T. M. GAVRISTOVA
Doctor of Historical Sciences
The turn of the XX-XXI centuries. in art, it was marked by the flourishing of the African avant-garde. African artists entered the world's artistic elite, continuing the traditions laid down by the French Impressionists, Fauvists, Surrealists, German expressionists, Italian futurists, and Russian avant-gardists.
El Anatsui is an outstanding representative of the African avant-garde. Sculptor, teacher, art theorist, participant of prestigious art exhibitions-he became one of five Africans whose works (for the first time in 1990) were allowed to participate in the prestigious Venice Biennale 1. By that time, he was 46 years old. He was already a mature craftsman, well-known in his native Ghana and Nigeria, where he had lived since 1975 and where there were more opportunities for professional and creative growth.2
In 1982, Anatsui became the Head of the Department of Fine and Applied Arts at the University of Nigeria in Nsukka, where he continues to work today. Here he developed as a master, theorist and practitioner of African avant-garde art.
AT THE ORIGINS OF AFRICAN AVANT-GARDE ART
Nsukka University has played a huge role in the development of contemporary art in Nigeria. The Department of Art History at the University was established in 1961, a year after the country's independence. During the civil war (the Biafran War of Independence, 1967 - 1970), Igbo artists (one of the largest ethnic groups in Nigeria) worked in Nsukka. It was here that Uche Okeke 3 began experimenting with uli graphics* (with miniature signs and symbols that have a sacred, secret meaning for him and his people), becoming the founder of a special artistic style-ulism4.
In the XX century, many artists associated themselves with Ulism, including E. Anatsui (in 1970 - 1980). Over time, most of them, mainly painters (Nigerians U. Anatsui). Okeke, Ch. Okeke, O. Udechukwu, O. Oguibe, M. Kure 5, etc.), settled in Europe and America and achieved success ... Read more