Saturday 22 February 2014

Five artists take Nigerian art ‘R-evolution’ to U.K global fair

By Tajudeen Sowole
Sokari Douglas-Camp, Victor Ekpuk, Kainebi Osahenye, George Osodi and Victoria Udondian become the face of Nigerian art as Lagos-based Arthouse Contemporary join a global gathering in the U.K.

A photograph Gas Flare  by Geore Osodi
Significantly tagged R-evolution, the Arthouse stands at the  global art fair, Art14, holding from Friday, February 28 to Sunday March 2, 2014 at Olympia Grand, London offers the world an opportunity to see more of Nigerian art that have been surging of recent.

After lifting the status of Nigerian art at home,  Arthouse will be maximising the opportunity of showing with  over 170 galleries from 39 countries at the fair sponsored by Citi Private Bank.

Works across diverse medium such as painting, sculpture, photography, drawing, video and digital art are expected to feature in the 2014 Fair.

For example, Stand G8 of Arthouse's  R-evolution brings to the fair Ekpuk’s blend of drawing with painterly flavour, soft metal sculptural skill of Douglas Camp, abstractive impression of Osahenye, exotic captures from lens of Osodi and deep contemporary contents of Udondian. These artists represent the diversity of the Nigerian art.

The organisers noted  how  R-evolution of contemporary Nigerian art" of recent "has triggered a revolutionary group of artists." The artists, they argue, have been "producing works which are dynamic, conceptual and reactive; constantly pushing the boundaries." The show has been tasked with a creating an outlet for the "transition of art in Nigeria in the 21st Century.”

The organisers  recalled the debut edition as a success. When the fair started last year, an estimated 25,000 visitors was said to have been recorded and the gathering "was a success with critics, galleries, collectors and art lovers alike."

Stephanie Dieckvoss, Art14 London Fair Director said "Wallpaper praised the fair's 'impressive scope', while the Financial Times reported on Art13 London's 'refreshingly different' approach."

                                   A mixed media Adire Hybrid by Victoria Udondian

Artists, collectors, curators, buyers and visitors are expected from regions such as Asia, the Middle East and Africa.  The fair “also presents two specially selected sections - 'London First' and 'Emerge' - giving you the chance to discover new artists and new work.”

For ArtHouse Contemporary, which has been in the forefront of secondary art market in Nigeria, the Fair offfers a window to consolidate its relationship with Nigerian artists, home and the Diaspora. And that two of the artists,  Ekpuk and Douglas-Camp are based abroad confirms the spread and vision of Arthouse.

Dieckvoss stated:  "We are delighted to increase the geographical spread of countries represented. The fair is growing organically, so visitors and collectors will have a more comprehensive experience in discovering exciting works from around the globe. We continue to have a strong presence from Asia with leading and new galleries from across the continent. We are also excited to welcome newcomers from all four corners of the world, including Lagos, Berlin, Beijing, Dubai, Buenos Aires, Osaka, Mumbai, and São Paulo."

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