fad in recycling than in acknowledging the limitation of the traditional mode of painting whilst simultaneously recognising the abilities and the possibilities of pushing boundaries without losing the essence of the painterly. On sighting the burnt cans near a garbage dump of a hotel in Auchi, Osahenye states that he ‘was instantly confronted with thoughts of war, cruelty, melancholy, pain, displacement, anguish and deformity and I started conceiving ways to install this large scale work to express the force and the power that I felt.’ Whether the totality of this and other works of the artist marks the beginning of the ‘new’ face of contemporary Nigerian painting remains to be seen.

Kainebi Osahenye (1964) studied painting at Auchi Polytechnic and Yaba College of Technology. He has held several solo exhibitions notably ‘Erasures’ (2006), ‘The cross took me for a Walk’ (2003), ‘Crosses of Life’ (2002). His Group exhibitions include ‘E-Werk’ (2008), ‘In-Humanity’ (2006), ‘Rejuvenation’ (2005), ‘Without Borders’ (2004). He has undertaken several residencies at Harmattan Workshop Agbara Ator, Nigeria, Vermont Studio Centre and the School of Visual Art both in the USA. His works are to be found in public and private collections in Nigeria as well as internationally.

Trash-ing is a collaboration between Kainebi Osahenye Studios and CCA,Lagos. The exhibition has been organised by Jude Anogwih for CCA,Lagos.

The exhibition is accompanied by a publication with text written by art historian, Sylvester Ogbeche,Ph.D, University of California, Santa Barbara and artist/philosopher Frank Ugiomoh, Ph.D, University of Port Harcout, Port Harcourt.

Open Mon – Fri 10am – 6pm

Sat 12-5pm (Sun by appointment only)

Centre for Contemporary Art, Lagos

9 McEwen Street, Sabo, Yaba



In celebrating his golden jubilee, one would have expected Kunle Adeyemi to throw the gates of his house or a pub house open for a party and socialize with friends, but he chose to have a solo exhibition to give us an aesthetic appreciation of the quality and beauty of his work. For us we consider this as a mark of great scholarship.Understanding that there is a dear need for us to educate our teeming public whose knowledge of our art is limited. Many people have no idea of the purpose of art or the principles and conventions of the artistic tradition and so do not understand the images. But with frequent exhibitions like this the society is stimulated and questions are asked. We must recognize the fact that Art plays a great role in making our lives rich. It is presumed to have a purpose. Imagine our world without art. Arts really stimulate different parts of the brain to make us laugh, or incite us to riot and it also plays a curative role. With increasing understanding of Kunle’s works, comes the realization that one is dealing with a man who has made a major contribution to the art of the world.

Kunle Adeyemi’s works which includes serigraphy, deep etching, and his lithography, are stimulated by the Yoruba tradition, but his recent workshop and exhibitions in Sweden in last two years has affected his style positively even though the themes and subjects are around our culture. His works are now more painstakingly presented and his technique opens us to a new form of distinctive art that is now emerging. Kunle is no doubt a student of continuity and change and that has endeared him to our gallery.We also admire his philanthropic nature. Two years ago, after his exhibition in our gallery, he donated several of his works to the Federal Orthopaedics Hospital, Igbobi, Lagos to put a smile on the faces of the patients.

This year, to celebrated fifty years on planet earth, he is offering scholarship to some students and launching his book – New Wine. A new wine has indeed emerged among our masters today. His signs symbols, forms and patterns will continue to be a subject of discussion for a long time as we welcome him to the age of great wisdom and understanding. This is Kunle Adeyemi’s third solo exhibition in Quintessence gallery and we are delighted to have him around. The humble and ever smiling artist will no doubt give the gallery a new look. We wish him many glorious years ahead.