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Ben Enwonwu: Twenty Years On…

Twenty years after his death, Professor Benedict Chukwukadibia Enwonwu MBE (1917-94) remains one of the most influential figures in contemporary art and culture. Much of Enwonwu’s legacy is hinged on his creation of a modern visual language for Africa, through the fusion of Western techniques and indigenous traditions. His success increased the visibility and appreciation of modern and contemporary African art, and gave respectability to the art profession, paving the way for many generations of Nigerian and African artists to define their practices. Enwonwu was the first African artist to be admitted into prestigious exhibition spaces in the West. The international press also hailed him as “Africa’s greatest artist,” and his growing fame was used to support Black Nationalists struggles all over the world…

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