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NGA mourns Abayomi Barber

By Sunday Aikulola
05 January 2022   |   2:35 am
The Director General of National Gallery of Arts, Chief Ebeten William Ivara, has described the passing of foremost artist and the force behind Abayomi Barber school of thought as a great loss to the Nigerian arts landscpae.

The Director General of National Gallery of Arts, Chief Ebeten William Ivara, has described the passing of foremost artist and the force behind Abayomi Barber school of thought as a great loss to the Nigerian arts landscpae.

Ivara, in a statement, said, “it is with a profound sense of loss but gratitude to the will of Almighty God, that we at the National Gallery of Art (NGA) received the news of the transition of Pa Abayomi Barber. We are glad, however, that we were able to celebrate this global icon in his lifetime by exhibiting some of his famous art works early this year and publishing a major book on him. At that event, artists from different generations were on hand to pay homage to him. Selected art works of his prominent followers were equally exhibited at the event.”

According to Ivara, indeed, “Abayomi Barber deserved more. He was best known for his ground breaking work at his studio in the University of Lagos where he developed his “Barber School of Thought” that has remained a reference point in visual arts in Nigeria till today.”

He added, “deploying an iconoclastic approach to teaching, he allowed his students a free rein of their imagination and was able to bring out the best in them. Not surprisingly, he trained generations of students who not only subscribed to his school of thought but are passing down the philosophy to others. He can effectively therefore be described as a master artist, teacher, mentor and an entrepreneur whose ideas are being passed from generation to generation of artists.”

He said, “one of the interesting aspects of his life was his penchant for self-improvement and a large appetite to hone his innate skill as an artist. He was never satisfied. He always yearned for more and by so doing blazed a trail in visual arts. He was an avatar, a patriarch and path founder who will remain indelible in our minds.”