Jerry Buhari Nigeria, b. 1959


Jerry Buhari’s artistic style is characterised by an abstract approach to forms, focusing on social and political issues in Nigeria and humanity in general, including corruption in the oil industry, environmental concerns, Boko Haram and the growing insecurity around the world.

Jerry Buhari is an artist, curator and professor of fine art at Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria. His work, sometimes serial in pursuit, often experiments with non-traditional materials and processes. He has become fascinated with creating site-specific installations and performance. His abstract works are known for their vibrant use of color to convey intensity and emotion. His abstract language is used as a vehicle to explore larger political and social themes.

In his Spillage series, Buhari plays with the dripping and smearing of paint as a metaphor for Nigeria’s oil crisis and its environmental impact. He seeks to raise conversations about the way we relate with ourselves as humans and the environment, in communicating how we could treat the planet as a partner, rather than as a resource that we can exploit.


"I grew up in a very natural environment. Essentially, nature was my life, my neighbor, my friend. And that has affected my work as an artist over the years. The whole idea in all my work is to generate a certain level of questioning, of the way the modern man related to the planet earth."


- Jerry Buhari

Born in 1959 in Kaduna State, Nigeria, Jerry Buhari attended the Department of Fine Art, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, where he currently serves as a professor. He has held over 12 solo exhibitions and 60 group exhibitions throughout his distinguished career. He has received a number of awards and honours, some of which are from the Commonwealth Foundation, the Japan Foundation, and the Ford Foundation/Triangle Trust/Vermont Studio Centre, Ahmadu Bello University, “Who is Who” in Nigeria, Who is Who in Nigerian Art, and Fellow, Society of Nigerian Artists.


In addition to his professorship at Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Jerry Buhari has also served as a guest lecturer at Savannah College of Art and Design in, Georgia, United States; Kansas Wesleyan University in the United States; a Visiting Professor at Princeton University; the University of Nigeria, Nsukka; and the University of Jos, Nigeria. He is External Examiner and Assessor of professorial rank to several universities in Nigeria and abroad. Buhari serves as an advisor for Arthouse Contemporary. In 2019, he curated Arthouse’s long-deserved exhibition of the Zaria Art Society. He also served as chairman of the Visual Arts National Arts Festival (NAFEST) in 2012 and Consultant to the Central Bank of Nigeria Currency Notes Museum.