Sunday, September 27, 2009



The Harmattan Workshop Gallery is pleased to announce a solo Exhibition of the works of painter Nurudeen Odebiyi, a member of the famous Yaba School of Art.

Nurudeen Odebiyi, will show 34 works in various sizes, that mirror some facets of the Nigerian and 21st century West African Society. All of the works have been created between 2007 to date and done on oil on canvas and acrylic media.

Nurudeen is a product of several artistic influences, the most recent being the Harmattan Workshop Experience, where he attended the artist retreat and Workshop in Delta state in 2004. This experience according to him “gave me tremendous confidence to keep working as an artist, and also expanded my facility to work in several media, and draw ideas not only from urban Nigeria, but also from the countryside.” His works also show a distinct admiration for the painting styles of Yusuf Grillo and Ablade Glover, 2 important artistic personalities in West Africa, influences which no doubt may have seeped into his works since his painting days at the famous Yaba Art school.

Many of Odebiyi’s works in this exhibition seem to suggest, his fascination for urban beauty, culture and his heritage. Themes connected to the celebration of feminity, like fragmented Headgear, Dancing in the Sun and, Party Time, are explored in his work. His piece New Mode of Transport, Oshodi, Hustle and Bustle show how good governance has changed the face of transportation in the city of Lagos, over the last couple of years. Finally Thirst, Reflection and Untitled show his concern for our deteriorating environment. His paintings which are clearly located in modern society, demonstrate his powerful interpretations of his Lagos and indeed West African world view, that have been widened by his thoughts on canvas.

Odebiyi is perhaps at his best showing shapes, forms and colours in his art, that shows a portrait of everyday people. His palette is one of mostly warm colours, whch are often applied in thick and heavy layers of non transparent colours. They show his delight in the quality of sunlight found in the tropics. He has also in the exhibition, shown an inroad into experimenting in cubism, a style which was made popular by several great western artists.

Since leaving the advertising industry where he worked straight after art school, for several years, with such artists as Oguigo Edosa, Oyerinde Olotu and Kehinde Sanwo in 1992, Odebiyi has now become a full time studio and freelance artist with an impressive career record of several group shows. They include shows at Giraj Gallery, Geobi Gallery, and the inaugural maiden show held by Mydrim gallery in Ikoyi Lagos. In 2004, he also exhibited with several renowned artists at the Harmattan Workshop Exhibition titled Harvest of the Harmattan Retreat, which took place at the Pan African University, Lagos. Last year, he was one of the guest artists featured by the Harmattan Gallery at the 2008 Art Expo which was held at the Lagos museum.

The exhibition will be opened by Barrister Taslim Animashuan, a collector of Nigerian art, who lives in Nigeria, and has known Odebiyi since his days at the Yaba Art School. This exhibition will run for 10 days at the Harmattan Gallery from the 19th to the 29th of September, 2009. The Gallery hours are Monday – Saturday 10:00 to 6:00. and Sundays 2:00 to 6:00.

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