Jimoh Akolo (Nigerian, born 1934) An Algaita Player
Lot 19
Jimoh Akolo
(Nigerian, born 1934)
An Algaita Player
£ 5,000 - 8,000
US$ 6,900 - 11,000

Africa Now

28 Feb 2018, 17:00 GMT

London, New Bond Street

Lot Details
Jimoh Akolo (Nigerian, born 1934)
An Algaita Player
signed and dated 'J.B.AKOLO/ 1962' (lower right)
oil on canvas laid to board
133 x 95cm (52 3/8 x 37 3/8in).

Footnotes

  • Provenance
    The collection of Dennis Duerden.
    A private collection.


    Akolo graduated from the Nigerian College of Arts, Science and Technology in Zaria in 1961. In a class that boasted both Uche Okeke and Demas Nwoko, Akolo was lauded as one of the most talented students.

    He enrolled on the program in 1957. At that time, the syllabus approached African art from an anthropological perspective, rather than as objects of fine art worthy of appreciation and criticism. Akolo, along with three of his fellow students - Uche Okeke, Demas Nwoko, and Bruce Onobrakpeya - determined to redress this. Originally an informal association, they were soon joined by students from the previous class - Yusuf Grillo, Simon Okeke and William Olaosebikan. This injection of support allowed the group to push for formal recognition from the academy. In 1958, the Zaria Art Society held their inaugural meeting with the aim of encouraging "the study of Fine Arts" through "weekly discussions on varied aspects of West African culture with special references to Nigerian culture". Topics ranged from folktales, burial customs, marriage ceremonies to body marks and mural symbols.

    In providing an alternative forum where experiences and information about indigenous Nigerian cultures could be shared, Akolo and his peers were attempting to counterbalance the academy's Western-oriented curriculum.

    The subject matter of the current lot demonstrates Akolo's commitment to forging a distinctly Nigerian contemporary aesthetic. The painting depicts a traditional celebration or ceremony accompanied by an algaita player. Such performances were of great cultural importance, and demonstrated the sophistication of traditional Nigerian music, dance and dress.

    Bibliography
    C. Okeke-Agulu, Postcolonial Modernism: Art and Decolonization in Twentieth-Century Nigeria, (London, 2015), pp.71-87.
Activities
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Contacts
  1. Eliza Sawyer
    Auction administration - African, Modern and Contemporary Art
    Bonhams
    Work
    101 New Bond Street
    London, United Kingdom W1S 1SR
    Work +44 20 7468 5881
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