Muraina Oyelami (Nigerian, born 1940)
Joy of Summer, undated
Signed ‘Signature’ (upper middle) and ‘MURAINA’ (lower left)
Acrylic on canvas
151 x 86 cm
Sold post-auction US$ 2,650
Provenance: on loan from the artist to Alan Donovan (founder of African Heritage)
Muraina Oyelami, originally a theatre actor and musician, began his career as an artist as one of the original products of the famous Oshogbo Art School. He attended the 1964 workshop, conducted by Georgina Beier, where his work was immediately recognised as distinctive from the other artists. Within a short time, Oyelami’s paintings became completely non-figurative and he developed a powerful use of colour. Over the course of his long career, Oyelami’s works have moved away from this early abstraction however are still characterized by their compositional balance and bold, decisive forms.
Oyelami’s work has been displayed in exhibitions throughout the world, including: Contemporary Art from Africa, Institute of Contemporary Art, London, 1967; Contemporary Nigerian Artists: Ten Artists of the Oshogbo Workshop, New World Center Campus Art Gallery, Miami, 1980; A Concrete Vision: Oshogbo Art in the 1960s, National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institute, Washington DC, 2000; and Contemporary African from the Collection of William Jones, Aljira, A Center for Contemporary Art, New Jersey, 2007.
Alan Donovan began collecting and promoting Oyelami’s work in 1967.