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Abayomi

The life and sketches of Abayomi Barber

About the book

The book, Abayomi Barber explores the early life of the pioneer, surrealist painter and sculptor, Abayomi Barber from his early childhood in Ibadan and Ife to his early years in Lagos working a variety of jobs- thorn carver, graphic artist, secondary school teacher, illustrator, musician before moving to the UK in the sixties to work as a sculptor.
The book explores the evolution of the artist, his early inspiration, his contact with Obafemi Awolowo and his sculptural practice while living in London.

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Abayomi book image

About the artist

Abayomi Barber is a surrealist painter, sculptor and teacher.

He is probably one of the most influential contemporary artists in Nigeria. He has, over the years, thought and influenced a generation of Nigerian artists.

Barber was born in Ife in 1928. As a child he was attracted to the Ife sculptures in the palace of his uncle, the then Oni of Ife, Oba Adesoji Aderemi. By his early teens the precocious Barber had started to create artworks from whatever material was available to him. His early pastels were made directly from coloured chalk soaked in water and kitchen charcoal.

Barber moved to London in 1960. For a brief period he took art classes at the Central School of Arts and Craft, London. Mostly though, he visited Museums and galleries and wandered the parks of London. He eventually joined the studio of Mancini and Tozer. From there he moved to the studio of Oscar Nemon. He would work with Nemon on a variety of Winston Churchill busts. Nemon had become intertwined with the art of Churchill and had become, in a sense, Churchill’s art biographer, creating some of the most enduring images of the British politician. Barber upon his return to Nigeria would have the same relationship with Awolowo.

Barber returned to Nigeria in 1971 to teach art at the University of Lagos.  Many of  his students would follow his surrealist leaning. They would become known as the Barber school and would carry on his tradition of  dedication to detail and a liberation of the imagination.

Review

The book, Abayomi Barber explores the early life of the pioneer, surrealist painter and sculptor, Abayomi Barber from his early childhood in Ibadan and Ife to his early years in Lagos working a variety of jobs- thorn carver, graphic artist, secondary school teacher, illustrator, musician before moving to the UK in the sixties to work as a sculptor.
The book explores the evolution of the artist, his early inspiration, his contact with Obafemi Awolowo and his sculptural practice while living in London.
-Thisday Newspaper
See full review>>
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An insight into the early life of the famed Nigerian artist, Abayomi Barber, through words and his sketches.

 

Book Details

Author: Dozie Igweze
Publisher: Hourglass 2016
Pages: 227
Type: Hard Back
979 Saka Jojo Street, Victoria island, Lagos
write@hourglass-books.com