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A STUDY OF OLADESU JO.HNSON'S PAINTING STYLES

 Format: MS-WORD   Chapters: 1-5

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 Nov 10, 2022 |  04:19 pm |  22


A STUDY OF OLADESU JOHNSON'S PAINTING STYLES.


Introduction:


Modern Nigerian art1 has come a long way with several artists who have made significant contributions and, who are always being made reference to. Some of them have produced works in paintings, drawings, graphics, sculpture, ceramics  and  textiles  among  others. These  artists  are  unique  in  their approaches, techniques or styles, which differ from one another. Among them are  pioneers like, Aina Onabolu, Akinola Lasekan, Julius  Akeredolu,  Ben


Enwonwu, Yusuf Grillo, Irein Wangboje, Uche Okeke, Erhabor Emokpae and Bruce  Onabrakpeya;  others  are  later  artists  such  as  Dele  Jegede,  Gani Odutokun, Kolade Oshinowo, Jerry Buhari, Jacob Jari, Abraham Uyovbisere, Kaltume Bulama Gana and Ayo Aina, to mention just a few.

Barnes (2006) states that, “The works produced by an individual artist usually have in common distinctive and identifiable visual qualities.   These qualities form what is called the artist’s personal style”2.   


Style is a personal technique that an artist employs in producing his/her works. Style is said to be distinctive because, it presents certain features that are peculiar to the artist.   In addition, style in art works can exist in at least, four distinct levels: personal, group, regional and period3.


From the year 1920 to date, modern Nigerian art works are grouped into

three general styles, namely, the naturalistic, the abstract and the expressive4, although, cases of stylistic overlap cannot be ruled out, as style is dynamic.


Cernuschi (2006) comments that:


Modern art comprises a remarkable diversity of styles, movements and techniques.   The wide range of styles encompasses the sharply realistic painting and the abstract rhythms of poured paint in black and white. Abstraction too, reveals a number of different approaches. Other artists preferred an aesthetic of disorder, in using old newspapers, stamps and other discarded objects to create picture5.


This view gives an insight into what modern artists do in the course of executing  their  art  works,  particularly  painting,  in  terms  of  styles  and techniques.  The author further states that, 20th  century art displays more than stylistic diversity.  It is in the modern period that artists have made paintings not only of traditional materials such as oil on canvas, but of any material available to them6.  


This observation emphasizes the fact that, though styles differ from one another and they are diverse yet, painters explore the use of other materials other than the conventional oil on canvas to execute their paintings. This is hinged  on  the  fact  that  painting  has  taken  several  major  forms in  modern Nigerian art, involving distinctive media and techniques.   It also stresses the point that, such styles being used go along with different materials available to the artists.


In modern  art,  styles change through  time,  and  artists introduce  new materials, techniques and subject matter7. Life is dynamic, so changes may occur in the way an artist approaches his/her works.  An artist may use several styles in producing his/her works, with different materials over a period of time.

 

It is important therefore, to note that, the style in any art work has very much to do  with  the  historical  context,  subject  matter  and  symbolism,  taken  into consideration by the artist. Hence, the works of an artist are subject to several factors  within  and  outside  his/her  immediate  environment.  As  observed  by Cernuschi (2005), “Art should not divorce itself from  everyday experience, pursue abstract philosophical ideals, or probe the individual psychology of its creator”.


In other words, the daily experience of an artist, feelings as well as his/her reasoning cannot be divorced from the kind of work he/she produces. In the light of what modern artists do, the subject matter they paint, the styles used in executing their works, the materials employed and the inspiration with which they are influenced to create art works, are among factors that the researcher has considered necessary to study in Oladesu Johnson’s styles in modern Nigerian art.



Background of the study


Oladesu  Johnson  was  born  on  the  14th   of  February,  1964,  at  New Edubiase, Ghana. He attended Local Authority (L.A.) primary school, New Edubiase, Ghana,from 1970-1975. Thereafter, he proceeded  to  middle B. school, New Edubiase in Ghana, from 1976-1980 where he completed his study. Johnson Oladesu started his art career in Ghana as an apprentice to Mr. Otu John and Mr. Francis John for some years.  



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