Postcolonial Modernism: Art and Decolonization in Twentieth-Century Nigeria

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Duke University Press, Apr 6, 2015 - Art - 376 pages
Written by one of the foremost scholars of African art and featuring 129 color images, Postcolonial Modernism chronicles the emergence of artistic modernism in Nigeria in the heady years surrounding political independence in 1960, before the outbreak of civil war in 1967. Chika Okeke-Agulu traces the artistic, intellectual, and critical networks in several Nigerian cities. Zaria is particularly important, because it was there, at the Nigerian College of Arts, Science and Technology, that a group of students formed the Art Society and inaugurated postcolonial modernism in Nigeria. As Okeke-Agulu explains, their works show both a deep connection with local artistic traditions and the stylistic sophistication that we have come to associate with twentieth-century modernist practices. He explores how these young Nigerian artists were inspired by the rhetoric and ideologies of decolonization and nationalism in the early- and mid-twentieth century and, later, by advocates of negritude and pan-Africanism. They translated the experiences of decolonization into a distinctive "postcolonial modernism" that has continued to inform the work of major Nigerian artists.


List of Illustrations
Colonialism and the Educated Africans
Indirect Rule and Colonial Modernism
The Academy and the AvantGarde
4 Photograph of Tsoede bronzes including the well
6 Papa Ibra Tall Royal Couple 1965
10 Uche Okeke Jumaa 1961
After Zaria
Artists Societies and Debates
Crisis in the Postcolony
1 Aina Onabolu Sisi Nurse 1922
8 Uthman Ibrahim Bamboos ca 1935

Ulli Beier Black Orpheus

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About the author (2015)

Chika Okeke-Agulu is an artist, curator, and Associate Professor in the Department of Art & Archaeology and the Center for African American Studies at Princeton University. He is a coauthor of Contemporary African Art since 1980 and coeditor (with Okwui Enwezor and Salah M. Hassan) of Nka: Journal of Contemporary African Art, also published by Duke University Press.

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