Ebenezer Akinola, Habeeb Andu, Ola Balogun, Oluwole Omofemi, Opedun Damilola, Tope Fatunmbi, Michelle Okpare.
The exhibition "En Ensemble of Voices" which brings together 7 contemporary Nigerian artists opens on Saturday 18 November at 6pm at the Lis10 Gallery in Arezzo (via Cavour, 5).
Nigeria is not only the most populous country on the African continent, with over 215 million inhabitants, but also the one with a more complex and articulated historical-artistic tradition since the pre-colonial phase, in all fields of culture.
A nation that after independence in 1960, despite the long dictatorship, the civil war (1967-1970), the continuous political turbulence, has developed a continuously growing economy, boasts a very high cultural level of its diaspora (61% of graduates compared to 32% of Americans) and invests in art, culture and education as a driving force for development, more than any other African country.
From literature that can count on the first African Nobel Prize winner, the playwright Wole Soyinka to writers such as Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, the production of "Nollywood" has conquered cinemas and digital platforms and music has been able to capitalize on the Afro legacy beat by Fela Kuti with artists who have topped the international charts such as Burna Boy, Rema, Tems, Davido and Tiwa savage.
The exhibition curated by Oluwole Omofemi and Alessandro Romanini - which will remain open until 13 January 2024 - represents a further stage in the research path carried out by the Arezzo gallery (which recently opened an office in Paris) towards contemporary African artistic creation.
An exhibition that brings together the two latest Nigerian artistic generations, thus showing an exhaustive panorama of the evolution and creative richness that characterizes the West African country; from consolidated artists with an international curriculum such as Ebenezer Akinola (1968) and Ola Balogun (1972), passing through Tope Fatunmbi (1975), to arrive at the new creative generations who have already been able to establish themselves on the world scene, from exhibitions in public spaces and private individuals, museums, foundations and fairs, such as the artist and curator Oluwole Omofemi (1988), and Opedun Damilola (1983) up to the younger Michelle Okpare who has recently been the protagonist of exhibitions in Los Angeles, St. Petersburg and Cape Town.
The works of the artists exhibited testify to the rare ability to harmonize historical cultural roots, tribal identity ones (such as the Uli body painting or the calligraphic style) with contemporary iconographic experimentation, ranging from figurative research to geometric and tachist abstraction up to collage.