BY TAJUDEEN SOWOLE
Sunday, 22 May 2011 00:00
THOUGH Adewale Alimi’s work may differ in commercial driven quality compared to that of his peers, the young impressionist is not resting on his oars, as he is currently probing into ways of attaing the desired height in his profession.
With his new work titled Sublime, which will show till May 28, at Quintessence Gallery, Falomo, Lagos, Alimi roves around figural images and abstract rendition in his adventure into the world of sublimity.
He says, “the show is a journey of aesthetics: art of balance, purity and serenity.”
He stresses that such concepts are important, especially, in a chaotic world.
Isn’t zenith of creativity a state of fantasy or complex mission?
“Not exactly,” Alimi states. He insists that, it is worth the adventure. In fact, for him, it is not enough to stop at mere creating art; artists, he stresses, have the responsibility to create a mental serenity that would calm and soothe the distressed world.
The figural of a lady titled The Look of Love, which represents sensuality in the artist’s theme, also shows his combination of naivety and classic impression.
|Sublime by Alimi|
Again, he stresses the synergy between his themes and the portraiture of an unidentified woman Modest Woman; the gaze of the lady as well as its bare torso combines with the aging of the canvas.
Unfolding re-development of urban Lagos also takes a focus in Alimi’s work. In fact, he has such series, which cover the shades of the new environmental as well as the old indiscipline attitudes of the people. For example in Lagos, the Beautiful, the artist exhumes the excitement in the chaotic urban setting. “Yes, Lagos is beautiful,” he enthuses and adding amid grin, he says, “but chaotic.”
At a period when African artists appear to be making strong statement on the global art scene, Alimi warns that simplicity should be the area to watch.
He argues, “African art is exaggerated in nature.”
Subtleness is not really strange in African art, but the ability of an artist to be conscious of this, he notes, underscores the strength of his art.
“I was able to understand the simplified form of African art, which involves extreme simplification that exhumes strength with focus on hues and less emphasis on forms.”
In 2005, at the same gallery, he made his debut solo titled African Ancient Mysteries Rhythm and Hues. Six years after, Alimi has to prove that his 25 works for this show are worth the break, particularly when so much change, in the last three years has heralded the art market.
HOWEVER, the gallery, which is one of the most consistent, believes in its works. The gallery notes that Alimi has not been out of touch. With what it describes as the artist’s de-emphasising of forms and expressing his works in brilliant flowing colours, giving the viewers some aesthetic satisfaction, the gallery was sure of a good outing.
Quintessence noticed the potentials in Alimi paintings in 2003. Between then and now, the artist has grown and learned from master portraitist Kamoru Sarumi, who is now based in the Caymans Island.
However, one of the improvements observed in his works, is the artist’s use of colours, which he has successfully conveyed through the expression of minimalist paintings.”
Alimi, who was in Paris, France, recently, notes, “the experience has opened my art to fresh ideas.”