Demas Nwoko (Nigerian, born 1935) 'Adam and Eve'

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Lot 12
Demas Nwoko
(Nigerian, born 1935)
'Adam and Eve'

Sold for £ 22,500 (US$ 28,696) inc. premium
Demas Nwoko (Nigerian, born 1935)
'Adam and Eve'
signed and dated 'DEMAS NWOKO/ 10/4/62' (lower left)
oil on canvas
91 x 58cm (35 13/16 x 22 13/16in).

Footnotes

  • Provenance
    Galerie Lambert, Paris, May 1962.
    The collection of Dennis Duerden (1927-2006).
    A private collection, UK.

    In 1962, following a period of study at the College of Arts, Science and Technology in Zaria, Nwoko received a scholarship from the Congress of Cultural Freedom for a year's study at the Centre Français du Théâtre in Paris.

    It was in Paris that he produced his seminal series Adam and Eve. These paintings ostensibly depict the first couple, but also demonstrate the principal of ife kwulu ife akwudebe ya (when something stands, something else stands beside it). The series is characterised by this fusion of Igbo culture with Western images.

    Five of these paintings were sent for exhibition at the First Festival of Negro Arts at Dakar in 1966, where they were lost and never returned. The current lot was sold at the 1962 Galerie Lambert exhibition in Paris. Another is held in the collection of the artist (illustrated Okeke-Agulu p.199).

    Dennis Duerden was assistant curator at the Jos Museum, Nigeria, in the late 1950s. On his return to Britain, he was made director of the Hausa service of the BBC World Service. The author of a number of publications, including African Art (1968) and The Invisible Present (1972), Duerden played a key role in establishing international reputations for African artists, writers and musicians.

    Bibliography
    C. Okeke-Agulu, Postcolonial Modernism: Art and Decolonization in Twentieth-Century Nigeria, (Durham, 2015).
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