Edo Osagie: 'The Imagination of Freedom'

'Mother and Child on a Bike' by Edo OsagieRecent work by EDO OSAGIE

The artist Edo Osagie, known for his colorful and expressive paintings, was born in 1966 in Nigeria. His real name is Edomwandagbon, but when he signs his paintings, he uses the abbreviation Edo. Osagie, who now lives in Enschede, has an eventful life behind him, a quest for freedom and beauty. He studied in Nigeria at the School of Art and Design in Auchi. There he became involved in the student protest against the political leaders of that time. After several arrests, he fled to the Netherlands in 1988. There he returned to his old métier. His work moves between abstraction and reality and is characterized by an exuberant color palette. Many of his paintings can be seen as mental landscapes in which psychological, mythological and social themes play a role. Sometimes his imagery comes close to that of the Cobra group: the cheerful contrasting colors, distorted figuration, the love for the subject matter of the paint. There are also similarities in the frequent use of animals (especially birds), masks and fantasy creatures. In addition, his African roots count for an inexhaustible source of inspiration. He often proves himself to be a humorous translator of traditional symbols: not only the bird symbolizes freedom, but also mobile phones.

Osagie exhibits regularly in the East and West of the Netherlands. He had a busy schedule last year, with exhibitions in the ‘Palthehuis’ in Oldenzaal, the ACEC building in Apeldoorn, and at Gallery 23 on the KNSM island in Amsterdam. His exhibition there was opened by Hilde de Bruijn, curator of the Cobra Museum, who is, just as many others, fascinated by his work. After his exposition at Gallery 23, he exhibited at gallery Huijs Basten Asbeck in Groenlo. Right now, he is is back at the African Studies Centre in Leiden, where he showed his art to the public in 2009 as well.

Date, time and location

12 July 2012 to 15 October 2012
Pieter de la Courtgebouw / Faculty of Social Sciences, Wassenaarseweg 52, 2333 AK Leiden
At the library of the ASC (ground floor) and in the hall of the ASC on the third floor