Nike Okundaye (Nigerian, born 1951)
Kingdom of Night, 1999
Signed ‘Nike 99’ (lower right)
Acrylic on canvas
107.5 x 67.5 cm
Sold Ksh 305,240
Provenance: on loan from the artist to Alan Donovan (founder of African Heritage)
Nike Okundaye, one of West Africa’s foremost textile artists, was brought up in Oshogbo, amidst traditional weaving and dying methods: her informal training there was focused on indigo dying techniques and adire production.
Later, understanding that the practice and knowledge of these art forms were fading in Nigeria, Okundaye built on her international success to launch a cultural revival. She founded a number of art centres providing training to artists and creating an archive of knowledge on Nigeria’s arts and culture.
Her own paintings, batiks and designs have been exhibited across the world, including: National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington D.C., 1989; University of Wisconsin, 1996; Expo 2000 World Fair held in Hanover, Germany; and a retrospective of her work at the Gallery of African Art, London in 2014. She has work in the collections of the Smithsonian Museum, Washington D.C. and the Gallery of African Art, London.
Over the years Okundaye has worked closely with Alan Donovan and the African Heritage in Nairobi: in 1985 she was one of six women artists from around the word to be featured in the largest yet exhibition held at the African Heritage art gallery. She also featured in the pan-African exhibition at the same gallery in 1995.