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Article

Carol Magee

(b Dec 8, 1956).

Ethiopian painter, installation artist, graphic designer, and writer, active in the USA. She grew up in Addis Ababa in a family of painters before moving to the USA. She graduated from Howard University, Washington, DC, with a BFA in painting (1975) and returned in 1994 for an MFA. Her early works, based on dreams or visions, have richly textured surfaces. In the 1980s she abandoned her early palette of reds, ochres, and greens for one of purples and blues. Later paintings depict an urban environment and frequently evoke the feeling of dislocation and nostalgia that comes from living in a country that is not one’s own. Her use of themes and motifs from myriad cultures (including those of Ethiopia and Latin America) comes out of her experiences as a diasporic subject as well as the lives of the women around her. Her pieces often tell their stories, as in the Dream Dancers series (...

Article

S. J. Vernoit

(b Aïn Beida, Jan 20, 1947).

Algerian painter and graphic artist. He studied at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Algiers, and in Paris at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, Ecole des Arts Décoratifs and Institut d’Urbanisme de l’Académie de Paris. After returning to Algeria he worked at the Bureau d’Etudes des Tanneries and the Bureaux d’Etudes des Textiles, and he then went to Tunisia, where he became cultural adviser at the Musée d’Art Moderne in Tunis. Inspired by the calligraphic movement in Arab painting in the 1960s, he explored the potential of abstract calligraphic compositions in graphic art to great effect (e.g. the engravings Testament of the Enemy, 1981) and also utilized such media as wood, silk, parchment and ceramics for this purpose, often with a minimal use of colour. Since 1970 he has exhibited his work in Europe, the Middle East, Japan, South America and the USA, and has won numerous awards.

Third World Biennale of Graphic Art...

Article

S. J. Vernoit

(b Asilah, Nov 22, 1936).

Moroccan painter and graphic artist. He studied art in Morocco at the Escuela Preparatoria de Bellas Artes in Tétouan between 1953 and 1955, then in Seville and Madrid, as well as at the Accademia di Belle Arti in Rome, at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris and at Columbia University, NY. After the independence of Morocco in 1956 its painters began to search for a national and cultural identity, and Melehi was among the leaders of this movement. He taught at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Casablanca from 1964 to 1969, along with fellow Moroccan artists Farid Belkahia and Mohamed Chebaa (b 1935).

As one of the ‘Casablanca Group’ Melehi objected to the foreign monopoly of artistic thought in Morocco, and organized the first exhibition of this group in 1965. He also organized the Exposition manifeste in the Jama‛ al-Fna Square in Marrakesh in 1969. Along with 39 other Moroccan painters, such as Belkahia, Chebaa, Moustapha Hafid (...

Article

Deborah A. Hoover

(Bwalwa)

(b Mwense, 1961).

Zambian painter, sculptor, graphic artist and administrator. He received a diploma in the teaching of art from Evelyn Hone College, Lusaka (1989), and obtained both his BA (1998) and MA (1999) in Fine Art from Middlesex University, London. He worked as a cartographer (1985–6) for the World Health Organization at TDRC and taught art from 1990 to 1992. Since then he has been active in the arts community, initiating grassroots and high-level projects. He founded the Zambia National Visual Arts Council (1989) and managed the Henry Tayali Centre (1994), proposed ‘Nimbile’ as a name for the Mbile Workshop (1992) and established regional and international art links. In 1994 he travelled to the US on an Art Administration study tour sponsored by the US Information Services (USIS). In addition to his own studio practice, he curated national and international exhibitions, mounting the first contemporary art exhibition to inaugurate the new National Museum in Lusaka (...

Article

(b Nimo, April 30, 1933).

Nigerian painter, sculptor, illustrator and poet. After attending Bishop Shanahan Secondary School, Orlu (1950–53), he received a degree in Fine Arts from the Nigerian College of Arts, Science and Technology, Zaria (1957–61). In 1958 he founded the Asele Institute in Kafanchan for research in Nigerian art and culture. In the 1960s he was a member of the Ibadan Mbari Club, and a few years later formed the Enugu branch of Mbari that became a centre for artists of the Eastern region. His interest in Nigerian visual culture, especially that of his own Ibgo people, was most evident in his attention to and use of uli patterns (see Africa §V 3.) in his works, such as Oja Suite (1962; Nimo, Asele Inst.). He employed these organic, gestural lines to depict Igbo folktales as well as to produce the later Munich Suite (1963) during his travels in Germany. He was a founding member of the Zaria Art Society, which sought to create a Nigerian artistic expression based on a synthesis of indigenous and foreign art traditions. In ...

Article

Simon Njami

(b St Louis, Nov 17, 1951).

Senegalese painter, graphic artist, mosaicist and printmaker , active in Austria. Interested in painting since he was a child, he studied at the Institut National des Arts du Senegal (1969–73) and the Academy of Fine Arts, Vienna. Although he lives in Vienna, he visits Dakar for several months each year. In 1975 he was commissioned to create a mosaic for the University of Dakar. He participated in Dak’Art ’92 and other international exhibitions, and among his honours is the selection of his design for the logo of Dak’Art ’96. Inspired by his Muslim religion and Arabic calligraphy, his paintings are composed of Islamic motifs in black and ochre, evoking Koranic writing boards. The overall effect is one of linear geometry. The linear quality of his work has been compared to that of Oshogbo artists. In other works the lines are abstracted blue and white elements, with varied symbols faintly visible....

Article

Chika Okeke

(b Onitsha, June 4, 1946).

Nigerian painter, graphic artist, illustrator and poet. After studying at Central Art School, Onitsha, and Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria (1965–6), he received his BA (1972) and MFA (1977) from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, where he studied with Uche Okeke. He worked as a commercial artist and graphic designer for the Ministry of Agriculture, Enugu, and the Ministry of Information, Aba. Among his many honours are the Department of Fine Arts Prize (University of Nigeria, Nsukka), the T. A. Fasuyi Prize for painting, the Commercial Art Cup, the Shell d’Arcy Cup for painting, and the 1990 Association of Nigerian Authors Cadbury Poetry Prize. His interest in artistic communities was a major factor in the foundation of the AKA Circle of Exhibiting Artists (1986). The Biafran Civil War (1967–70) greatly impacted his life and art. At that time he abandoned mimetic naturalism as a style, turning instead to the linear forms and symbols of ...

Article

Blanca García Vega

(b Málaga, Aug 15, 1821; d Madrid, Feb 19, 1882).

Spanish lithographer, illustrator and painter. In 1859 he enlisted for the African Campaign in Morocco, and the studies he did in Africa led to drawings for an atlas of the battles in Africa (Madrid, 1860), as well as those for Crónicas de la guerra de Africa (Madrid, 1859) by Emilio Castelar and for Diario (Madrid, 1859–60) by the novelist Pedro Antonio de Alarcón (1833–91). He promoted a section for lithography at the Escuela de Artes y Oficios in Madrid. An excellent portraitist, he also made numerous drawings and illustrations for newspapers, royal chronicles and for Iconografia española (Madrid, 1855–64) by Valentín Carderera y Solano, as well as lithographs of bullfights. He provided decorative works for various public buildings in Madrid and the provinces.

A. Canovas: Pintores malaqueños del siglo XIX (Málaga, 1908) A. Gallego: Historia del grabado en España (Madrid, 1979), p. 356 E. Paez Rios...