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Twins Seven-Seven
Legacy of the Oshogbo Master




Blessed Fisherman Family and Golden Fish
Twins Seven-Seven (1944- 2011), Oshogbo, Nigeria
2006
Oil, acrylic and pastel on canvas
(27 1/2" h x 26"w)

SOLD

Exhibition dates: Thursday, November 10, extended through Saturday, February 25, 2012

Receptions:
Second Thursday, November 10th, December 8th, January 12th, February 9th, 6 to 9pm

Gallery Hours: Wednesday - Saturday, 12 - 6:00 pm.

Location: Indigo Arts Gallery, 1400 North American St., #104
Philadelphia PA 19122 215-765-1041

Indigo Arts presents a memorial exhibition of the work of the late Nigerian master, Prince Twins Seven-Seven (1944 – 2011), one of the leading members of the Oshogbo art movement that arose in the newly independent nation in the early 1960s. He was the most celebrated African artist of his generation.

Twins Seven-Seven spent much of the last 15 years of his life living and working in Philadelphia. In 2005 he was named UNESCO Artist for Peace in an award ceremony in Paris. His work is included in the collections of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Smithsonian Institution and other major international collections. In 2010 he was the subject of an exhaustive monograph and biography, Prince Twins Seven-Seven: His Art, His Life in Nigeria, His Exile in America, by Henry Glassie. A talented musician, he continued to perform throughout his career. Several of his early recordings have recently been reissued.

The exhibition also includes a selection of work by contemporaries and younger Nigerian artists who were influenced and inspired by Twins Seven-Seven. They include contemporaries, such as the late Asiru Olatunde, who hammered relief paintings out of copper and aluminum sheet, and artist Yinka Adeyemi, who works in two other characteristic Oshogbo media, batik on paper and mosaic-like bead paintings. Artists of the next generation include Tunde Odunlade, Phillip Olufemi Babarinlo, Rahmon Olugunna, Ademola Oyelami, and Toyin Folorunso, a grandson of Asiru Olatunde.



Acrobatic Dancers (Detail)
Twins Seven-Seven (1944- 2011), Oshogbo, Nigeria
2007
Oil, acrylic, ink and pastel on plywood
(24" h x 12 1/4"w)

Price on Request


Selections from the exhibit follow. Many more works can be seen on the pages for Twins Seven Seven and each other individual artist.


The Singing Birds in Egg Count
Twins Seven-Seven (1944 - 2011), Oshogbo, Nigeria
2007
Oil, acrylic, ink and pastel on plywood
(24" h x 24"w)

Price on Request



Creative Shapes in Obatala's Diary II
Twins Seven-Seven (1944 - 2011), Oshogbo, Nigeria
2006
Ink, acrylic and colored pencil on paper
(14" h x 15 1/2"w) Framed

Price on Request



The End and the Beginning of the Fragile World
Twins Seven-Seven (1944 - 2011), Oshogbo, Nigeria
2007
Ink, batik dye, watercor and and oil on fabric
(60" h x 31"w)

Private Collection - Not for Sale



The Blessed Family
Twins Seven-Seven (1944 - 2011), Oshogbo, Nigeria
2006
Ink, acrylic and colored pencil on paper
(17" h x 13"w) Framed

Price on Request

SOLD 11/2011

Also available:

Digital pigment print of 2006 original painting.
(Epson 9800 Ultrachrome K3 Pigment Print on "English 14" Cold Press Art Paper)
(17" h x 13"w)
Edition of 50, five copies signed and numbered by the artist, 2010

$450



The Long Eared Ghost
Twins Seven-Seven (1944 - 2011), Oshogbo, Nigeria
1960's
Etching, # 4/30
(15" h x 19 5/8"w)

Price on Request



Priest and Priestess in Festivity Mood of Ibeji Ceremony
Twins Seven-Seven (1944 - 2011), Oshogbo, Nigeria
2007
Acrylic, ink on fabric
(40" h x 39 1/4"w)

Price on request



The Golden Mother
Twins Seven-Seven (1944 - 2011), Oshogbo, Nigeria
2007
Oil, acrylic, ink and pastel on plywood
(24" h x 12 1/4"w)

Price on Request

SOLD 11/2011



Acrobatic Dancers
Twins Seven-Seven (1944 - 2011), Oshogbo, Nigeria
2007
Oil, acrylic, ink and pastel on plywood
(24" h x 12 1/4"w)

Price on Request



The Reptiles Tyranny Drummer
Twins Seven-Seven (1944 - 2011), Oshogbo, Nigeria
2009
Acrylic, ink on canvas
(35 1/2" h x 16"w)

Price on request



Ocean Blessed Family
Twins Seven-Seven (1944 - 2011), Oshogbo, Nigeria
2009
Acrylic, ink on canvas
(31" h. x 15 3/4"w.) Framed

Price on request




Palmwine Tapper and Family
Twins Seven-Seven (1944 - 2011), Oshogbo, Nigeria
2007
Oil, acrylic, ink and pastel on plywood
(24" h x 12 1/4"w)

Price on Request



Village Life Under the Cocoa Tree
Twins Seven-Seven (1944 - 2011), Oshogbo, Nigeria
2007
Oil, acrylic, ink and pastel on plywood
(24" h x 12 1/4"w)

Price on Request



The Dream of the Oldest Collector
Twins Seven-Seven (1944 - 2011), Oshogbo, Nigeria
2006
Ink, acrylic and colored pencil on paper
(17" h x 13"w) Framed

Price on Request



Great Hunter, Founder of Oshogbo
Twins Seven-Seven (1944 - 2011), Oshogbo, Nigeria
2011
Oil, acrylic, ink and pastel on plywood
(47" h, x 27"w.)

Price on Request



Baby Naming Ceremony
Twins Seven-Seven (1944 - 2011), Oshogbo, Nigeria
Digital pigment print of 1990 original painting.
(Epson 9800 Ultrachrome K3 Pigment Print on "English 14" Cold Press Art Paper)
(14 3/4" h x 15 1/4"w)
Edition of 100, five copies signed and numbered by the artist, 2010

$400



Musicians
Yinka Adeyemi (1941 -), Oshogbo, Nigeria
2011
Glass beads on plywood
(24" h x 18"w)

Price on request



Delegates' Head
Yinka Adeyemi (1941 -), Oshogbo, Nigeria
2003
Batik on paper
(17 1/2" h x 12"w)

$400



Market Women
Ademola Oyelami, Oshogbo, Nigeria
c. 2004
Batik on Rice Paper (25" h x 19 1/4"w)

$300



Lovers
Ademola Oyelami, Oshogbo, Nigeria
c. 2000
Oil on Paper (13 5/8" h x 11"w)

$250



Couple
Rahmon Olugunna, Oshogbo, Nigeria
2010
Oil on canvas (24" h. x 18"w.)

$450



Camel
Aremu Jimoh, Oshogbo, Nigeria
2009
Oil on paper (16" h. x 10 1/2"w.)

$100

SOLD 11/2011



Offering
Phillip Olufemi Babarinlo, Oshogbo, Nigeria
1997
Oil on paper (16" h. x 20 1/4"w.)

$300



Cat and Birds
Phillip Olufemi Babarinlo, Oshogbo, Nigeria
2008
Oil on paper (20 5/8" h. x 16 3/4"w.)

$300



Family Setting
Tunde Odunlade, Oshogbo, Nigeria
2006
Floatograph - marbleizing, batik & ink on rice paper
(19 1/2" h x 25 1/4"w)

$750



Labyrinth
Tunde Odunlade, Oshogbo, Nigeria
2005
Floatograph - marbleizing, batik & ink on rice paper
(23 3/4" h x 16 3/4"w)

$750



The Kingdom of Birds
Toyin Folorunso, Oshogbo, Nigeria
2011
Hammered aluminum relief
(20 1/4" h x 16"w)
Exact details may vary.

$395



Adam and Eve (#YF1101)
Yekini Folorunso, Oshogbo, Nigeria
c.1995
Hammered aluminum relief
(16" h x 8 1/4"w)

$210

Some Notes on Twins Seven-Seven

Prince Twins Seven-Seven was born Taiwo Olaniyi Oyewale-Toyeje Oyelale Osuntoki in 1944 in Ijara, Nigeria. The sole survivor of seven successive sets of twins, he renamed himself Ibeji Meje-Meje, or "Twins Seven-Seven". As a member of a royal lineage of the Yoruba people he later took the title of prince. Seven-Seven was one of the original artists of the famed Oshogbo School (named for the city of that name), which arose in the newly independent Nigeria of the early 1960's.

He had worked as an itinerant singer and dancer before he walked into one of the Mbari Mbayo art workshops led by expatriates and Georgina and Ulli Beier in Oshogbo in 1964. He took to painting immediately, and became one of the stars of the Oshogbo workshops. While a modernist in style, he took as his primary subject the rich religious and historical tradition of his Yoruba people.

Twins had a dramatic flair, which served him well. Seven-Seven rapidly achieved international fame, with major exhibitions in Europe, Japan and Australia as well as the United States. This included exhibitions at the Pompidou Center and the Musée de L'Homme in Paris, the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the National Museum of African Art in Washington, the Houston Contemporary Art Museum, the Fowler Museum at UCLA in Los Angeles, the Field Museum in Chicago and the National Museum of Art in Lagos, Nigeria. His work is in the permanent collections of the Smithsonian Institution and the Philadelphia Museum of Art as well as many private collections.

In 2005 Twins Seven-Seven was named UNESCO Artist for Peace. He was invited to Paris to receive the medal from the Director-General of UNESCO and the Nigerian (and African Union) president Olusegun Obasanjo. But for an eleventh hour effort by friends to get him the permission to go to Paris and still be re-admitted to the United States, he would not have been able to attend. In 2010 he was the subject of a major monograph and biography, Prince Twins Seven-Seven: His Art, His Life in Nigeria, His Exile in America by folklore scholar Henry Glassie.

A talented musician, he was a contemporary (and sometime rival) of both Fela and King Sunny Ade. He continued to perform throughout his career. Several of his early recordings have recently been reissued.

Between political troubles and personal setbacks in his home country, Twins spent much of his last fifteen years abroad. We are fortunate that Philadelphia became his refuge and second home. He was a frequent visitor to Indigo Arts, and a dear friend. Twins appeared at Indigo’s old Pine Street store one day in 1995, owner Tony Fisher recalls. “I was at our Old City gallery when I received a call to come to the store right away. Someone named Twins Seven-Seven was there, and he and his entourage were taking up quite a lot of room in the crowded store. When I got there Twins Seven-Seven, dressed as always in full Yoruba ashoke robes, his wife, several children and other Nigerian associates were holding court in the corridor between racks of clothing. I had never met Twins, but had known of his reputation in Nigeria since the 1960's. He agreed to entrust a few of his paintings to us then and, beginning with an exhibit in 1996, Indigo Arts has shown his work in five exhibits.”


Several tributes to Twins Seven-Seven are online, including in Next, the Nigerian Tribune, the New York Times, the Boston Globe, the Philadelphia Inquirer, Raw Vision, African Colours and the African Artists blog. To read the New York Times obituary click here.


Twins Seven-Seven in Oshogbo, Nigeria, 1964.
Photo by Ulli Beier, from A Dreaming Life: An Autobiography of Twins Seven-Seven, 1999.

Twins Seven-Seven,in Sydney, Australia, 1984.
Photo by Ulli Beier, from A Dreaming Life: An Autobiography of Twins Seven-Seven, 1999.
Twins Seven-Seven, receives the UNESCO Artist for Peace award from Koichiro Matsuura, the Director-Genral of UNESCO and Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo in May 2005.

Twins Seven-Seven at Indigo Arts Gallery
November 5, 2004
(Photograph © Anthony Hart Fisher 2004).


BACK TO MAIN NEWS PAGE Latest Update January 31, 2012
1400 North American St., #104 • Philadelphia, PA 19122
Phone: (215) 765-1041 • Toll Free: (888) INDIART • Fax: (215) 765-1042
E-Mail: indigofamily@indigoarts.com

All photographs and text Copyright Indigo Arts Gallery, LLC., 1998-2012. Use without permission prohibited.

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