"I will not accept an inferior position in the art world. Nor have my art called African because I have not correctly and properly given expression to my reality. I have consistently fought against that kind of philosophy because it is bogus." European artists like Picasso, Braque and Vlaminck were influenced by African art. Everybody sees that and is not opposed to it. But when they see African artists who are influenced by their European training and techniue, they expect that African to stick to their traditional forms even if he bends down to copying them. I do not copy traditional art. I like what I see in the works of people like Giacometti but I do not copy them. I knew Giacometti personally in England, you know. I knew he was influenced by African sculptures. But I would not be influenced by Giacometti, because he was influenced by my ancestors".

Ben Enwonwu, 1989

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Upcoming Events

KelaniArt as an Alternative Investment
February 2, 2012 at The Wheatbaker, Ikoyi

Yunifom Na Klot

A Retrospective of Works by Moyo Okediji
June 9 and July 8, 2012,
Curated by Janine Sytsma

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Our Mission

Through exhibitions, education and public debate, our mission is to:
· increase the global perception and appreciation of modern and contemporary African art;
· create opportunities and encourage research into new forms of artistic expression while improving the livelihood of artists in Africa;
· investigate and determine how art and culture can be employed to shape and contribute positively to society.

Our Symbol

Anyanwu or the Awakening (1955) is one of Ben Enwonwu's greatest works and a fine example that illustrates a fusion of indigenous aesthetic traditions drawn from his Edo-Onitsha heritage with western techniques and modes of representation.

Created in 1955, the Federal Government of Nigeria presented this work to the United Nations on October 5, 1966 in support of world peace. Anyanwu symbolizes an emergent African continent with some of her countries gaining independence.

The bronze sculpture of Anyanwu remains one of the most recognizable works in our national consciousness and stands gracefully at the lobby of the United Nations headquarters in New York. Copies are at the national museums in Nigeria and Zimbabwe.

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