Akinola Lasekan (Nigerian, 1921-1972) Portrait of a girl wearing a headscarf

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Lot 30
Akinola Lasekan
(Nigerian, 1921-1972)
Portrait of a girl wearing a headscarf

Sold for £ 43,812 (US$ 54,372) inc. premium
Akinola Lasekan (Nigerian, 1921-1972)
Portrait of a girl wearing a headscarf
signed 'LASH' (lower right); bears label inscribed 'Painted by A. Lasekan in Nigeria. Bought at his studio in a small village near Owo. W. Nigeria. 1955.' (verso)
oil on canvas
39.5 x 32cm (15 9/16 x 12 5/8in).

Footnotes

  • Provenance
    Acquired from artist's studio near Owo, Nigeria, circa 1950s.
    By direct descent to current owner.

    This portrait was acquired directly from the artist by the then head of the teacher training college for the Church Missionary Society.

    Lasekan is widely acknowledged as one of the first artists in Nigeria to pioneer a modern, realist aesthetic. Denied access to formal art education, he taught himself to paint through correspondence courses. The experience was so rewarding, he later established his own correspondence art school which spawned talents such as Uche Okeke. Lasekan's tireless efforts to make art education more accessible were recognised in 1966 when he was appointed Associate Fellow of the Institute for African Studies at the University of Ife. He would hold this position until his death.

    Lasekan first captured the public's attention with his acerbic cartoons for the newspaper, The West African Pilot. His drawings lampooned British colonial establishments and attitudes, earning him the nickname 'Lash'.

    In 1943, he took up oil paintings and executed a number of portrait studies, primarily from the Yoruba ethnic group. This sensitive depiction of a young girl exemplifies Lasekan's talent for capturing expression and feeling.

    Bibliography
    Offoedu-Okeke, Artists of Nigeria, (Milan, 2012), p.44.
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