Saturday, 21 May 2022

Ejoh's 20-year research on colours, unveils 'Impressions De Novo' at Signature Beyond

'Morning Glory' (oil on canvas, 122x138cm, dated 2021), by Wallace Ejoh.

AS impressionism takes a lift through the palette of Wallace Ejoh in Impressions De Novo, which opens today, Saturday, May, 21 and ending 30, 2022 at Signature Beyond Art Gallery, 107, Awolowo Road Ikoyi Lagos, the artist shared his journey of over 20 years. The exhibition, which is Ejoh's debut solo art effort exposes the mastery of impressionism in an artist whose strokes create dimensional illusion on canvas.

Saturday, 7 May 2022

How Democracy Vibes articulated 'Protecting Creativity Through Participatory Reforms'

(L-R) Nollywood actor, Norbert Young; drummer, Aralola Olamiyiwa; Journalist, Jahman Oladejo; and founder/director, Abuja International Film Festival, Fidelis Duker... during the summit.

ON Saturday, April 30, 2022, Democracy Vibes, a summit on censorship and artistic freedom, was organized by Unchained Vibes Africa at the Freedom Park in Lagos.  It was a hybrid event with many delegates physically in attendance and others participating virtually via Zoom webinar. The theme of the summit "Protecting Creativity through Participatory Reforms" inspired meaningful policy dialogues and debates among stakeholders and delegates revolving around censorship, actions and inactions of state and non-state actors as well as laws and regulations hindering artistic freedom in Nigeria. 

Toromade, Badru regenerate identity in 'Me & Him - Two Sides Of A Coin'

'Gele Odun III' (in diptych thread on linen, 45 x 58in, dated 2022), by Temitayo Badru.

WHEN the duo art exhibition by Oluwatosin Toromade and Temitayo Badru opened on May 2, 2022 at Art Pantheon Gallery, 12D Bosun Adekoya Street, Oniru, Lagos, the artists attempted an artistic probity into identity.

Sunday, 1 May 2022

Healing the world with Alatise's art of 'Alafia' with thematic, aesthetic dexterity

A section of display of 'Alafia' at ko Gallery, Ikoyi, Lagos.

IN strengthening contemporaneity, quite a number artists keep blurring the lines between basic established medium, across genres. Most pronounced are sculptural artworks glazed in whatever form of paint that enhance the thematic or aesthetics goal of the artist.

Celebrating such depth of contemporaneity is Peju Alatise's solo exhibition of sculptures and paintings titled Alafia, which is still showing after its formal opening on April 4, 2022 at kó Gallery, 30, Cameron Street, Ikoyi, Lagos. The exhibition, which hovers over people's state of wellness   collapses the lines between the aesthetics of art and its thematic focus.

Whatever Alatise's aim of using her Alafia exhibition to address, seems to create enough window for the duality of critical and commercial engagements. Yes, the awesomeness sight of the sculptures leans more towards what could be described as 'accessories' in interior decor parlance, but the critical contents of the exhibition seemed to have taken quite a large spot in the entire mission. From a young girl's fantasy ride in an oval-shaped vessel, sprinkled with birds and butterflies, to 'God Is a Girl series I and II', and a young lad in dream world, 'Spider Man', the struggle of art freeing itself from web of interior design isn't missing, during this evening of a visit to kó gallery.

In thematic context, Alatise, whose works, over the years, hardly missed contentious socio-cultural topics, also attempts to collapse quite a lot of challenges facing people, in recent times, into one spot - wellness. So, the desperation to avoid failure in chosen career, yet keeping family together seemed to have pushed the struggle for well-being down the graph of survival. This, perhaps, inspired Alatise's 'Alafia', though a widely misplaced word as Yoruba origin.

Quite a number of Arabic origin words —  about 100 or more —  have been found to be in Yoruba language, 'Alafia' inclusive. In Arabic, 'afiyah' means well-being, but the combination 'Al-afiyah' refers to an Islamic prayer 'The well-being'. Most likely, the Yoruba origin word for well-being is 'ilera'. About 400 years of Islam in Nigeria, pre-British colonial era, must have pushed quite a number of Yoruba origin words out of the native linguistic net. And quite understandable, 'Alafia' would most likely communicate faster than ilera', particularly in this time and age of hybrid expressions; it's the most commonly used among the Yoruba, and perhaps some countries in Africa too.

In Alatise's Alafia, wellness is captured not just in terms of physical fitness, but mental freedom too. kó's gallery and curatorial statements note that Alatise reflects quite a number of changes and realities, facing the human race in 21st century. So, "the exhibition dialogues with the concept of wellness, sound health, and freedom."

Applying her great depth of creativity, Alatise brings humanity into the Alafia exhibition, and perhaps, amplifying the prayer origin of the word. For example, in 'The Good Luck' series, (mild steel, glass, granite, resin, dated 2022), Alatise encourages people to keep hope alive, wishing all wellness.

kó Gallery describes Alatise as an interdisciplinary artist, architect and writer. She has been consistent with her experimentation with materials and techniques as a medium to analyze various socio-political issues. She is a fellow at the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art and the 2017 winner of the FNB Art Prize in Johannesburg. Her work was exhibited at the 57th Venice Biennale, and the 17th International Architecture Exhibition organized by La Biennale di Venezia, as well as in numerous exhibitions in New York, Florence, Morocco, London amongst many others. She is also the founder of the ANAI Foundation - a non-profit foundation dedicated to the development of visual arts in Nigeria, offering sponsored training programs for artists. 

 -Tajudeen Sowole is a Lagos-based writer on The Arts.

Friday, 29 April 2022

Uwagboe, Uzorka, Andu declare for 'Twenty Twenty-Three'

Uche Uzorka with one of his works for the exhibition.

EMERGING from the backgrounds of critical art dissemination, three artists are engaging the public on what it takes to assert civic responsibility as Nigeria prepares for another general elections, next year.

Thursday, 28 April 2022

How Irma Stern, Diarrassouba boosted maiden Artsplit online lease auction

One of the lots on lease titled 'A Still Life of Fruit with A Spanish City Beyond' (1962) by Irma Stern.

A debutant, ARTSPLIT, announced its success in what has been described as art tech platform, in the secondary market space. Held as online “Lease Auction” from Monday, 18-Friday 22, April 2022, the event had taken off with a preview a week ahead of the lease.

Wednesday, 27 April 2022

Onobrakpeya, other artists from Africa, Europe for 'first' recycled art festival

One of Adeola Balogun's sculptures showing at ArtMiabo 2022.

DESCRIBED as first recycled event of its kind in Lagos, Nigeria, ArtMiabo International Art Festival (AMIAF) 2022 converges a gathering that will celebrate photography, painting, video art, installation/sculpture and performance art.

Monday, 25 April 2022

For Akinola Lasekan, book on '...Nationalism At The Dawn Of A New Nigeria' celebrates satirism

SATIRISM from visual perspective cannot be downplayed in documenting events of Nigeria's nationalism of the 20th century. Most recent, perhaps, unprecedented documentation on the Nigerian subject, is a book titled Akinola Lasekan Cartooning, Art And Nationalism At The Dawn Of A New Nigeria, edited by dele jegede and Aderonke A. Adesanya. Akinola Lasekan (1916-1972) is widely regarded as a pioneer newspaper cartoonist in Nigeria.

Thursday, 21 April 2022

Spotlighting elusive 'Carte Blanche' in Amoda's art of specificity

One of the installations, 'New Normal - The Divide Between Good and Evil' (welded mild steel Rods, Mesh, stainless steels and mirror, 320x320, 2019), by Olu Amoda.

THE delight in going through quite a number of art exhibitions within the Lagos art hub city of the two Islands, almost weekly, also comes with its challenge of struggling to, at least, write about as many possible of what could fall within "critics' choice." 

Friday, 15 April 2022

Critics, artists, historians scale Adeola Balogun's 'Transmogrification'

'Rare Specie III' (mild steel, stainless steel, electronic panel, 97 x 78 x 22inch, dated 2020), Adeola Balogun.

WHEN an artist's work attracts critique or review from his colleagues, the depth of creativity cuts deep into both critical and commercial appreciation spheres. Wrapped with such depth of appraisals is sculptor, Adeola Balogun's 13th solo art exhibition titled Transmogrification, which shows from April 16-25, 2022, at Signature Beyond Art Gallery, 107, Awolowo Road, Ikoyi, Lagos.

Thursday, 7 April 2022

How NXT.ART Fair energised hybrid presentation in Lagos

Ugonna Ibe-Ejiogu, Artistic Director, NXT.ART Fair 2022.

WITH impressive number of visitors in six days, new entrant NXT.ART Fair, held from February 28-March 4, 2022, at Landmark Event Centre, Lekki, Lagos, made a bold statement. The fair, which showcased galleries and artists from Nigeria and other countries was more of a success story in contents of exhibits and the curated-talk session.

Tuesday, 5 April 2022

How Adeyemi Olalekan emerged Next of Kin series-4 winner

Adeyemi Olalekan's 'Ife II' (oil on canvas, 40" X 45", dated 2021).

FROM 30 artworks on display by the 10 finalists inside the gallery space of of Thought Pyramid Art Centre, Ikoyi, Lagos, that of Adeyemi Olalekan won the Grand Prize of Next Of Kin Series-4 art completion and exhibition 2022.

Sunday, 3 April 2022

At U.S. Embassy, Nigerian-British artist, Olagoke extends Art Alive 'In Conversation' with Greer, Abercrombie-Winstanley

Artist, Lanre Olagoke (right) and Lindsey Bowman, Assistant Cultural Affairs of American Embassy, U.K, with members of Art-Alive creatives.

WHATEVER Lanre Olagoke, Nigerian-British artist has achieved in over 40 years of full-time studio practice would be incomplete without giving back to the grassroots, his 'alma mater.'