La Floraison (The Bloom 1) is the title of a group exhibition which opens this Saturday, December 8, 2018, at Alexis Galleries, Victoria Island, Lagos. The show is the first in the series of what has been put together to be an annual feast, and it will feature works by 15 leading contemporary artists: Abiodun Olaku, Reuben Ugbine, Segun Aiyesan, Sam Ovraiti, Duke Asidere, Dominique Zinkpe, Zinno Orara, Fidelis Odogwu, Edosa Ogiugo, Gab Awusa, John Oyedemi, Alex Nwokolo, George Edozie, Diseye Tantua and Gbenga Offo.
All the exhibiting artists, according to the founder/director of Alexis Galleries and the Curator of the show, Mrs. Patty Chidiac-Mastrogiannis, have been critically considered and selected to sustain this drive to hold The Next Masters exhibition every year.
“These great artists have stood the test of time. Their works are an exquisite crossover between traditional and contemporary art, a skill they have impressed on global art connoisseurs, in their various exhibitions across the world. They have achieved this feat by brilliant fidelity to their traditional roots, while also playing in the contemporary artistic genre.
“Alexis Galleries also wishes to establish an ongoing relationship with the commune of artists, so that, together, we can renew and sustain our artistic vision for mutual benefits and for the good of our respective communities and countries,” she stated.
Each artist will be showing two pieces, at the exhibition which will run till December 22, 2018.
“The exhibition is supported by Pepsi, Maikano, Delta Airline, Amarula, Nederburg, Cobranet Internet Service Provider, Cool FM, Wazobia FM/TV, Chocolate Royal, The Avenue Suites, Art Café and The Homestores Limited.
“In eight years, Alexis Galleries has engaged in the presentation and dissemination of contemporary art in the media of painting, drawing, mixed media and sculpture. We have established ourselves rapidly as one of the best galleries in Nigeria, a meeting place for artists, collectors and enthusiasts of art.
“We have supported artists to organise and showcase their works and talents through numerous exhibitions, as we desire to take the Nigerian artists to greater heights in strengthening the ever vibrant Nigerian Art Circle,” Chidiac-Mastrogiannis said.
According to her, with this outing, they have expanded their scope to include collaboration with NGOs in curating, organising of residence programmes, workshops, as well as yearly exhibitions.
Mr. Olaku is undoubtedly one of the leading lights in the contemporary art scene in Nigeria. In his third decade of avid, dedicated and progressive art practice since graduating from the prestigious Yaba College of Technology, Lagos as a painter in 1981, under the supervision and guidance of Prof. Yusuf Grillo, Kolade Oshinowo and late Dr. Isiaka Osunde, he has crystallized into one of the ‘exclusive’ masters of his generation. Olaku’s influence within the visual art industry and community in Nigeria is quite potent and commendable having trained, mentored and inspired a significant mass of the emerging generations of artists; as well as passionately and radically pursing the promotion, social elevation and the overall cause of professional artists in the Nigerian society, leading to a couple of awards in recognition of this.
Olaku has had three solo shows and over 120 joint and group exhibitions to his name, and he is widely exhibited, collected and commissioned, in significant places like the USA, U.K., France, Holland, South Africa, apart from some of the African and Asian countries.
Nwokolo is one of the front-liners of the Lagos art scene. A painter of figures, portrait, landscape, rooftops and mixed media, he schooled in Auchi Polytechnic (HND1991) and University of Benin (M.F.A. 2000) respectively. He has travelled and exhibited widely. Nwokolo has a total of eight solo exhibitions and over 55 group exhibitions at top galleries in the U.K., France, Holland, South Africa and Nigeria.
Asidere is one of Nigeria’s most celebrated contemporary artists with a keen following internationally and in his native Nigeria. He obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree with first class honours in Fine Arts (painting) from Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria in 1988 as well as a Masters of Fine Arts in painting in 1996 from the same university. He taught painting, drawing and art history at the Federal Auchi Polytechnic for five years before starting full-time studio work in Lagos. Asidere expresses himself boldly through a wide variety of genre including pencil work, engravings, oil and acrylic, pastels and even transparencies. His has participated in and facilitated numerous international and local workshops on painting, photography and drawing.
Odogwu is one of the most gifted sculptors in Nigeria today. He is a full-time studio artist and was mentored by one of Nigeria’s most renowned sculptors, Ben Osawe, with whom he worked from 1988-1989. Odogwu has participated in numerous local and international art auctions and group exhibitions the most recent being ‘ Transcending Boundaries’, which took place at The Curator on Cork Street, London in 2013.
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