Yusuf Adebayo Grillo… The artist takes a final exit as the curtain falls at 87


Emeritus Professor YUSUF Adebayo Cameron Grillo, renowned painter, art teacher and the pioneer President of the Society of Nigerian artists, SNA, took his exit earlier today.  He was aged 87.

A devout Muslim, he will be buried today at 4pm at the Atan Cemetery in Yaba Lagos.

Emeritus Professor YUSUF Adebayo Cameron Grillo

YUSUF Grillo was born in 1934 in the Brazilian Quarters of Lagos. Grillo received his early education in Lagos. In 1955, he proceeded to the Nigerian College of Art, Science and Technology, Zaria.

Grillo completed his Diploma course in Fine Art in 1960 and took an art education course that led to the award of post-graduate art education courses and education tour in Britain at the University of Cambridge. During this time, he was introduced to the use of polyester resin in sculpture in London.

Grilllo visited the College of Art and Printing in the United States in 1969. In 1972, he won the All African Competition in Painting held in London. In 1979, he visited the U.S.S.R. and studied Industrial Education in West Germany and Britain.

Grillo’s death is indeed the end of an era, as stated by his nephew, Otunba Adebayo Grillo, who broke the news in a short statement.

Founder of the Department of Fine Arts (now School of Art and Design) at the Yaba College of Technology, YabaTech, Grillo was for many years head of the department, during which he trained and helped to mentor the career of many of the artists, during which he trained and helped to mentor the career of many of the famous Nigerian artists of today.

An emeritus professor, among his eminent students are: Prof Dele Jegede, Prof Tunde Akinwumi, Prof Tolu Filani, Prof. Sir Victor Uwaifo, Late Prof Ola Oloidi (late), Kenny Adamson, Jossy Ajiboye, Benard Aina, Bisi Ogunbadejo, Bojerenu, Hon. Bayo Odulana, Tayo Quaye, Kayode Idowu, Sigala, among others.

Professor Grillo was a member of the famous Zaria Art Society, which in the ‘60s made history when they initiated the concept of ‘Natural Synthesis’ and thus changed the direction of art teaching at the then Zaria School of Arts and Design, now Ahmadu Bello university, ABU, Zaria.

His contemporaries in school, and in the Society, whose members later came to be dubbed the ‘Zaria Rebels’, include eminent Printmaker, Bruce Onabrakpeya, the artist, architect, Demas Nwoko,a nd the late painter-scholar, Uche Okeke among others.

Grillo has exhibited in Africa, Europe, America and Australia. As an educator and administrator, he was the Head of the Department of Art and Printing at Yaba College of Technology. He has on occasions acted as Rector of the College. He also served as the Chairman of Lagos State Art Council (1978) as well as President of the Society of Nigerian Artists (SNA).

Grillo takes his subject matter from human activity in the world around him, particularly the Yoruba world. His paintings are distinguished by a refined and subtle use of colour and the mathematical structure of the picture surface. He created cool colour harmonies with a sensitive brush, avoiding stridency and discord. His use of blue and violet is reminiscent of stained glass. The generous folds of drapery of Yoruba dress become carefully balanced geometric shapes. Grillo’s treatment of the head sometimes makes direct reference to Africa mask forms. Many of his figures are stylized almost to the point of abstraction, yet they never lose their humanity.
Good night emeritus professor………

Misty Uba
Misty Ubahttp://www.midpointmall.com
Misty, A Brand Developer, Broadcaster and a Trained Engineer with great passion for motor sports especially Formula 1 for over 20 years.


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