The Richard F. Brush
& Permanent Collection
St. Lawrence University
OJEMBA: A Fifty-Year Retrospective: Selected Paintings, Drawings, and Prints by Obiora Udechukwu, 1966-2016
The Richard F. Brush Art Gallery is pleased to mark 2016 with an exhibition to honor the 20-year anniversary of Obiora Udechukwu at St. Lawrence University, as well as the artist’s own 70th anniversary. “Ojemba,” which means “[A] traveller to distant towns/places/countries,” is taken from the Igbo adage “Ojemba e nwe ilo,” or “A traveler to distant lands does [or should] not have enemies.” A range of paintings, prints, and drawings spanning five decades will be included in the exhibition. In addition, a full-color exhibition catalogue will include over 40 photographs and details; an interview with the artist by curator Mark Denaci, Associate Professor of Art & Art History at St. Lawrence; and statements by the artist, Gallery Director Catherine Tedford, and Vice President/Dean of Academic Affairs Val Lehr. In conjunction with the exhibition, noted Nigerian art historian and artist Chika Okeke-Agulu, Associate Professor, Department of Art and Archaeology, Princeton University, will come to campus to give a public lecture and meet with faculty and students.
- Lecture by Chika Okeke-Agulu, Thursday, September 15, @ 7:00PM, in Griffiths 123
Obiora Udechukwu, artist, poet, and university professor, was educated at prestigious Dennis Memorial Grammar School, Onitsha; Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria; and the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. He was Professor of Fine and Applied Arts at Nsukka for many years before he moved to St. Lawrence University, as Charles A. Dana Distinguished Professor of Fine Arts in 1997. While at Nsukka, he played a prominent role in the resuscitation of interest in Igbo arts, but especially in Uli, the abstract and elegant drawing and painting on the human body and walls by women, and Nsibidi, the ancient pictographic writing associated with elite clubs in southeastern Nigeria. Arguably, no account of contemporary Nigerian art will be complete without mentioning the contribution of the artists associated with Nsukka.
Udechukwu’s interest in Igbo studies is wide. He has researched and published on Igbo minstrelsy and epics. In 1982, he edited with Chinua Achebe an anthology of Igbo poems titled Aka Weta. A founding member of the Aka Circle of Exhibiting Artists, Udechukwu has exhibited widely in Africa, Europe, USA, Asia, and the Caribbean, and his artworks are in public collections including Nigeria’s National Gallery of Art; the National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC; Newark Museum; and Iwalewa Haus, University of Bayreuth, Germany.
Additional information about the exhibition will be posted when it is available.