50 books for learning about Nigerian modern art

Regularly, we hear complaints about the lack of documentation of Nigerian Modern and Contemporay Art. There is some truth in this perception, but the reality is richer than we sometimes we may think. I attach a list of FIFTY books than can help get a fair undeerstanding of the rich and complex history of Nigerian modern art. The list does not aim at being comprehensive (my research list includes over 75 books!!!!). Except for a couple of books of particualr interest for Nigeria, I have not included books on a general history of modern and contemporary African art. Obviously, some of them also have useful chapters or sections for those wnating to know more about Nigerian art. The books are ordained by date of publication.


OKEKE-AGULU C. (2017): Obiora Udechukwu: Line, Image, Text. Skira Editore

BOSAH B. (2017):The Art of the Nigerian Women: Ben Bosah Books

BARLEY N. (2016): Nigerian Arts Revisited: Somogy Editions d’Art

CASTELLOTE J. & FISHER O. (eds.) (2016): Kolade Oshinowo: Bookcraft Publishers. Ibadan

IGWEZE D. (2015): The storyteller of Agbarha-Otor. Bruce Onobrakpeya’s Visual Tales. Hourglass. Lagos


OKEKE-AGULU O. (2015): Postcolonial Modernism: Art and Decolonization in Twentieth-Century Nigeria; Duke University Press

BOSSAN E., BENETTON L. & ADEWUNMI A. (2015): Nigeria / roots: Contemporary artists from Nigeria: Imago Mundi.

SILVA B. (2014): D ‘Okhai Ojeikere. Centre for Contemporary Art, Lagos

CASTELLOTE J. & ADETUNJI A. (2014): Visual Chronicles of a Society in Flux; Bookcraft Publishers. Ibadan

JEGEDE d. (2014): Onobrakpeya: Masks of Flaming Arrows. 5 Continents


ADESANYA, A. A., & FALOLA, T. (2014): Art, parody and politics: dele jegede’s creative activism, Nigeria and the transnational space. Africa World Press. Trenton

LAOYE D. & AFOLAYAN-FAMOUS A. (2014): Contemporary Art of Nigeria. South Shore Country Club. Chicago

EZENWA MAJA-PEARCE J. (2013): Issues in contemporary Nigerian art 2000-2010. The New Gong. Lagos

CASTELLOTE J. (ed.) (2012): Contemporary Nigerian art in Lagos private collections. Bookcraft Publishers. Ibadan

OFFOEDU-OKEKE O. (2012): Artists of Nigeria. Five Continents.


VOGEL S. M. (2012): El Anatsui: Art and Life: Prestel

ODIBOH F. (2012): Creative Reformation of Existing African Tradition:The Abayomi Barber Art School and Modern Nigerian Art. Lap Lambert Academic Publishing

PROBST P. (2011): Osogbo and the Art of Heritage: Monuments, Deities, and Money. Indiana University Press

ENWEZOR O. & OKEKE-AGULU C. (2010): Contemporary African Art since 1980. Damiani

GLASSIE H. (2010): Prince Twins Seven-Seven: His art, his life in Nigeria, his exile in America. Indiana University Press. Bloomington


BOSAH C. & EDOZIE G. (2010): A celebration of modern Nigerian Art: 101 Nigerian Artists. Ben Bosah Books

OYELOLA P. (2010): Nigerian Artistry. Mosuro Publishers. Ibadan

OGBECHIE S.O. (2008): Ben Enwonwu, The making of an African modernist. University of Rochester Press. New York

AREMU P.S.O. (2006): Contemporary issues in Nigerian art: its history and education. Portion Consult Publications. Lagos

IKWUEMESI C.K. & AGABAYI E. (eds.) (2005): The rediscovery of tradition: Uli and the politics of culture. Pendulum Centre for Culture and Development. Lagos


FILANI K. (2005): Patterns of culture in Contemporary Yoruba Art. Symphony Books

ADEYEMI E. (2005): Contemporary art in Nigeria & Ghana 1995-2005. Friedrich Reinhardt Verlag.

IKWUEMESI C.K. (Ed.) (2003): The triumph of a vision: an anthology on Uche Okeke and modern Art in Nigeria. Pendulum Art Gallery. Lagos

DIKE P.C. & OYELOLA P. (2003): Uche Okeke and Modern Nigerian Art. National Gallery of Art, Nigeria.

ADEMULEYA B., ONIPEDE A. & OMOIGHE M. (eds.) (2003): Creative traditions in Nigerian arts, Culture and Creative Art forum. Lagos


FILANI K., AZEEZ A. & EMIFONIYE A. (eds.) (2003): Perspectives on Culture and Creativity in Nigerian Art. Culture and Creative Art Forum. Lagos

OTTENBERG S. (Ed.) (2002): The Nsukka Artists and Nigerian Contemporary Art. Smithsonian Institution Press. Washington DC

IKWUEMESI C.K. & ADEWUNMI A. (eds.) (2001): A discoursive bazaar. Pan-African Circle of Artists. Enugu

ANIAKOR C.C. & IKWUEMESI C.K. (2000): Africa in the twilight. National Gallery of Art. Abuja

BURAIMOH J. (2000): My life and Arts. Spectrum Books. Ibadan

OGUIBE O. & ENWEZOR O. (eds.) (1999): Reading the Contemporary: African Art from Theory to the Marketplace. MIT Press. Cambridge

NZEGWU N. (1999): Contemporary Textures: Multidimensionality in Nigerian Art The International Society for the Study of Africa (ISSA). Binghamton.

KASFIR S.L. (1999): Contemporary African Art. Thames and Hudson. London

DIKE P.C. & OYELOLA P. (1998): The Zaria Art Society: a new consciousness National Gallery of Art, Nigeria.

CHUKUEGGU C.C. (1998): Contemporary Nigerian Art and its classifications. Delsu Consult Publishing House. Abraka

OTTENBERG S. (1997): New Traditions from Nigeria: seven artists of the Nsukka group. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington

DELISS C. (Ed.) (1995): Seven stories about modern art in Africa. Flammarion.

ADEPEGBA C. O. (1995): Nigerian Art. Its traditions and modern tendencies. JODAD Publishers. Ibadan

OGUIBE O. (1995): Uzo Egonu, an African Artist in the West. Kala Press. London

EGONWA O. (1994): African Art: a contemporary source book. Osazu Publishers. Benin City

KELLY B.M. & STANLEY J.L. (1993): Nigerian Artists. A who’s who and Bibliography. Hans Zell

FOSU K. (1993): 20th Century Art of Africa. Gaskiya Corporation, Zaria

DARAH G.G. & QUEL S. (eds.) (1992): Bruce Onobrakpeya. The spirit in ascent. Ovuomaroro Gallery. Lagos.

TIMOTHY-ASOBELE S.J. (1992): Contemporary Nigerian arts and Artists: A modern guide. Upper Standard Publications. Lagos

BEIER U. (1991): Thirty years of Oshogbo art. Iwalewa-Haus, Bayreuth