Artist Umar Rashid is currently in residence in Lagos as part of a partnership between Tiwani Contemporary and Guest Artists Space Foundation [G.A.S.]. Tiwani Contemporary is presenting Rashid’s new body of work in its Lagos space, developed by the artist in response to his stay in Africa’s largest city. The exhibition is titled “The Undiscovered Genius of the Niger Delta” and will run through April 15, 2023.
For the past seventeen years, Umar Rashid has been documenting the complex, historical and episodic saga of a fictional global superpower, the Franglais Empire, as part of his narrative practice. In his new series, currently in development, he traces the story of an 18th century Calabar woman (Efik), a Hausa man, an Igbo man, and a Yoruba man, who enlist in the Crocodile Company, a predominantly black military regiment of the Franglais Empire.
Umar Rashid traces their experiences as they leave the African continent and embark on their respective journeys around the world, fighting the battles of the colonialists with their own agendas.
The title of the exhibition is a nod to Jean-Michel Basquiat’s 1983 painting, Undiscovered Genius of the Mississippi Delta, while the title of each painting (with the exception of the portraits of the characters themselves) is a verse from Prince’s 1999 pop hit. Umar Rashid references the year in which these battles take place and the ethereal quality of the song’s lyrics.
Umar Rashid‘s exhibition is an opportunity for art lovers to experience the complexity of his work, which explores stories and themes often omitted in contemporary art. The artist has been praised for his ability to tell compelling stories through his artworks, which are both educational and entertaining.Visitors will also be able to appreciate the aesthetic beauty of his works, which are often marked by vibrant colors and complex patterns.
“The Undiscovered Genius of the Niger Delta” is a fascinating exhibition that showcases Umar Rashid’s new body of work, which explores the stories often omitted in contemporary art. . Visitors will have the chance to discover the artist’s captivating stories and vibrant aesthetics, which have earned him international recognition as a contemporary artist.
The exhibition “Umar Rashid: The Undiscovered Genius of the Niger Delta” is not to be missed by art lovers in Lagos and beyond.