By Toyin Akinosho, in Lagos
Oxford University’s Department of History of Art has released the schedule for the 2023 edition of its 153-year-old “Slade Lectures”.
The theme is African Artists in the Age of The Big Man and it will be delivered by Chika Okeke- Agulu, fellow of The British Academy, Professor of Art and Archaeology and African American Studies at Princeton University in New Jersey, United States of America and the 2022-2023 Slade Professor of Fine Art.
Every year since 1869, Oxford University’s Department of History of Art plays host to the Slade Professor of Fine Art, “who is always a figure of international standing in the study of the visual arts”, the Department notes on its website.
The 2023 lecture series, six of them in total, will take place in Hilary Term 2023, in the Examinations School, High Street, Oxford.
The first lecture is the title lecture African Artists in the Age of the Big Man. It is scheduled for January 18, 2023.
The remaining five are as follows:
January 25, 2023: Gazbia Sirry and Egyptian Artists in the Nasserite State, 1950s – 1960s
Feb 1, 2023: To Speak in Parables: Dumile Feni in Hendrik Verwoerd’s South Africa, 1960s
Feb 15, 2023: Prison Drawing: Ibrahim El Salahi in Al Nimeiry’s Sudan, 1970s
February 22, 2023: Drawing the Line: Obiora Udechukwu and Nigeria’s Smiling General
Mar 1, 2023: Defiant Sculpture: Isek Bodys Kingelev and Mobutu Sese-Seko’s Autheticite, 1990s
5PM – OPEN TO ALL
Okeke-Agulu, of Nigerian parentage, has had an increasingly distinguished career in fine art studio practice, academia, publishing, curatorship and public speaking. He is the author, with Okwui Enwezor, of El Anatsui: The Reinvention of Sculpture (Damiani, 2022); African Artists: From 1882 to Now (Phaidon, 2021); Yusuf Grillo: Painting. Lagos. Life (Skira Editoire 2020); Obiora Udechukwu: Line, Image, Text (Skira Editore, 2017); Postcolonial Modernism: Art and Decolonization in Twentieth-Century Nigeria (Duke, 2015); and (with Okwui Enwezor), Contemporary African Art Since 1980 (Damiani, 2010). He is coeditor of Ezumeezu: Essays on Contemporary Art and Architecture, a festschrift in Honour of Demas Nwoko (Goldline & Jacobs, 2012); and Who Knows Tomorrow (König, 2010). In 2006, he edited the first ever issue of African Arts Dedicated to African Modernism, and his writings have appeared in African Arts, Meridians: Feminism, Race, Internationalism, Artforum International, New York Times, Packett, South Atlantic Quarterly, and October. He is co-editor of Nka: Journal of Contemporary African Art, writes for Huffington Post and maintains the blog Ọfọdunka