Understanding The ISMS of Nigerian Post-Colonial Art Movements: An Ideological Path for Emerging Contemporary Art

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Understanding The ISMS of Nigerian Post-Colonial Art Movements: An Ideological Path for Emerging Contemporary Art

Otonye Bille Ayodele Ph..D
Department of Creative Arts, University of Lagos, Akoka, Lagos, Nigeria
DOI: https://doi.org/10.51244/IJRSI.2023.10407
Received: 21 March 2023; Revised: 12 April 2023; Accepted: 14 April 2023; Published: 07 May 2023

Abstract: Scholars of African art have advocated various methodologies for the study of African contemporary arts. These methodologies serve their purposes, however there is no particular most embracing and consensus approach so far. Since the millennium, the outcomes of African contemporary art actually defy any static approach. This paper proposes the ideologies and aesthetics of some post-colonial art movements in Nigeria and their impact on Nigerian contemporary art, as a methodological path to understanding the emerging contemporary arts of Nigeria. The art movements considered in this paper are Zarianism, Osogbo Art, Ulism, Onaism and Araism which are the most outstanding of Nigerian post-colonial art movements since independence in 1960. These art movements, through their ideologies, have largely shaped what is today considered as Nigerian Contemporary Art. This paper is a contribution to the ongoing dialogues on the identity of post-colonial Africa and the processes of de-colonization of African culture. Contemporary Nigerian art in this paper is the art from the 1990s till date. The paper is based on qualitative research and bibliographic surveys. The findings show that many contemporary Nigerian arts and artists are affiliated or linked with early post-colonial art movements. In conclusion, a successful inquiry and understanding of the formation and practice of the art movements hopefully will create a pathway in the prediction, identity, and understanding of recent works of art in Nigeria and Africa.

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Keywords: Aesthetics, Art Movements, Contemporary Art, Ideologies, Nigerian Art, Post-Colonialism

I. Introduction

Ideologies constitute ideas or opinions or beliefs of individuals or groups which characterize a particular culture that is exhibited at a particular period. Ideologies are philosophical, be they social, political, cultural or scientific. The concept of ideology is elementally practical as well as theoretical. According to Lichtheim (1965, pp.164-195) and Saksena (2009, pp.65-69), the concept and role of ideology today has shifted from its definition when it was coined as a vocabulary term by French philosopher Antoine Destutt de Tracy (1754-1836) during the Age of Enlightenment.