Lot 52 Muraina Oyelami (Nigerian, born 1940) Three Dreadlocks, 2005, at Art Auction East Africa 2019

Muraina Oyelami (Nigerian, born 1940)
Three Dreadlocks, 2005
Signed ‘MURAINA OYELAMi 2005’ (lower right)
Oil on paper
55.5 x 44.1 cm

Ksh 110,000–165,000
(US$ 1,000–1,500)
Sold Ksh 258,280

Provenance: on loan from the artist to Alan Donovan (founder of African Heritage)

Muraina Oyelami, originally a theatre actor and musician, was one of the original attendees of the famous Oshogbo Art School. At the 1964 workshop conducted by Georgina Beier his work was recognised as quite distinctive in its rendering of undefined figures. 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 but are still characterized by their compositional balance and bold, sculptural forms.

Oyelami’s work has been displayed in exhibitions throughout the world including: Bolaji and Oyelami, Tafeta Gallery, London, 2017; Contemporary African from the Collection of William Jones, Aljira, A Center for Contemporary Art, New Jersey, 2007; A Concrete Vision: Oshogbo Art in the 1960s, National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institute, Washington DC, 2000; Contemporary Nigerian Artists: Ten Artists of the Oshogbo Workshop, New World Center Campus Art Gallery, Miami, 1980; Contemporary Art from Africa, Institute of Contemporary Art, London, 1967. His works feature in collections including the Studio Museum Harlem and the IWALEWA-Haus in Germany.

Alan Donovan began collecting and promoting Oyelami’s work in 1967.