plastocast, painted plaster relief
215 by 81.5cm., 84¾ by 32in.
Retrospectively signed and dated 1978 (lower right)
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Structure: Stable, the plastocast appears fully adhered to wooden backing.
Surface: Light scratches in places.
Summary: The work appears to be in good condition.
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The lot is sold in the condition it is in at the time of sale. The condition report is provided to assist you with assessing the condition of the lot and is for guidance only. Any reference to condition in the condition report for the lot does not amount to a full description of condition. The images of the lot form part of the condition report for the lot provided by Sotheby's. Certain images of the lot provided online may not accurately reflect the actual condition of the lot. In particular, the online images may represent colours and shades which are different to the lot's actual colour and shades. The condition report for the lot may make reference to particular imperfections of the lot but you should note that the lot may have other faults not expressly referred to in the condition report for the lot or shown in the online images of the lot. The condition report may not refer to all faults, restoration, alteration or adaptation because Sotheby's is not a professional conservator or restorer but rather the condition report is a statement of opinion genuinely held by Sotheby's. For that reason, Sotheby's condition report is not an alternative to taking your own professional advice regarding the condition of the lot.
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Private Collection, Lagos
“Steps by Step
We will march the clay.
One lump upon another
We will build a nation.”
‘The Builders’ poem by Bruce Onobrakpeya, Lagos 1978
The Builders (1978) is an original and unique plastocast, which depicts people marching and singing while carrying blocks and cement to build a house. Widely celebrated for his contributions to modern Nigerian art and printmaking, Prof. Onobrakpeya studied at the Nigeria College of Arts, Science and Technology (NCAST) in the late 1950s, now the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria. On 9 October 1958, he and a group of art students at the college led by Uche Okeke founded of the Zaria Arts Society, later called the Zaria Rebels, with the aim of decolonizing the visual arts as taught by expatriate Europeans. This group believed in the celebration of indigenous Nigerian cultures as a central part of its art movement. Onobrakpeya’s work has been exhibited internationally, including at the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art (Washington DC), the Dak’Art Biennale in 2006, and the Whitechapel Art Gallery (London), and is in the permanent collections of the Metropolitan Museum (New York), the National Gallery of Kenya (Nairobi), the Victoria and Albert Museum and British Museum (London), among many others.