By JAPHET ALAKAM
Kunle Adeyemi’s on going solo exhibition at the Quintessence Gallery , Falomo Ikoyi, Lagos is a climax of his new research innovations in the exploration of form, material and subject. Titled, Painthograph and Painthocast: A New Consciousness, the visual show comes in the heel of his successful completion of a doctoral programme in studio art.
Featuring about 52 works, all essentially influenced by his doctoral research, the works seem to promote as its title indicate, the artist’s new intellectual consciousness with regards to the practice and propagation of artistic education and culture.
The idea, he pointed out, “‘is to add something to the normal painting and sculptural exhibitions that people see regularly.”through the body of works Adeyemi tries to arrive at a form of synergy between painting and printmaking by creating a new complex and intricate creative possibilities in studio art making called Painthograph and Painthocast..
According to Adeyemi,”the research that produced the works is meant to provide a direction capable of stimulating change and drive, as a catalyst for budding visual artists.” He also disclosed that some of the works were done in collaboration with other artists.
Painthograph and Painthocast, Adeyemi’s own contribution to the vocabulary of painting and painting techniques are major significant innovations to the development of contemporary Nigeria painting located with the framework of the synthesis of printmaking and easel painting.
This artistic style explores a wide range of possibilities in art making with the use of alternative local materials. It also introduces radical, transformational and dynamic approaches to the practice of art.
The marriage of the two genres of easel painting and printmaking, with all the ingredients in methods, techniques and materials, has given way to the new technique with its inherent qualities of sculptural tendencies and painterly realisation.
Some of the works include: The road to the Oil Rig, painthograph and assemblage on board; Female Form 1, painthograph on canvas; Tribute to the god, (Boat regatta) painthocast; Signs, Symbols, Motifs and Forms, mixed media on canvas; Treasures of Niger Delta, Painthograph on board; Dialogue, Primary instrument in Democracy 1, painthograph and assemblage on board, Wheel of Fortune 11, painthocast on board; My Redeemer Liveth and others.
A look at the works reveals that, they are divided into four main categories. There are some that can be referred to as Naturalistic- cum- semi- abstraction. In this category, the pictures tell stories that are sometimes religious, mythological, historical, literary and stories from everyday life.
The second category belong to Abstract Expressionism. In this category, the works deal with image making where context lies in the visual impact of the painting rather than the stories they tell. The works in this category include; paintings that are meant to convey particular messages as in some kind of protest and propaganda among other functions.
A good example is a work titled, The road to the oil Rig, a piece that depicts the ugly environmental devastation that is the hall mark of the Niger Delta home of the nation oil wealth.
The third category are those in the iconic-cum- Expressive form. In this category, the artist displays imagery with pomp and colour with a deliberate attempt to distort.There are also works in this category that create subtle poetry.