As teachers, former students, or both, the seven artists represented here share an association with the Department of Fine and Applied Arts at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, in southeastern Nigeria. They form part of a larger number of artists whose lives and work share enough unity to refer to them as the Nsukka group. A system of traditional Igbo designs and styles known as uli permeates their images and unifies their art.

Each artist is presented separately, with works on paper exhibited on one side of the gallery and other forms of art on the opposite side. Four major themes resonate throughout the works. Images drawn from traditional Igbo life and culture--including tales, myths, spiritual figures, minstrels, dances, masquerades, and rituals--define the first theme. In the second are comments on current social, political, and economic conditions in Nigeria, a country that since achieving its independence in 1960 has experienced only a few years of democratic government. Nature, weather, and the landscape provide scenes of majestic drama and beauty in Nigeria and infuse the third theme. Expressions of personal feelings and close social relationships fill the fourth theme. Each Nsukka artist emphasizes one or more themes and draws from uli aesthetics in a personal way.

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