Current Exhibition

1 Work: Odun Orimolade

14 July – 22nd August  2014

The Centre for Contemporary Art, Lagos presents 1 Work, a new project that invites an artist to present a single work as a way of highlighting a specific medium, engaging a particular idea or creating an ambitious new work which may not be possible through other platforms or to simply use the space as a laboratory or studio that encourages a direct engagement with a diverse audience. The first 1 Work project is presented by Odun Orimolade, for whom drawing is a principal component of her artistic practice, as well as being central to her research interests.

Using the gallery wall as her support, Orimolade’s intervention lies at the heart of the process of mark making and form generation. Her waiflike configurations allow a play of inventive and intuitive biomorphic images to evolve producing drawings that map volume, contextualize place and more tacitly than explicitly invites the viewer to interact, to react and even to question. The combination of research, process, and interaction are tools which contribute to the articulation of a trajectory that attempts to evolve an artistic language that is personal but also collective, spontaneous yet measured. In so doing she hopes to deconstruct a received history of drawing by activating an alternative language that prioritizes locality and specificity. The 1 Work project will unfold across the wall over a 21-day period.

Odun Orimolade graduated in painting from the Yaba College of Technology School of Art, Design and Printing, Lagos, Nigeria. She holds a postgraduate Diploma in Visual Art from the University of South Africa, Pretoria where she is also currently completing her Masters in Visual Art. She has participated in several exhibitions locally and internationally, including solo shows such as Facets of a Psyche, Terra Kulture, Lagos(2006), A Secret Place, Unisa Gallery, Pretoria, SA (2012) and Being and Becoming, Art21 Space, Lagos (2014).  Recent group exhibitions have included  Ravy Festival, Yaounde, Cameroun (2014), 50th anniversary exhibition, Society of Nigerian Artists, Omenka Gallery, Ikoyi, Lagos (2014), Six Draughtsmen, Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Art, New York (2013) and Come release me, National Pop Up Theatre, Goethe Institute, Lagos (2013). Orimolade lives and works in Lagos as an artist and a lecturer at her alma mater.

1 Work project is conceived by Bisi Silva and curated by Jude Anogwih.

Join, observe and interact with Odun Orimolade at the CCA, Lagos gallery, open to the public from 10am- 6pm Monday to Friday.

Follow the 1Work project on the CCA, Lagos blog, twitter and on facebook.

El Anatsui: Playing with Chance

14 March– 26 April 2014


Installation view at CCA,Lagos. Photo: Jude Anogwih

Over the past forty years El Anatsui has expanded the language of contemporary sculpture not only in Nigeria but also internationally. From the beginning of his career, he has sought to challenge the boundaries of artistic practice as well as overcome the constraints of material available to him locally. In so doing some of his earliest works started with amassing discarded wood to create the wall hanging trays characteristic of his first wood pieces. His move to Nigeria in 1970s led to a sustained period of work in clay resulting in critical acclaimed works such as Broken Pots Series. By the early 1980s, he returned to wood after a workshop in America and began his power-saw wood sculptures for which he became known and celebrated across Nigeria. In 1990, Grace Stanislaus, then curator at the Studio Museum Harlem showed these sculptures for the first time internationally during the 44th Venice Biennale in the seminal exhibition Contemporary African Artists: Changing Tradition. However the widespread international acclaim that Anatsui has received in the last decade have been reserved for his scintillating monumental bottle top sculptural hangings.

Over a forty year period Anatsui has used his work to engage with and comment on African history, colonialism, the post-colonial condition as well as the daily realities and experiences on the continent. As Nigerian artist and art historian Olu Oguibe states “from the very beginning Anatsui’s art has focused on and found its core meaning in Africa: the continent, its people, its history and cultural heritage, its predicament.” [1]In addition he sought meaning and communication through African signs and symbols such as Adinkra as well in Uli and Nsibidi writing systems.

 

The Centre for contemporary Art, Lagos is pleased to present El Anatsui:Playing with Chance to mark the 70th birthday anniversary of one of Africa’s most acclaimed contemporary artists. The exhibition is shaped primarily through archival material in an attempt to present new insights into the making of his works as well as the development of his career. Through this presentation an array of disparate materials are brought together from his studio, his study and his library including sketchbooks, drawings, letters, exhibition planning and instruction documents, books he reads, books he features in as well as brochures and exhibition publications to which he has contributed especially of Nigerian artists. Also included are a few photographs taken during his and just after his university education in Ghana, videos about him, fragments of the bottle top works ‘salvaged’ from his studio, his chainsaw wood sculptures and his early tray hangings and even a selection of his payslips from the University of Nigeria over a 36 year period. El Anatsui was a consummate teacher who made an indelible mark on his students, many of whom are now enjoying increasing national and internationally visibility. His concerted efforts in encouraging the visibility of female artists is highlighted by inviting three of his former students Nnenna Okore, Lucy Azubuike and Amarachi Okafor to participate in the exhibition.

El Anatsui was born on the 4th of February 1944 in Ghana. Since 1975 he  has lived and worked as an artist and lecturer in Nigeria, based at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka.  Since retirement in 2011 from the University, he lives between Ghana and Nigeria.  Anatsui has taken part in over 100 solo and groups exhibitions, several biennales and triennales in Nigeria, across Africa and internationally. Over the last decade he has been the subject of important solo exhibitions including Gawu, which toured in the UK and USA from 2003-2008 and the extensive retrospective When I last spoke to you about Africa organised by the Museum for African Art, New York which toured to several institution in the USA and Canada 2010-2012. Anatsui’s work is to be found in prestigious private and public collections locally and around the world.

El Anatsui, Playing with Chance acknowledges his spirit of experimentation and his creativity, and celebrates a dedicated teacher, a committed mentor, a sincere person, a generous man and a quiet leader. In her contribution to his exhibition catalogue A fateful Journey: Africa in the Works of El Anatsui, that toured in  Japan 2010-2011, CCA, Lagos director Bisi Silva asserts,  “He has engaged profoundly with his cultural, political and social history. He has imbued the spirituality of his forefathers. In the final analysis Anatsui stands tall before the ancestors.

El Anatsui, Playing with chance was curated by Bisi Silva and curatorial assistant Taiye Idahor.


[1] Olu Oguibe, “El Anatsui:The Early Work” in El Anatsui:When I last wrote to you about Africa, Museum for African Art, New York 2010, pg 23

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