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New Accession Highlight: Dogo the Kidnapper

The back Rowland Gallery currently features an exhibition of new accessions, added to the collection between 2018–now. You can make an appointment to visit, and in the meantime, we’re featuring each of the exhibited pieces online. Today we’ll take a peek at Dogo the Kidnapper, by Twins Seven Seven

Dogo the Kidnapper artwork

Twins Seven-Seven, (Nigerian, Yoruba, 1944–2011), Dogo the Kidnapper, 1968-1969, Pen and black India ink, pastel, colored pencil, oil, and water-based paint on plywood board glued to second plywood board, 84 x 24 1/2 in., J. David and Laura Seefried Horsfall Endowment Fund purchase in honor of Dr. Henry Drewal’s service to the University and the Museum, 2019.27

Dogo the Kidnapper is an early work by Twins Seven-Seven, the father of Yorùbá modernism. The artist began making art in 1964 at the Mbari Mbayo workshops organized by Ulli and Georgina Beier, from which the so-called Òsògbó School emerged. Seven-Seven created the image in low relief by carving holes in the plywood board and attaching it to a second board. By doing so, he acknowledged the sculpture of his Yorùbá ancestors and rejected the flatness of European painting. Some of the patterns in Seven-Seven’s work derive from Nigerian textile traditions of indigo resist-dyed adire and popular screen-printed fabrics. The subject is a self-portrait in the guise of a mythical Pied Piper who charms throngs of followers by playing a long, curved wind instrument.