In the Lathrop Gallery of Dartmouth's Hood Museum two concurrent exhibitions, “Auto-Graphics: Works by Victor Ekpuk” and “Ukara: Ritual Cloth of the Ekpe Secret Society,” provoked interesting counterpoints, reflecting the vitality of ancient artistic traditions in rural and urban Nigerian settings as well as in global contexts. Both exhibitions provided their own idiosyncratic usage of linguistic signs and ideographic lines but in very different artistic media.

“Auto-Graphics,” which was initially curated by Allyson Purpura at the Krannert Art Museum, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, was overseen by Ugochukwu-Smooth Nzewi at the Hood Museum of Art venue. The exhibition at the Hood, which encompassed twenty works from several different series by Victor Ekpuk, was highlighted by a “drawing performance” in which the artist painted a tripartite mural in the gallery. Production of this work took several days and...

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