Twins Seven Seven (Nigerian, 1944–2011)
Hunter’s Dream II, 1980
Signed ‘Twins Sevenseven 1980’ (lower middle)
Mixed media on board
119.5 x 59.7 cm
Sold Ksh 587,000
Provenance: on loan from the artist to Alan Donovan (founder of African Heritage)
Prominent Nigerian artist Prince Twins Seven Seven was described by folklorist Henry Glassie as “the great modernist of the Yoruba tradition”. Previously working as a dancer and singer, Twins’ impressive artistic ability was recognised during his participation in the Oshogbo workshop of 1964. There he began producing the fantastical paintings depicting Yoruba legends and imagined animals for which he has become known worldwide.
Twins’ early work was mostly made with inks on paper, then from the 1970s he began to paint using oils on wood board with raised low-relief elements as seen in Hunter’s Dream II.
There have been a number of significant markers in Twins’ career: in 1989 his work was included in Magicens de la Terre, Pompidou Center, Paris; in 2000 his work was featured in exhibitions at the Indianapolis Museum of Art and Smithsonian National Museum of Modern Art, Washington DC. All these museums have collected Twins’ work. In 2005 Twins was named one of UNESCO’s Artists for Peace.
Glassie, H. Prince Twins Seven-Seven: His Art, His Life in Nigeria, His Exile in America. Indiana: Indiana University Press, 2010.
Lampert C, Havell J (eds). Seven Stories About Modern Art in Africa. London: Whitechapel Gallery, 1995.
Njami, S. Africa Remix: Contemporary Art of a Continent. Berlin: Hatje Cantz, 2005.