Visual Art Paper 1, Nov/Dec. 2011  
Questions: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Main
General Comments
Question 4

Write notes on Yusuf Grillo with particular reference to:

(a) education/training;
(b) art style;
(c) general contribution to art.


This question attracted majority of the candidates. However, a few of them were able to give logical articulation of their points, while most candidates irrationally lumped up their responses. Some dwelt on historical background which was not required, while some defiantly wrote on Aina Onabolu and Ben Enwonwu. These anomalies cost such candidates the obtainable marks.

Candidates were expected to respond to the question in the following manner:

Yusuf Grillo

(a)       Education / training

  •    He was highly talented and his artistic traits manifested even at young age.
  •    While in school, he joined an Art Club organised by the British
  •    Council.
  •    Through his natural talent in art and without any formal training in art, he enrolled for the School Certificate Examination and was successful.
  •    He enrolled at the Nigerian College of Arts, Science and Technology, Zaria from where he obtained a Diploma in Fine Art, specialising in Painting in 1960.
  •    He was among the pioneer students of the Zaria Art School, popularly referred to as the Zaria Rebels.
  •    He obtained Art Teacher’s Diploma in Britain in 1961, studying arteducation.
  •    He studied at Cambridge University, England in 1966.

(b)       Art Style

  •    His early paintings are expressive, showing great organization of forms.
  •    His paintings are in the Cubist style.
  •    His forms are usually constructed in geometric shapes.
  •    His figures are naturalistic but elongated.
  •    His paintings manifested a preference for blue and its various shades.

(c)       General Contributions to art

  •    He was one of the pioneer art students of the Zaria Art School.
  •    He belongs to the first generation of Contemporary Nigerian Artists.
  •    The creative rebellion of his group, the Zaria Rebels created a new direction for contemporary art in Nigeria, in the sense of using foreign new media in expressing local subject matters.
  •    His commitment to art inspired a great number of contemporary Nigerian artists.
  •    He formally taught many generations of contemporary Nigerian artists, both at the Secondary School and Yaba College of Technology.
  •    He has contributed immensely to the global recognition of contemporary Nigerian art through exhibitions and commissions in different parts of the world like Europe, U.S.A. and Canada.
  •    He has also exhibited extensively in Nigeria and abroad.
  •    He is a Professor of Art.
  •    He wrote and published articles on art in both national and international journals.
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