Remembering David H. Dale

Remembering David H. Dale

Renowned Nigerian artist David Herbert Dale has passed away in Lagos, at the Military Hospital, Yaba at about 4am on August 6, after a long and traumatic battle with stroke.

Dale was born in 1947 in Nigeria. He moved to The United Kingdom to live with his Aunt at age two and would remain there for nearly two decades, after which he returned to Nigeria to finish his secondary education at St. Gregory’s College, Lagos. There, he would meet artist and teacher Bruce Onobrakpeya, who encouraged his interest in art.

He graduated from Ahmadu Bello University in 1971 and moved back to Lagos. He worked with Onobrakpeya for a few years before setting up his own studio. He would go on to practice art, explore advertising and teach part-time at the University of Lagos in the ’80’s.

A Fellow of the Society of Nigerian Artists, he was best known for his dexterity and versatility in 23 different media, majorly stained glass through which he explored the energy and variety of urban life in Lagos.

In a hugely successful career spanning over four decades, Dale’s mastery is also clearly evident in his many oils, watercolours, bead paintings, gouaches, wrought iron, etchings, mosaics and lino prints.

His legacy is hinged not only on his technical proficiency but also on his bold and economical line, which at once unites his diverse media by eliminating the superfluous to create a visceral connection to his audience.

David Dale will be greatly missed by the Society of Nigerian Artists and members of the broader Nigerian art community for his contributions global and historical narratives of modern art in Nigeria.

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