Nigerian Living National Treasure Bruce Onobrakpeya while signing one of his iconic art pieces Emetore, in his Ovuomaroro Studio, Papa - Ajao, Mushin on the outskirts of Lagos from where he has created his art for almost fifty years. Onobrakpeya is not only the grand father of modern Nigerian art, but is also widely regarded as The Pride of all Nigerians.
30 August 1932|
Agbarha-Otor, Delta State, Nigeria
|Known for||Printmaker, painter and sculptor|
|Movement||Modern Nigerian art and The Harmattan Workshop Group|
|Awards||Honorable Mention at the 44th Venice Biennale, 2006 Human Living Treasure Award by UNESCO and 2010 National Creativity award by Federal Government of Nigeria.|
Bruce Obomeyoma Onobrakpeya (born 30 August 1932) is a Nigerian printmaker, painter and sculptor. He has exhibited at the Tate Modern in London, the National Museum of African Art of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. and the Malmö Konsthall in Malmö, Sweden. The National Gallery of Modern Art, Lagos has an exhibit of colourful abstract canvases by Onobrakpeya and his works can be found at the Virtual Museum of Modern Nigerian Art, although no exhitions were showing as of October 2017[update].
- 1 Early years
- 2 Formal art education
- 3 Career
- 4 Later career
- 5 Recognition
- 6 Onobrakpeya's work
- 7 Body of work
- 8 References
Bruce Onobrakpeya was born in Agbarha-Otor in Delta State, son of an Urhobo carver. He was raised as a Christian, but also learned the traditional beliefs. His family moved to Benin City, Edo State, when he was a child. He attended Western Boys High School, where he was taught art by Edward Ivehivboje, among other subjects. He also attended drawing classes at the British Council Art Club in Benin City. Onobrakpeya was inspired by the watercolour paintings of Emmanuel Erabor. After leaving high school, Onobrakpeya was hired as an art teacher at the Western Boys High School (1953–56). In 1956 he left for Ondo, where he taught at the Ondo Boys High School for a year.
Formal art education
In October 1957 Onobrakpeya was admitted to the Nigerian College of Arts, Science and Technology, now the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria. Funded by a Federal Government Scholarship, he was trained in the Western tradition of representational art. At the same time, he began to experiment with forms in relation to Nigerian folklore, myths and legends. Much of his work uses stylistic elements and compositions derived from traditional African sculpture and decorative arts.
The Zaria Arts Society, later called the Zaria Rebels, was formed on 9 October 1958 by a group of art students at the college led by Uche Okeke with the aim of "decolonizing" the visual arts as taught by expatriate Europeans. Onobrakpeya has said that the college gave him technical skills but the Zaria Arts Society, a discussion group, shaped his perspectives as a professional artist. The society gave him the confidence to seek a personal expressive idiom. He elongated his figures, ignored perspective and evoked the supernatural through ambiguous decorations.
- 1957–62 Diploma in Fine Arts (Dipl. FA), Art Teachers Certificate ATC Nigeria College of Art and Science and Technology, Zaria.
- 1963 Arts Teacher, St Gregory's College, Obalende, Lagos, Nigeria
- 1975 Artist-in- Residence, Haystack Mountain School of Art and Craft, Maine US A.
- 1979 Associate Professor, Elizabeth City state University, North Carolina US A.
- 1984 Artist-in- Residence, Institute of African Studies, University of Ibadan, Nigeria
- 1989 Artist-in- Residence, Tacoma Public school, Tacoma Washington State USA
- 1991 Artist-in- Residence, BAT Visual arts Studio, National Gallery of Zimbabwe
- 1991 Artist-in- Residence, 1991 MOJA, an African American Arts festival, Charleston, South Carolina, USA
- 1998 Founded the Annual Harmattan Workshop Series in Agbarha-Otor, Delta State, Nigeria
Onobrakpeya later attended a series of printmaking workshops in Ibadan, Oshogbo, Ife and Haystack Mountain School of Crafts, Maine, US. His first one-man exhibition was held in 1959 in Ughelli in the Niger Delta. Later he exhibited in the US, Italy, Zimbabwe, Germany, Britain, Kenya and elsewhere. Onobrakpeya was an important force in the renaissance in contemporary art in Nigeria. For many years he taught at St. Gregory's College, Lagos.
Onobrakpeya created the Bruce Onobrakpeya Foundation, of which he is President, and which organises the annual Harmattan workshop in his home town of Agbara Otor, Delta State. The foundation is an artist-led Non-Governmental Organization formed in 1999. It aims to encourage the growth of art and culture by giving artists opportunities to gain skills, while increasing public awareness of African art and its benefits to society. The foundation organised the Amos Tutuola Show, Lagos (2000). It has participated in many other shows.
"Bruce Onobrakpeya is amongst the most successful artists to have emerged in West Africa during the 20th century, with continuing and commanding influence on the generation of artists in Nigeria, who have come to maturity in the post colonial period."
- Honorary D. Litt. from the University of Ibadan in 1989.
- Honourable mention at the Venice Biennale.
- Fellowship of the Society of Nigerian Artists on 6 June 2000.
- Pope John Paul II award for painting the life of Saint Paul,
- Fellowship of Asele Institute award,
- Sadam Hussein award,
- Solidra Circle award, and Fulbright Exchange Scholar award.
- Onobrakpeya is the recipient of the Living Human Treasure Award (2006) given by UNESCO,
- Second winner of Nigeria's prestigious Nigerian Creativity Award by the Federal Government of Nigeria on 14 September 2010. Its first winner was Chinua Achebe.
- Honourary Degree of Doctor of Arts (Hon. D. A) from the Delta State University, 2017
- Recepiant of highest Nigerian Academic Honour (NNOM) Nigerian National Order of Merit, 2017
A definitive work on the art of Bruce Onobrakpeya would have to be an intense exercise. Each of these segments represents specific periods in the artist's studio practice, which spans a period of over 50 years.
The first segment is the Mythical Realism (1957–62), which represents paintings, and lino cut prints that depict folklore themes, and Northern landscapes (Zaria). This is the period of his early development as an' artist, which coincided with Nigeria's Independence. The idea of projecting the African personality was of major importance to the artists of this period. It was also at this time that the Zaria Arts Society, the forerunner of the Society of Nigerian Artists (SNA), was formed and accompanied by the propagation of the concept of "natural synthesis". Works in this category include the paintings: Awhaire & the Bird, Hunters Secret, and A Tree in Northern Landscape, and the Lino Cut Prints Zaria Indigo, Two Faces, Boli Woman and Awakening (Negritude)
The second segment focuses on the artist's workshop experiments and his Bronzed lino relief series otherwise known as the Sunshine Period (1962–1967). This is the period when he started to attend various workshops. Some of the popular works of this period include Leopard in a Cornfield (Iino print), Scarecrow (silkscreen) and Man & Two Wives (silkscreen)
The Mask and the Cross (1967–78) series represents the period when the artist executed several Christian themes commissioned by the Church such as Nativity II (Iino engraving), The Last Days of Christ (plastocast), Obara Ishoshi (bronzed Iino relief) and Pope John Paul (metal foil), as well as the Plastography Period, a time when the artist developed a lot of ideas he started in Zaria in the late 1950s and early 1960s such as Travellers II, Songs of Life, and Rain & Cry at Otorogba.
The fourth segment represents the historical vignettes. These are pictures known as the Symbols of Ancestral Groves (1978–84) They depict historical figures, mostly royalty from the Benin Kingdom such as Oba Aka. Other works in this period include Eghrighri and Ibiebe.
The Sahelian Masquerades (1984–88) were pieces created to highlight the destruction of the environment These works focused on the cultures of the Sahelian regions Works in this period are also loaded with a lot of political undertones such as Horns Of Freedom, and Edjo Aton (principles of good governance), which draws a lot of attention to role of government in relation to the issues of desertification.
The Mask Series (1990–1995) represent the development of images, which inspired depictions of masks treated in different print media that bring out the philosophies of the people. They also address' the subject of change. Images I and /I as well as A Panel of 15 represent this period.
Social Unrest (1995–99) is the period of strife within the society. This is represented by large paintings, which are prayers for divine help against military dictatorship and political instability. Here we have drawings and pictures, which focus on the murder of Ken Saro Wiwa. On the front burner. are the ecological and socio-economic problems. In this segment you have works such as Ekugbe (Unity), Nude & Protest and Smoke from the Broken Pipe.
Finally we enter the Installations Period (1995 – Date), which is the period the artist embarked on installations as an art form. These works are characterised by the arrangement of different discarded materials to create works of art. These installations were essentially to draw attention to importance of protecting our environment. Works in this category include Animals of Eve, Adjene, New City III and Voices of silenced Voices.
Since 1966, as an experimental artist, Onobrakpeya has discovered, innovated and perfected several techniques both in printmaking and relief sculpture that are uniquely Nigerian. Generally, printmaking is a fine art process of producing pictures from a plate which the artist has previously created. Having conceived the idea, the artist then creates an image or images on a plate through any of the printmaking techniques. The images are then transferred onto a paper or any other surface by printing or embossing method. The advantage is that the artist can use one of such plates to produce as many copies of the artwork as required, sometimes giving them various colours. Onobrakpeya has increased the techniques tremendously.
Bronzed lino Relief is a collage of used lino blocks with bronze colour patina. Onobrakpeya developed this relief technique in 1966 as a way of preserving used blocks which in themselves possess sculptural qualities.
Plastocast Relief is a painted low-relief design that was cast with resin. The idea started as an extension of the bronzed lino relief. The used plastograph plates (like used lino blocks) have sculptural low relief effects which make them unique as art works. An attempt to retain the original used plates, and at the same time give collectors a chance to possesses and share the beauty of the original, led Onobrakpeya to develop a method of creating other original plates from existing used plates through the use of plaster of Paris. Sometimes, small plates with the same or similar themes are arranged together and cast to form a larger picture. A further development in plastocast relief is carving directly on abandoned or congealed plaster of Paris then applying resin on the cast and pulling out a positive. However for a deep engraving on plaster of Paris to produce bold relief, depends on the nature of the plaster of Paris. This is known as plastocast plate. It is painted or tinted plastocast plate that becomes a plastocast relief.
Plastograph is a term given by Onobrakpeya to describe his deep etching technique that he innovated in 1967 through what he referred to as the Hydrochloric Acid Accident. It is an engraving on a low relief surface made of zinc or similar surface material and printed in the intaglio style.
Additive Plastograph is another technique that involves making of print images on a sheet of sand paper, using glue as a drawing medium. This is glued to the sand paper using intensive solar heat. Ink is then applied to the resultant images by the intaglio inking process. any link in excess is wiped off with a dry cloth. This is later taken to the press to register the relief already created by the glue on a soaked and semi-dried cartridge printing paper. Finally, the registered impressions are painted, using pastel oil to achieve the desired forms by the artist.
Metal Foil Deep Etching is a plastograph print in which aluminium foil is used to draw the engraved images. The thin foil is cut and placed on an engraved plate and then the embossed sheet is removed, turned over and filled with resin to stabilise the relief. The resin filled foil is then laminated on plywood or no any other surface. Onobrakpeya first started experimenting with foils and from the experiments transformed the foils into a print medium in the 1980s. He used already printed plates to try out the technique.
Metal Foil Relief Print is a three-dimensional metal foil print drawn on a plastocast plate. A fairly thick foil is cut and placed over a plate and hand pressed to transfer the shape of the picture on the plate. The foil is then removed and filled from behind. It is then laminated onto a plywood and coloured in the same way as the metal foil deep etching print process already discussed above. Note that while the metal foil deep etching print is drawn from plastograph plates, the metal foil relief print is hand embossed on a plastograph plate.
Ivorex is a new technique recently developed by Onobrakpeya which simulates optical effect of old ivory engraving on bone or elephant tusk. The material used, however, is polymer.
Ibiebe alphabets and ideograms
Ibiebe is a writing style developed by Onobrakpeya. It features his invented script of ideographic geometric and curvilinear glyphs. The designs reflect the artist's knowledge of his Urhobo heritage, rich in symbols and the proverbs they elicit, as well as his appreciation of Chinese, Japanese, Ghanaian and Nigerian calligraphy. Onobrakpeya invented and refined this script called Ibiebe from 1978 to 1986, when he revisited in his art, ideas linked with traditional religion, customs and history. Ibiebe glyphs aim at encapsulating universal concepts of timeless values. The artist clearly delights in the script's forms and visual qualities as well as its power to communicate. These ibiebe ideograms which are often abstract, also lend themselves to calligraphic, painterly and sculptural presentation.
- 1959 First one-man exhibition, Ughelli, Delta State, Nigeria.
- 1960 Group show of contemporary Nigerian art in the Independence Exhibition, Lagos.
- 1962 Art From Africa, Phelps Stokes Fund, New York.
- 1965 Commonwealth Exhibition of Art, Cardiff and London.
- 1967 Biennale of Illustrations, Bratislava.
- 1967 Group show of nine Nigerian artists. Show toured London, Moscow and Warsaw.
- 1969 International Book Fair, Bologna
- 1970 St. Andrew’s School, Middletown, Delaware, Howard University, Washington, D.C.
- 1971 Commonwealth Art Gallery, London.
- 1972 Gallery, Watatu, Nairobi. Newark State College, Newark, New Jersey.
- Art Society of the International Monetary Fund, Washington, D.C.
- 1973 Afro Centrum Gallery, Berlin.African Heritage Gallery, Nairobi.
- February 1974 Contemporary African, National Museum of African Art, Washington, D.C. Exhibition of contemporary developments in art of Africa. Exhibited alongside Ibrahim El Salahi, Skunder Boghossian, Twins Seven Seven, Valente Malangatana and others
- 1974 Contemporary African Festival, Field Museum of Natural History, Chicago, and Museum of Natural History, New York.
- 1975 Martin Luther King, Jr. Library, Washington, D.C. Sponsored by African-American Women’s Association.
- 1976 Gallery of Litterio Calapai, Glencoe, Illinois.
- 1977 The Best of Africa, Toronto. Saint Paul in Contemporary Art, Vatican Museum, Rome.
- 1978 Tenth one-man exhibition at the Goethe Institute, Lagos.
- 1979 One-man exhibition of prints in Amersfoort, the Netherlands. The show was arranged by Mrs. DeVries and sponsorship was by DHV of Lagos and Amersfoort. It was opened by Professor Ru Van Rossem of Tilburg University.
- 1980 One-man exhibition of prints (with emphasis on printing on metal foil) at the Best of Africa Gallery, Toronto, Canada.
- 1980 One-man exhibition in Glatt Centrum, Zurich, Switzerland. It was sponsored by CIBA-GEIGY and SGS.
- 1981–82 One-man exhibition of prints and paintings arranged by Galarie Glahe and opened by Nigerian Ambassador to Germany H.E. Mohammed Lawal Rafindadi, in Bonn, Germany.
- 1983 One-man exhibition of prints and painting titled Sabbatical Experiments 1978–1983, co-sponsored by Goethe Institute (German Cultural Institute) NIJ House, Victoria Island, Lagos, and the Society of Nigerian Artists (Lagos State Branch). The guest of honour at the opening was Susanne Wenger from Oshogbo.
- 1984 One-man exhibition titled Bruce Onobrakpeya: 25 Years of Creative Search, at the Foyer and Courtyard of the Institute of African Studies, University of Ibadan.
- 1984 One-man show of plastograph, prints and plastocast relief paintings to mark the Netherlands/Belgium Week at Goethe Institute, Victoria Island, Lagos.
- 1988 Exhibition of Sahelian Masquerades, Italian Cultural Institute, Lagos
- 1989 The Sahelian Masquerade was shown in: Kew Garden London, Greenwich Citizen Gallery near London, and Pacific Lutheran University, Tacoma, Washington State.
- 1990 Participation in group show African Contemporary Art – Changing Traditions, organised by studio Museum, Harlem, New York. Participated in the 44th Venice Biennale.
- 1990 Riegelsberger Gallery Mannheim, Germany. A show of recent art works sponsored by ABB (Asea Brown Boveri).
- 1990 Unity Through Arts, National Museum Onikan, Lagos sponsored by Guinness (Nigeria) Limited.
- 1991 Sahelian Masquerade, exhibition in National Gallery of Zimbabwe, Gibbes Museum of Art Charleston, South Carolina, USA, College of Charleston, South Carolina, USA, African American Gallery Charleston, South Carolinas, USA
- 1992 Bruce Onobrakpeya: A Retrospective. One of the events organised by Society of Nigerian Artists to mark the artist’s 60th birthday at the National Museum, Onikan, Lagos.
- 1993 The Spirit in Ascent accompanied with a 270-page monograph, a press conference and a symposium were sponsored by The Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited and launched by Chief Philip Asiodu, Hon. Secretary of Petroleum and National Resources at the NIIA Victoria Island, Lagos. The Society of Nigerian Artists was a co-organizer of the events.
- 1994 Inaugural Group Show at the Pushkin Art and Antique Gallery Victoria Island, Lagos
- 1995 Seven Stories About Modern Art in Africa – Whitechapel Art Gallery, London. One of the events of Britain’s global showcase Africa ’95.
- 1996 Seven Stories About Modern Art in Africa – Malmo Konsthall, Malmo, Sweden. Ivorex Engravings including the Shrine II entered for the Seven Stories About Modern Art exhibited in London and Malmo.
- 1996 Onobrakpeya at Singletary Gallery & African Art Museum; Portsmouth, Virginia, USA. The exhibition opening was accompanied by the presentation of a paper by Onobrakpeya's son titled "Footprints of the Tiger"
- 1998 Wise Art Gallery, Norfolk State University, USA
- 1998 "Ovuomaroro" at Elizabeth City State University, North Carolina, USA
- 1998 Christine Gerlach Show, German Community, Abuja, Nigeria.
- 1999 Exhibition of prints and paintings Alliance Francaise, Ikoyi, Lagos. Promoter of Nigerian Art-Goethe Institute, Victoria Island, Lagos. Christine Gerlach Show, German Community, Abuja, Nigeria.
- 1999 Amos Tutuola Show – Folklore-inspired art in honour of the novelist – Aina Onabolu House, National Gallery of Art, National Theatre, Iganmu, Lagos.
- 2000 Exhibition of paintings, prints sculptures, installations etc. by Otu-Ewena Artists, Aina Onabolu, Building National Theatre Complex, Iganmu, Lagos.
- 2000 Onobrakpeya at the Armstrong/Slater Gallery, Virginia, USA
- 2001 Century City: Art and Culture in the Modern Metropolis – Tate Modern Gallery London.
- 2001 Bruce Onobrakpeya at Singletary Gallery & African Art Museum; Portsmouth, Virginia, USA
- 2001 Two Identities: Printmakers Bruce Onobrakpeya and Mitzi Humphrey at Visual Arts Center, TCC at Olde Towne, Portsmouth, Virginia.
- 2002 Exhibition of paintings, sculpture, mixed-media prints, ceramics and installations by Otu-Ewena Artists International, Aina Onabolu, Building National Theatre Complex, Iganmu. Exhibition was in honour of Onobrakpeya at 70.
- 2002 Bruce Onobrakpeya: Window Into his Art: Retrospective Exhibition of selected works from various periods of his artistic career spanning 1957 to date, held at the National Gallery of Art, Aina Onabolu Building, National Theatre Complex, Iganmu, Lagos
- 2002 Exhibition: Rhythms of the Forge: A presentation of the fourth Harmattan Workshop Series (Agbarha Otor), at the French Cultural Center, Kingsway Road, Ikoyi, Lagos. The presentation comprised lectures demonstrations, seminar and exhibition of artworks selected from the Four Harmattan Workshops so far held i.e. 1998, 1999, 2000 and 2002.
- 2002 Exhibition: Jewels of the Crucible: This exhibition presented works produced at the 4th Harmattan Workshop, showcasing recent developments in jewellery bronze casting, wood carving and several other media. Works of the Otu Ewena Artists International were also shown at the Nimbus art Center, Maitama Sule Street, Ikoyi Lagos.
- 2002 Participated in Exhibition: Rhythms of Fulfilment organised by Akwa Ibom Chapter of the Society of Nigerian Artists. Exhibition was in honour of Onobrakpeya at 70 and was opened by Governor Victor Obong Attah of Akwa Ibom State and featured the works of over 30 artists.
- 2002 Ways of the Rivers: Arts and Environment of the Niger Delta: Showed Installation Akporode at the UCLA Fowler Museum of Cultural History. Exhibition expected to tour various cities in the US.
- 2003 Celebrate Exhibition: Abuja, Nigeria: As major contributor to the CHOGM (Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting) Exhibition organised by lead artist Chinwe Chukwuogo-Roy MBE and John Sheeran.
- 2004 Onobrakpeya at Singletary Gallery & African Art Museum; Portsmouth, Virginia, USA
- 2004 The Harvest of the Harmattan Retreat. Exhibition organised in collaboration with the Pan African University, Lagos.
- 2004–06 Where Gods and Mortals Meet: Continuity and Renewal in Urhobo Art, New York, Columbia, S.C. and Washington D.C., USA
- May 2004 Art and Democracy, a group exhibition mounted during 5th anniversary of Democracy in Nigeria; held at Nelrose Hotel, Asaba, Delta State.
- 2006 Jewels of Nomadic Images, held at Quintessence Gallery, Falomo, Ikoyi, Lagos.
- 2008 Auction / Exhibition organised by Arthouse Contemporary Limited, at Civic Centre, Victoria Island, Lagos.
- 2008 October Rain. Society of Nigerian Artists (S.N.A) group exhibition – Held at the National Museum, Onikan, Lagos.
- 2008 Auction / Exhibition organised by Arthouse Contemporary Limited, at Civic Centre,Victoria Island, Lagos.
- 2008 Art Expo, organised by Art Gallery Association of Nigeria (AGAN) in conjunction with National Gallery of Art (NGA), held at the National Museum, Onikan, Lagos.
- March 2010 Africa Now. Auction/ Exhibition at Bonhams, Manhattan, New York CityA.
- 2010 Retrospective exhibition of Bruce Onobrakpeya titled The Legacy at the Grillo Pavilion in Ikorodu, Lagos Nigeria.
- 2010, 'Evolving Currents", Art exhibition in celebration of 50 years of Nigerian visual arts in honour of 50 years of Independence. Exhibition was organised by Iroko Art, Abuja, Nigeria.
- November 2011, "Beyond Imagination" An Exhibition of Artworks by Nigerian Masters. (Artists exhibited include Ben Enwonwu, Twins Seven Seven, Muraino Oyelami, Erhabor Emokpai, Bruce Onobrakpeya and others) at the Thought Pyramid Exhibition Center, Abuja, Nigeria.
- May 2012, Bruce Onobrakpeya and the Harmattan Experiment (artists exhibited included Onobrakpeya, Sam Ovraiti, Duke Asidere, Juliet Ezenwa Maja-Pearse and a few other past participants of the Annual Harmattan Workshop) at Kadjinol Station during the Dakar 2012 Biennale, Senegal.
- August 2012, Ore Ijubilee (Jubilee Festival). A solo exhibition of selected works at Nike Gallery, Lekki, Lagos, Nigeria.
- October 2013, Jewels of Nomadic Images. Exhibition of works in various media by Bruce Onobrakpeya at the Skoto Gallery, New York City.
- November 2012, Totems of the Delta: Culture and Environment. Annual Convocation Fine Art Exhibition, Institute of African Studies, University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria. Curated by Dr O. I. Pogoson.
- December 2012, 5th Edition of International Art Expo, Lagos, organised by Art Galleries Association of Nigeria (AGAN) in honour of Prof. Bruce Onobrakpeya at 80, featuring selected works by the artist. Exhibition took place at The National Commission for Museums and Monuments, Onikan, Lagos, Nigeria, and was declared open by Mr Sam Olagbaju.
- February 2013, Faculty of Arts: Art Exhibition, East Wing Basement, Ugbowo Campus, University of Benin, Edo State, Nigeria. Exhibition was accompanied by lecture "Artistic Odyssey: Printmaking as an Expression of Life's Adventures" by Prof Bruce Onobrakpeya.
- 2014, Dubai Art fair, curated by Mydrim Art Gallery.
- 2015, Art in the Nigerian Century – an Exhibition on Nigerian Contemporary art, Lagos, Nigeria, curated by Adhiambo Odaga of Clear Coast Communications.
Exhibition of mixed media and prints at Temple Muse, Victoria Island Lagos.
Participated in the exhibition of Artists’ Book at the Museum for African Art Smithsonian Institution Washington D.C., U.S.A.
Body of work
Public collections holding his work
- University of Lagos Library, Akoka, Lagos
- Catholic Chapel, University of Ife, Ile-Ife
- St. Paul’s Church, Ebute-Metta, Lagos
- National Gallery of Modern Art, National Theatre, Iganmu, Lagos
- St. John the Evangelist Church, Shogunle, Ikeja
- Museum of African and African-American Art and Antiquities, Buffalo, New York
- Eda Lord Demarest Memorial African Art Collection, University of Redlands
- University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
- Vatican Museum, Rome
- National Museum of African Arts, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.
- Hvittrask Suomi – Finland (Eliel Saarinen’s Studio Home and Exhibition)
- Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Ikeja
- Leader of Victory Museum, Baghdad, Iraq
- Presidential Villa, Aso Rock, Abuja, Nigeria
- National Gallery, Nairobi, Kenya
- Victoria and Albert Museum London.
- Metropolitan Museum
- Minneapolis Institute of Arts
- The British Museum London.
- The Barrack Obama Collection, White House Washington D.C.
- King Mohammed VI Collection Morocco.
- Achebe, Chinua, No Longer At Ease, Heinemann, London
- Babalola, Adeboye, Iwe Ede Yoruba, Apa Kini, Longmans of Nigeria, 1961
- Ekwensi, Cyprian, An African Night’s Entertainment, AUP Lagos, 1962
- Ekwensi, Cyprian, Juju Rock, AUP Lagos
- Nigerian Episcopal Conference, May Your Kingdom Come, Geoffery Chamman, London, 1969
- Nwankwo, Nkem, Tales Out of School, (Cover illustration), AUP, Ibadan
- Onadipe, Kola, Sugar Girl, AUP, 1964
- Uwemedimo, Rosemary, Akpan and the Smugglers, AUP, Ibadan, 1965
- Quacoopne, T. N. O., West African Religion, AUP,Ibadan, 1969
- Taiwo, Oladele, The Hunter And The Hen, AUP, Ibadan, 1969
- Haeger, Barbara, Africa: On Her Schedule is Written A Change, AUP, Ibadan, 1981
- Onadipe, Kola, Magic Land of the Shadows, AUP, Lagos, 1970
- Soyinka and Fagunwa, A Forest of a Thousand Demons, Nelson, London
- Deliss, Clementine, Seven Stories About Modern Art in Africa, White Chapel Art Gallery, London, 1985
- Nzekwu, Onuora and Michael Crowder, Eze Goes to School (cover Illustration), AUP, Ibadan, 1986
- Fagunwa, Daniel Orowole, Forest of A Thousand Daemons, City Lights, 2013 ISBN 9780872866300
Dissertations and selected reference materials
- AIPOH, MARY ANNE U., "Religious Themes in Bruce Onobrakpeya’s Works". An unpublished dissertation presented to the Department of Fine Arts, Faculty of Arts, University of Ife, Ile-Ife, Nigeria, as part of the fulfilment for the Degree B.A. (Fine Arts) 1983, 53 pages.
- EKEH, PETER P., "Studies in Urhobo Culture. Chapter 26: Bruce Onobrakpeya: His Art and International Reputation", by Richard A. Singletary, Ph.D. of Singletary Gallery & African Art Museum, Portsmouth, Virginia, USA, pp. 632–681. Urhobo Historical Society (Buffalo, New York and Ikeja, Lagos Nigeria) ISBN 978-067-769-0, 768 pages with index and photo of Onobrakpeya.
- FULLANI, GIOVANNI (E), San Paolo Nell” Art Contemporanea (Musei Vaticani (1977) page 112,176
- FALUADE, GBOLAHAN, "The Art of Bruce Onobrakpeya" (unpublished essay submitted to the Department of Fine Arts in partial fulfilment for the award of B.A. (Fine Art), University of Ife, Ile-Ife, Nigeria, June 1979), 59 pages.
- FOSU, KOJO, 20th Century Art of Africa, Zaira, Nigeria: Gaskiya Corporation Ltd, 1986.
- JEGEDE, DELE, "Trends in Contemporary Nigerian Art, A Historical Analysis", unpublished Ph.D. dissertation, Indiana University Press Bloomington and London 1973.
- MOUNT, MARSHAL WARD, African Art: The Year Since 1920, Indiana University Press, Bloominghton and London, 1973.
- ODUFEJO, C. M. SUNDAY, "The Art of Bruce Onobrakpeya as I See it in 1975" (unpublished HND thesis, Yaba College of Technology), June 1976 88 pages.
- OKEKE EZE, EMMANUEL, "Bruce Onobrakpeya – A Research into the Print Experiments of a Contemporary Nigerian Artist" (unpublished Bachelor of Arts thesis, University of Nigeria, Nsukka), 1976, 92 pages.
- OKEKE, UCHE, Art in Development – A Nigerian Perspective, Documentation Centre, Asele Institute Nimo, Nigeria and African American Cultural Centre, Minneapolis, USA, 1982, 91 pages.
- UDOMA EKPO UDO "Non-Naturalistic Representation in Contemporary Nigerian Paintings (A Study of Styles and Trends)", an unpublished Master of Arts dissertation, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, 1989.
- OLAOSEBIKAN W. A., Cultural and Creative Arts: A Source Book for Teachers, Ibadan: Evans Brothers (Nigeria Publishers) Ltd, Ibadan, page 38, 60, 112, 116.
- OYELOLA, PAT Everyman’s Guide to Nigerian Art, Nigeria. Magazine special publication, Lagos, 1976
- Nigerian Artistry: Written by Pat Oyelola with foreword by Bruce Onobrakpeya, published by Mosuro Publishers, 2010.
- SPRING, CHRISTOPHER ANGANZA AFRIKA, African Art Now, Lawrence King, 2008, pp. 246–251.
- SIKPI, GREGORY KOFI, "History of Contemporary Nigerian Art" (unpublished Bachelor of Arts Degree thesis, Faculty of Arts, University of Lagos, July 1988)
- WAHLMAN, MAUDE, Contemporary African Art, Chicago, 1974
- ROLF BROCKMANN, GERD HOTTER, Szene Lago, Reise in Eine Afrikanische, Kultermetropole, Trickster Verlag 1994.
- WALKER, JAMES The Black Experience in Canada, published by the Ontario Education Communications Authority, 1979, page 80.
- WILLET, FRANK, African Art, Thames and Hudson London, 1971.
- VERNICEM. KELLY, Nigerian Artist: A Who’s Who and Bibliography,
Published JANET L., STANLEY for the National Museum of African Art Branch Smithsonian Institution Libraries Washington, D.C. by Hans Zell London, 1993.
- STANLEY, JANET L., Arts of Africa – An Annotated Bibliography. Volume I & II African Studies Association Press, Atlanta, 1992, 1993
- KENNEDY, JEAN, New Currents, Ancient Rivers: Contemporary African Artists in a Generation of Change, Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington D.C. USA1992.
- HANS D’ ORVILLE, Leadership for Africa, edited, 1995 (Editor)
- DUNCAN,. CLARKE, African Art, Random House, New York.
- PICTON, JOHN, Image and Form (prints drawings and Sculpture from Southern Africa and Nigeria) School of African and Oriental Studies (SOAS) University of London 1997.
- REVUE NOIRE Nigeria: African Contemporary Art, No. 30,1998. (Jean Loup Pivin) Editorial
- JAMES SHOAF TURNER, The Dictionary of Art, MacMillian Publishers Limited, 1996 (Editor).
- PAUL CHIKE DIKE & PAT OYELOLA The Zaria Art Society: A New Consciousness.
National Gallery of Art. 1998.
- NZEGWU NKIRU Contemporary Textures, Multidimensionality in
Nigerian Art ISSA 1999.
- CATHERINE KING, Views of Difference: Different Views of Art, Yale University Press, New Haven & London in association with The Open University 1999.
- SIDNEY LITTLE FIELD KASFIR, Contemporary African Art – Thames & Hudson
London & New York 1999.
- ISHOLA-LEMOMU, KUNLE, Bruce Onobrakpeya 1990–2000. Unpublished dissertation for the award of the Bachelor of Arts Degree, Lagoke Akintola University, Ogbomosho 2001
- PAMELA MC. CLUSKY and ROBERT FARIS THOMPSON, Art from Africa-Long Steps Never Broke a Back, Seattle Art Museum and Princeton University
- MARTHA G. ANDERSON And PHILIP M. PEEK, Ways of the Rivers: Arts and Environment of the Niger Delta. UCLA Fowler Museum of Natural History, Los Angeles 2002.
- Richard Singletary Bruce Onobrakpeya, USA, 2002
- BARBARA PLANKENSTEINER, Benin Kings and Rituals (Court Arts from Nigeria), 2007.
- JEWELS OF NOMADIC IMAGES, with essays by Peju Laiwola, Ekpo Udo Udoma and Olu Amoda, published by Ovuomaroro 2009
- JOHN GODWIN AND GILLIAN HOPWOOD, The Architecture of Demas Nwoko, Farafina, Lagos. 2009.
- MASKS OF FLAMING ARROWS, Edited by Dele Jegede, with essays by David Opkako and Gani Odutokun, 5 Continents, Italy, 2013.
- DOZIE IGWEZE, The Story Teller of Agbarha-Otor, 2016.
Bruce Onobrakpeya’s Visual Tales. Hourglass Gallery, 2016.
Films and documentaries
- Kindreds Spirits: Contemporary Nigerian Artists, Smithsonian World Washington, D.C. USA
- The Magic of Nigeria. Produced by Delka/Polystar directed by Ola Balogun, Lagos, Nigeria.
- Recalling the Future Art by Joanna Grabski, Produced and directed by Claudine Pommier Executive Producer Cheikh Tidiane N'diaye./Arts in Action Society (Vancouver, Canada) 2002.
- The Harmattan Workshop Experience: The Journey so far: film and documentary on 10 years the Agbarha- Otor Harmattan workshop Experience produced and directed by Onobrakpeya, 2009.
- RedHot: Produced by Communication for Change, directed by Sandra Obiago, June 2011, Lagos, Nigeria.
- Stanley, Janet (Winter 2011). "Bruce Onobrakpeya and the Harmattan Workshop: Artistic Experimentation in the Niger Delta" (PDF). african arts: 22–35. ISSN 0001-9933.
- "Bruce Onobrakpeya". Modern African Art. Archived from the original on 29 January 2008. Retrieved 22 May 2011.
- "National Gallery of Modern Art Lagos". Nigeria Vacation. Retrieved 22 May 2011.
- "Bruce Onobrakpeya (Dedicated Exhibition)". ArtPortal. Retrieved 12 October 2017.
- Robert Barde (April 1978). "Bruce Onobrakpeya" (PDF). The Best of Africa. Retrieved 22 May 2011.
- "Grillo Pavilion honors Bruce Onobrakpeya". Vanguard (Nigeria). 10 March 2010. Retrieved 22 May 2011.
- "Biography of Bruce ONOBRAKPEYA". African Success. Retrieved 22 May 2011.
- Richard A. Singletary (2005). "Bruce Onobrakpeya: His Art and International Reputation". Studies in Urhobo culture. Urhobo Historical Society. p. 632. ISBN 978-067-769-0.
- "Bruce Onobrakpeya". Pendulum Art Gallery. Archived from the original on 5 October 2011. Retrieved 22 May 2011.
- "BRUCE ONOBRAKPEYA". Urhobo Historical Society. Retrieved 22 May 2011.
- "About Us". Bruce Onobrakpeya foundation. Retrieved 22 May 2011.
- John Picton
- Mudiare's Blog, Onome. "Doctoral Citation". Mudiare. Retrieved 12 February 2013.
- "Bruce Onobrakpeya". Contemporary African Art. Retrieved 22 May 2011.