WENGER, Susanne (Adunni Olorisha)

Address: PO Box 43, Oshogbo, Oshun State. Birth: 1915, in Graz, Austria. Training: School of Applied Arts, Graz, Austria, specializing in pottery; attended Vienna Academy of Art, Vienna for two years, studying ancient fresco technique; came to Nigeria in 1950. Profile: Also known as Iwinfumike Adunni or Adunni Olorisha; childrens' magazine illustrator, Vienna, Austria; assisted artists in Oshogbo workshops in the 1960s;for more than thirty years, has dedicated her life to restoring the shrines of Yoruba gods, in and around Oshogbo, in what has become known as the New Sacred Art movement; worked with local masons and artists including Rabiu Abesu, Kasali Akangbe, Adebisi Akanji, Braimoh Akanji, Lamidi Aruisa, Buraimoh Gbadamosi, Lawani, Raufu Ojewale, and Saka; Priestess of Obatala; illustrated UlliBeier's Yoruba Poetry (1960) and Orisha: The Gods of Yorubaland, by Judith Gleason (1971); produces wax batiks of unique design. Solo Exhibitions Mbari Mbayo Club, Oshogbo, 1962. "Shrines of Oshogbo," Exhibition Centre, Marina, Lagos, November 1963. "Gods and Myths in Susanne Wenger's Art: The Example of a Batik Cloth," Goethe Institute, Lagos, September 20-October 3, 1979. "Batiks and Oil Paintings," Goethe Institute, Lagos, May 19-June 1, 1984. "Susanne Wenger Retrospektive 1950-1990,"Iwalewa-Haus, Bayreuth, Germany, August 3-October 31, 1990. Group Exhibitions "Moderne Kunst aus Oshogbo," Neue Munchner Galerie, Munich, Germany, 1965. 'Treasures from the Commonwealth," RoyalAcademy of Art, London, September 17-November 13, 1965. "Contemporary African Art," Institute of Contemporary Arts, London, March 17, April 18, 1967. "Contemporary African Art," Otis Art Institute of Los Angeles County, Los Angeles, USA, March 13-May4, 1969. [traveled in the USA from 1969-1973to: Studio Museum in Harlem and New YorkUniversity, New York;University of Missouri, Columbia; Cleveland Institute of Art, Cleveland; West Virginia State College, Institute; North East Missouri State College, Kirskville; Rio Hondo College, Whittier, California; Compton Community College, Compton, California; Citrus College, Azusa, California;Mira Costa College, Oceanside, California, and Civic Arts Gallery, Walnut Creek, California]. "Exhibition of Works by Susanne Wenger," Goethe Institute, Lagos, 1975. [Included works by Kasali Akangbe, Adebisi Akanji, Buraimoh Gbadamosi, and Sangodare]. 'Ten Artists from Nigeria," Arts Club of Washington, Washington, DC, March 21April 9, 1971. "International Exhibition for the Benefitof CARE's World Hunger Fund," Baltimore Museum of Art, Baltimore, Maryland, USA, March 15-28, 1975. "Moderne Kunst in Afrika," Tropenmuseum, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 1980. "Contemporary Nigerian Artists: Ten Artists of the Oshogbo Workshops," New World Center Campus Art Gallery, Miami, USA, January 30-February 29, 1980; Metropolitan Miami-Dade Library System South Regional Library, Miami, USA, March 7-28, 1980. "Neue Kunst in Afrika," Mainz, Germany, June 1980; Bayreuth, Germany, JulyAugust 1980; Worgl, Austria, September 1980. "Oshogbo Art," Commonwealth Institute Art Gallery, London July 4-29, 1985; Commonwealth Institute, Edinburgh, Scotland, August 12-31, 1985. "Art from the African Diaspora: Becoming Visible," Aljira, Newark, New Jersey, USA, February 12-March 13, 1988. Franco-German Auditorium, Lagos, April 1989. Commissions Mural, mosaic, Bristol Hotel, Lagos. Writings bytheArtist "Drawings of Pagan Ceremonies by a Christian Boy from Ora," Odu (Ibadan) no. 2: 3-13, 1955. illus. "Gods and Myths in Susanne Wenger's Art:The Example of a Batik Cloth," Nigeria Magazine (Lagos) no. 120: 1-12, 1976. illus. frontispiece (color), [jointly with Stanley P. Bohrer]. The Timeless Mind of the Sacred: Its New Manifestations in the Osun Groves. Ibadan: Institute of African Studies, University of Ibadan, 1977. 54pp. illus. A Life With the Gods in Their Yoruba Homeland. Worgl, Austria: Perlinger, 1983. [jointly with Gert Chesi]. 235pp. illus. (some color). Awards and Honors The Oshogbo shrine restorations initiated by Wenger were declared national monuments by the Nigerian Government, 1987. Public Collections Iwalewa-Haus, Bayreuth, Germany. Batik: "Obatala"; screenprint: one untitled. Mbari Art, Washington, DC. Bibliography Akanji. "Wenger: An Example of Afro-European CultureContact," Black Orpheus (Ibadan) no. 2: 29-31, January 1958. 3 plates. Black Orpheus (Ibadan) no. 4, October 1958. [coverdesign]. Aragbabalu, Omidiji. "The Art of SusanneWenger," Africa South (London) 4 (3): 99-101, April-June 1960. illus. Beier, Ulli. "Obatala: Five Myths of the Yoruba Creator God," and inserts by Sangodare Akanji, "A Note on Susanne Wenger's Recent Exhibition in Lagos," Black Orpheus (Ibadan) no. 7: 34-35,June 1960. See plates of illustrationsbetween pages 34-35. Black Orpheus (Ibadan) no. 9, June 1961. [coverdesign (color)]. Lancaster, Michael. "Mbari-A New Venture in Nigerian Culture," Nigeria Magazine (Lagos)no. 74: 92, September 1962. illus. Beier, Ulli. "Shrine at Oshogbo: New Screensfor Oshun Shrine are Designed by SusanneWenger," West African Review (London) 33 (419): 16-18, November 1962. illus. "Bristol Hotel Lagos," West African Builder and Architect (Lagos) 3 (4): 62-65, JulyAugust 1963. illus. "A New Sanctuary at Oshogbo," Nigeria Magazine (Lagos) no. 81: 98-105, June 1964. illus. Treasures from the Commonwealth: Commemorative Catalogue [of an exhibitionj at the Royal Academy ofArt,17 September to 13 November 1965 ICommonwealthArts Festival. London: Commonwealth Arts Festival Society, 1965. [55]pp., [33] leaves, illus. (some color). [None by Wenger]. Newman, Thelma. Contemporary African Arts and Crafts. NewYork:Crown Publishers, 1974. 306pp. illus.
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