Oliver Enwonwu: A Continued Legacy

- | West Gallery

Free Admission, no booking required.

Open from Friday 24th May - Saturday 1st June, 10am - 5pm

artwork of 3 faces and 3 animals
artwork of 3 faces and 3 animals

OM234 presents Oliver Enwonwu: A Continued Legacy

The exhibition will feature new artwork by Oliver Enwonwu, as well as works by his father, the acclaimed pioneer African modernist artist, Ben Enwonwu. 

Oliver Enwonwu deviates from his father’s “personal aesthetic that increasingly focused on the temporal and spiritual forms engendered in the context of indigenous rituals.” His unique approach is an interrogation of women, ideas of nationhood, the female body, gesture, dance, hair, and items of clothing as sophisticated strategies of resistance - evidenced by stylish, colourful attire and a strong sense of regality, autonomy, and self-assertiveness. 

Exploring the intersection between tradition and modernity, the exhibition’s overarching purpose is to shed light on the enduring significance of African indigenous values, identities and beliefs in today’s globalised world, having evolved through such major events as colonisation.

Also instructive to the concept of a continuing legacy, is the choice of the exhibition venue. In 1985, Mall Galleries was the stage for Ben Enwonwu’s last major international show, ‘Dance Theme.’ Additionally, 2024 marks the 30th anniversary of Ben's death. As a respected member of The Royal Society of British Artists, this timely exhibition is a testament to his legacy.

On 30 May, we invite visitors to join a thought-provoking discussion between Oliver and British-Nigerian curator, writer, and lecturer Péjú Oshin, on the enduring legacy of African modernism. Find out more below.

At Mall Galleries we are proud to present the work of both Oliver and Ben Enwonwu, and invite you to visit the exhibition this May.

About the Artist

Oliver Enwonwu in the studio

“Oliver Enwonwu elevates Black culture to challenge racial injustice and systemic racism by celebrating the cultural, political and socio-economic achievements of Africans.”

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