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Uzo Egonu: African Arts, Winter 1973

Article relating to an individual, 1973
Published by: African Arts magazine
Year published: 1973
Number of pages: 6

image of Uzo Egonu: African Arts, Winter 1973

This was one of several features on Uzo Egonu that appeared in the magazine African Arts. This piece was in the Winter 1973 issue of the magazine (Volume VI, Number 2). A work by Egonu, Hair Plaiting appeared on the cover of the magazine. Egonu was in this issue because he was a 1972 Prizewinner. The feature appeared on pages 8 - 13 of the magazine. The other prizewinners were Cyprian Shilokoe, Tito Zungu, Louis Maqhubela and Ahmed Louardiri. The piece was illustrated with a number of colour and monochrome plates of work by the artists. The text opens as follows:

“Our annual competition is clearly getting better known across Africa, as can be seen not only by the increase in the number of entries but by the ever greater geographical spread of the regions they represent. The winners, not selected for any artificial intention of demonstrating the range of the countries contributing, give evidence enough of the many nations which joined in our project. As varied as the countries was the mix of styles and techniques in the field of art. There were prints and etchings, batiks, oils and even, as will be seen on the inside front cover, envelope decoration.”

At the front of the magazine the feature was introduced as, “Our fifth annual competition is again proof of the abundant and diverse creative talents to be found in Africa today. While the individuality of each artist is displayed in the subject matter, style and media, all of the prizewinners are nonetheless united by elements which mark each work as distinctly African.”

About Enogu, the text states (in part), “Uzo Egonu will be known to readers of African Arts from the illustration of his prizewinning painting that achieved the distinction of first prize in the BBC African Art Contest, as was described by George Bennett in African Arts, Volume 5, Number 1. He [Egonu] is now living in London and during the last ten years has built up a major reputation as an artist in Europe. He has had a series of one-man showings in London and other British towns - Leicester, Brighton, Edinburgh and Stroud - besides having made a large number of contributions to group exhibitions in major galleries such as the Royal Institute, and exhibitions such as the Camden Exhibition of African Art.”

Elsewhere in the magazine is a colour reproduction of Egonu’s Northern Nigeria Landscape, oil on board, 38 x 60” [1964]

Related people

»  Uzo Egonu

Born, 1931 in Onitsha, Nigeria. Died, 1996

Exhibitions at the Commonwealth Institute

Article relating to a gallery, 1973
Published by: African Arts magazine
Year published: 1973
Number of pages: 4

image of Exhibitions at the Commonwealth Institute

A piece titled Exhibitions at the Commonwealth Institute appeared in the Winter 1973 issue of African Arts magazine (Volume VI, Number 2). The piece was written by South African-born artist Denis Bowen. The text opened, “During the course of any twelve months or so the program of exhibitions organized by the Commonwealth Art Gallery in London invariably provides some opportunities to study the work of contemporary African artists. The 1972 program included exhibitions of paintings by Yusuf Grillo of Nigeria and of wood carvings by Mwariko Omari of Tanzania.” This was in effect a review of these two artists’ work.

Of Gillo, Bowen wrote, “Grillo showed some thirty oil paintings, the earliest of 1965, and the selection was equally balanced between earlier and more recent works. The exhibition was therefore an opportunity for comparisons. A number of the early works are very subdued in tone and so limited in color that the figures are no more than ghost-like. Scumbling, thick paint dragged over drying areas, is resorted to and conveys the lighter areas and changes in plane. In these works shapes and modeling are simplified; areas are defined by straight lines implying articulation from the edges of the canvas.”

Of Omari, Bowen wrote, “In the Mwariko Omari exhibition we were confronted by work of marked contrast to that of Grillo, a sharp reminder that Africa is a continent, a mosaic of differreent peoples and cultures. Omari is of the Zigua tribe of Tanzania. His grandfather is a chief who had fifteen wives and seventy-five children of whom one was Mwariko’s father. He himself is one of eight children, and he is now twenty-seven years of age; his schooling was rudimentary but he learned to read and write Swahili and in addition speaks several other related languages. His English, largely self-taught, is good. While no more than a boy he became associated with Elimo Njau in Nairobi at the Chem-Chem Cultural Centre and later moved to Moshi with him to form another gallery. In 1964 he established his own gallery, which was wiped out by fire in 1970. To say that Omari is energetic and enterprising is an understatement: already his home and studio are rebuilt and he has students drawing, painting and carving under his direction.”

The Bowen piece was accompanied by two reproductions of Omari’s carvings. Woman with a Pot, 71” and Mother Feeding her Child, Wood, 45” Collection of Mr. Derek Ingram, London, and three reproductions  of work by Grillo, one of which was a full-page colour reproduction. Drummer’s Fag, 1971. oil on board, 48 x 30”, Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Caws, London; The Flight, 1972, oil on canvas, 48 x 48”; the colour work was The Drummer’s Return, oil on canvas.

Related people

»  Denis Bowen

Born, 1921 in Kimberley, South Africa. Died, 2006

»  Yusuf Grillo

Born, 1934 in Lagos, Nigeria

Sokari Douglas Camp - Portfolio - African Arts magazine

Article relating to an individual, 1995
Published by: African Arts magazine
Year published: 1995
Number of pages: 6

image of Sokari Douglas Camp - Portfolio - African Arts magazine

Substantial feature on Sokari Douglas Camp that appeared in African Arts magazine, Summer 1995, Volume XXVIII, Number 3, pages 64-69. The six page feature of images of Douglas Camp’s work was introduced by Dennis Duerden, longtime scholar and writer on African Art. One of the portfolio’s double pages featured colour images, though for the most part, the images were monochrome.

Sokari Douglas Camp has had some of the highest awards of the Western academic world heaped upon her, such as the Princess of Wales Scholarship and the Henry Moore Bursary at the Royal College of Art in London. She has exhibited her sculptures of welded metal and wood at galleries which have the reputation for initiatory showings of important international artists. Her most recent exhibition was at one of these, London’s Redfern Gallery; it centred around the theme of her sister visiting London for the first time, going to supermarkets and traveling on the underground trains.

…It is this ability to detach fragments of visual experience and fuse them together into a completed form which is unforgettable in Sokari’s work. It is a legacy of the environment in which the artist spent her childhood and to which she constantly returns for a renewal of those experiences.


Related people

»  Sokari Douglas Camp CBE

Born, 1958 in Buguma, Nigeria

»  Dennis Duerden

Born, 1927 - 1931 (probably 1929)