|Directors of Thought Pyramid Art Centre, Ovie Omatsoka and Jeff Ajueshi. Pic: c/o the gallery.|
Exiting the first two decades of 21st century, art in Nigeria will step into a new dawn, specifically from next year. A select group of artists under Thought Pyramid Art Centre-led new project are getting set to boost their pioneering antecedence in full-time studio practice.
The group exhibition being planned for the second quarter of next year, according to director at Thought Pyramid, Ovie Omatsola, is all about celebrating Nigerian art virtue of the past to build a solid foundation for the future. Within this context of keep promoting the past and today for tomorrow, Thought Pyramid Art Centre is currently meeting with the concerned artists.
In the context of transition from Nigeria's modern to contemporary periods, the exhibition concept will feature 12 artists whose works and careers can't be denied a deserving space in art appreciation. In preparation for the presentation of the group exhibition to the general public, a broad consultation and compilation of artists who fit the focus of the project started few weeks ago.
Who are the artists that fit the proposed-historic art exhibition? "They are the bridge between old modernists and contemporary Nigerian artists, who, over the past two to three decades of their careers, have the privilege of working across generational shifts," Omatsola explained. "It cannot be denied that some artists, between the 1980s till date have been inspiring a lot of others in full-time studio practice from which art collecting has grown to what it is today."
Omatsola argued that art galleries and collectors, in Nigeria have benefitted so much from the artists whose careers he described as "undeniable" in the history of contemporary Nigerian art.
The group exhibition with "The Undeniable or 'The Advocates' as working titles will have on display, at least five masterpieces from each of the exhibiting artists. "With this exhibition, we aim to celebrate their well-deserved achievements by bringing a shining light on their artistic prowess achieved over the decades."
Ahead of releasing details of the exhibition, a meeting that involved privileged audience over a week ago was aimed at explaining how the proposed-exhibition is dedicated to the artists who have had an undeniable impact on the growth of contemporary art in Nigeria.
While awaiting more details about the exhibition, sources close to Thought Pyramid and some of the artists being rumoured to be on the list disclosed that the proposed show may change art appreciation in Nigeria forever.
Who makes the list of 'The Undeniable' or 'The Advocates' exhibiting artists? "We will release the list in the next few weeks," Omatsola assured.
Reputed for promoting modern and contemporary Nigerian artists, Thought Pyramid in partnership with Centre for Black Culture and International Understanding (CBCIU), in 2018 showed a select group of Osogbo school pionneer artists who emerged in the early 1960s. The exhibition titled Vision of the Last Quarter , which marked the celebration of 50 years of Osogbo Art, was also shown at Thought Pyramid, Abuja, in 2017 and featured works of the Osogbo masters such as Muraina Oyelami, Jimoh Buraimoh, Rufus Ogundele, Adebisi Fabunmi and Twins Seven Seven.
Also, in the last three years, Thought Pyramid has been discovering young and fresh contemporary Nigerian artists with its Next of Kin yearly art competition show, which expose the finalists to mainstream art space.