Turning Away From Abstraction

Emmanuel Iduma at n+1:

THERE ARE FOUR FAUVIST FIGURES in Children on Cycles, a circa 1961 painting by the Nigerian artist Demas Nwoko. They are on bicycles. A lorry approaches. The two figures at the leftmost edge of the frame, atop the same bicycle, are out of the lorry’s path. The other two turn their front wheels in opposite directions to clear the road. Most descriptions of the figures call them girls, perhaps because of their yellow and mint green gowns. They reach for the handlebars of the bicycles, and pedal standing up. Seen from behind, one child’s head appears almost ovoidal, but the others are made parabolic with two-dimensional hair. It is a slice of cacophonous life: one afternoon, a group of barefoot girls are leaving a playground or going to one. Or they are riding their bicycles home from school, racing one another. They enter a major thoroughfare. A lorry approaches, but they are confident enough to outmaneuver it.

more here.