Ben (Benedict Chukwukadibia) Enwonwu, M.B.E (Nigerian, 1917-1994)
Cotton trees signed and dated 'Ben Enwonwu / 1949' (lower right) oil on board 44.5 x 59cm (17 1/2 x 23 1/4in).
Enwonwu was a pioneer in the development of modern Nigerian art, and his legacy has enriched and projected Nigerian art onto the international scene. He studied first under his father, then with British archaeologist and art teacher, Kenneth C. Murray, in pre-Independence Lagos. Thanks to the recommendation of Murray, Enwonwu travelled to the UK, where he exhibited at the Zwemmer Gallery and the Glasgow Empire Exhibition. He was awarded a grant by the British Council to continue his study, first at Goldsmith's, and then the Slade School of Fine Art (1946-48). He returned to Nigeria as Arts Advisor to the government.