Adieu! Prof Moyo Ogundipe (1948-2017)
“I want to listen to the sheer poetry of life and to see and touch and feel and amplify and magnify the mysterious beauty of this infinite universe. I want to tune inwards, into the very xylem of my being. I want to explore the most secret places of my heart. I want to reach the farthest nooks and corners and crannies and recesses of my feelings. I want to hear the songs of my soul.”—Moyo Ogundipe
Prominent Denver painter, Prof Moyo Ogundipe passed on yesterday morning in his office at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. He was born in Nigeria in 1948 and fled its military dictatorship in the 1980s. Before leaving Nigeria, he was an art teacher, a graphic illustrator, an award-winning television producer/director and an independent filmmaker. In spite of all his creative pursuits, he has always considered himself first and foremost a visual artist.
“People ask me why I make art, I say to them, why does a bird sing?”
Ogundipe has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Fine Art from the University of Ife, Ile-Ife, Nigeria and a Master of Fine Arts degree in Painting from The Hoffberger School of Painting, Maryland Institute College of Art, Baltimore.
His work has been described as hypnotic, colourful and densely patterned. He paints in the rich tradition of the Yoruba culture of Nigeria and attempts in his paintings to evolve a style that is a fusion or synthesis between his traditional heritage and his Western education.
Ogundipe has exhibited extensively in Nigeria, Europe and the United States, including The Orlando Museum of Art, the Maryland Museum of African Art, the New Museum of Contemporary Art in New York, and at the Denver Art Museum. In 2016, he held his most recent exhibition, Mythopoeia at the Omenka Gallery in Lagos.
In 1996, Ogundipe was awarded the Pollock-Krasner Fellowship, and in 2005, he was invited to become a member of Africobra, an organisation founded in the 1960s whose membership is comprised of distinguished African American artists.
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