Contemporary Nigerian artist Yusuf Grillo is dead. He was 87.
Editor and culture advocate, Jahman Oladejo, made the announcement in a post on the Arts Journo WhatsApp platform Monday, August 23 saying,
“It is with heavy hearts that we receive the news of the passing away of one of Nigeria’s most celebrated cultural icons Prof Yusuf Adebayo Grillo. A pioneering modernist artist, Grillo was the first president of the Society of Nigerian Artists”.
While commiserating with the family, he added that Nigeria and Africa has indeed lost a gem. He prayed to God to grant the family the fortitude to bear the loss.
Grillo was born in 1934 Lagos and is known for his inventive works and the prominence of the colour blue in many of his paintings.
He attended Nigerian College of Arts, Science and Technology, Zaria, where he received a diploma in fine arts and a post-graduate diploma in education. In 1966, he left Zaria for study at the academic halls of Cambridge University and later travelled to Germany and the United States of America.
Considered one of Nigeria’s outstanding and academically trained painters; he emerged to prominence and international recognition in the 1960s and 1970s, while exhibiting a large collection of his early works. He is a former Head of the Department of Art and Printing at Yaba College of Technology.
He will be buried today at Atan Cemetery, Yaba, Lagos from 4 pm.