BY OLISA NWADIOGBU
FROM THE SPIRIT
3RD - 27TH NOVEMBER , 2022
Temple Muse is delighted to host Ife Mmuo: from the spirit, an exhibition of artworks by Olisa Nwadiogbu, curated by SMO Contemporary Art.
At the height of an exciting creative industry calendar in Lagos, Temple Muse is delighted to host Ife Mmuo: in the spirit, an exhibition of 51 paintings and drawings by Olisa Nwadiogbu, curated by SMO Contemporary Art. Nwadiogbu is an important artist of his generation, whose historically relevant works covering 32 years of artistic practice provide gravitas to the fast-paced world of contemporary African art.
Ife Mmuo: in the spirit includes a careful selection of recent and retrospective works on paper and canvas, and is Nwadiogbu’s first solo exhibition in eight years. The 62-year-old artist, whose style and interpretations have impressive diversity and depth, graduated with a specialization in painting from the Institute of Management & Technology (IMT) in Enugu in 1982.
After a few years working as an art teacher and studio artist, Nwadiogbu joined the studio of Ben Enwonwu, Nigeria’s most important 20th Century modernist, deeply influenced by the style and philosophy of his mentor. From the early 1990s, Nwadiogbu began documenting Nigeria’s socio-political history through his work as a form of personal expression and resistance.
In Ife Mmuo: in the spirit, the artist presents historically important drawings, including never-before-seen charcoal-on-paper depictions of Nigeria’s turbulent pro-democracy years under military rule. In his series, the General Is Happy, the artist depicts the military brass winning and dining, against the background of mass protests, and the tragic fate of the Ogoni activists in Nigeria’s polluted Niger Delta in the mid-1990s.
Born in 1960, Olisa Nwadiogbu is a painter, sculptor, printmaker, bronze caster and cultural activist. He is a graduate of the Institute of Management and Technology, Enugu. In his words, “art is not created in a vacuum, it is directed by society, in which the artists live and work.