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Oshogbo School Nigeria

Around 1965, after Nigeria's independence from Britain, an art colony was established in the small town of Oshogbo. Supported by the cultural scientists Susanne Wenger, as well as Ulli and Georgina Beier with materials, the artists implemented themes of their Yoruba people in painting. In addition to Twins Seven-Seven, early artists included Muraina Oyelami, who later taught at the University of Sussex, UK and Ife, Nigeria, and became known for his architectural panoramas and portraits in muted colors. Beading entire canvases, Chief Jimoh Buraimoh is one of the most successful artists to emerge from the workshops of the 1960s.


Jimoh Buraimoh

Untitled, Nigeria, 1970s


Muraina Oyelami
Three Spiritualists, Nigeria, 1987


Rufus Ogundele
A Mask, Nigeria, 1986 

Sign painter West Africa

With their colorful advertising messages, the sign painters' work attracts customers in front of workshops and on the markets in Ghana and Nigeria. The autodidacts paint barber signs with artistic braided hairstyles or expressive portraits of pop stars and politicians. For example Thomas Sankara, the head of state of Burkina Faso who was assassinated in 1987 and who became the idol of many compatriots because of his corruption-free lifestyle. Another important representative of the genre is “Middle Art” (Augustine Okoye) from Nigeria, who modestly describes himself as a medium talent. After the penniless artist had to serve as a soldier in the Biafra War, he no longer only painted barber signs, but also processed war experiences in his pictures.


Untitled (18 women's hairstyles), Ghana, 1980s


middle art
Firing Squad, Nigeria, 1970s


Untitled (Thomas Sankara, Head of State of Burkina Faso), 1980s

Colonial Era / Civil War

The political and economic changes in the young independent states are the subject of many of the artists in the collection: oppression during colonial rule, punishment and torture, civil wars such as in Nigeria and Mozambique.

Zambia's Stephen Kappata worked in the mines of Johannesburg before coming into contact with art through a part-time job at the Nayguma Museum, Lusaka. Inspired by the columnist Kapelwa Musonda, he always adds a comment bar to his paintings. In his paintings, the self-taught Rainbow Arts processes observations from the Nigerian Biafra War: There was a famine in encircled Biafra. More than 60,000 tons of relief supplies were flown to the area via a humanitarian airlift.


Malangatana Valente Ngwenya
Xiraaba, Mozambique, 1977


Stephen Kappata
A Prayer of Africa by the Freedom Fighters, Zambia, 1990


Salt made in England, Nigeria, 1971

Square Painter / Tingatinga School

The occasional worker Edward Saidi Tingatinga from Tanzania began around 1968 to paint square masonite panels left behind on construction sites for ceiling paneling with naive bird and wild animal motifs - and in doing so started a whole movement. In front of the Oysterbay supermarket, in a villa district in Dar-es-Salaam, he found numerous buyers - until he was mistaken for and shot by police officers during an argument in 1972. Edward Saidi Tingatinga's rare, early and striking works achieve top values today. The most famous artists of the so-called square painters include George Mpata, Hashim Mruta and Mohamed Charinda.


Edward Saidi Tingatinga
Brooding Albatross


SG Mpata
Cashew Tree with Birds (untitled)


January Linda
flowers still life

city and country life

In 1972, the Kenyan Ancent Soi won first prize in a poster competition for artists from African countries on the occasion of the XX. Olympics in Munich. Since then, he has portrayed the evolution of modern city life with great attention to detail and texture.
Joel Oswaggo, also from Kenya, uses colored pencils to describe scenes of country life, such as the village community building a hut or a fisherwoman who is happy about a successful catch. Zacharia Mbutha, on the other hand, was a school principal before he devoted himself entirely to painting. With expressive figures, he depicts everyday moments and challenges such as hard-working peasant women or the pitfalls of multiple marriages - and thus becomes a social observer.


Zacharia Mbutha
The Burden, Kenya, 1980s


Ancent Soi
Nairobi City Center, Kenya, 1985


Joel Oswaggo

Untitled, Kenya, 1980s

South Africa

Even during the apartheid regime (1948 – 1994) the art of the townships gained recognition. Black and white etchings and color linocuts are characteristic of the so-called township art, since the artists could not afford canvases and oil paints. Leonard Matsoso from Soweto was in the portfolio of renowned Goodman Gallery and represented South Africa at the Sao Paulo Biennale in 1973 and 1979. Joe Maseko, a self-taught artist from Johannesburg, became known for his pastel scenes of everyday life. And Eric Ndlovu, who immigrated to Kenya, captured political scenes from South Africa as well as nightlife in Nairobi in dense paintings.


Leonard Matsoso

Untitled, 1975

Eric Ndlovu Buffalo-Bill-Bar-1980er-Jahre

Eric Ndlovu
Buffalo Bill Bar, 1980s


Joe Maseko
Township, 1970s

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