Demas Nwoko Nigeria, b. 1935

Demas Nwoko is a painter, sculptor, architect and designer, who is a leading pioneer of Nigeria’s modern art movement.

As a member of the influential artist group “The Zaria Art Society” in the 1950s, known as the “Zaria Rebels”, Demas Nwoko bridged his Western art training with a focus on African narratives and forms. He was an active member of the Mbari Club of Ibadan in the 1960s, which brought together a diverse group of modernist artists and writers.

As an artist, Demas Nwoko’s paintings and sculptures are inspired by indigenous art practices and traditions, as well as contemporary politics and culture. As an architect, he formed a unique modernist interpretation of localized building practices and materials. His work in stage design was influential in developing contemporary African theatre with experimental production styles. Nwoko has also created numerous murals and public commissions throughout his distinguished career, in addition to his practice in furniture design.