Sunday the 11th of June 2017 marked the opening of the first solo show of one Nigeria’s finest artists, Ayoola Gbolahan in over two decades. This was greeted ceremoniously as it was his first solo exhibition at home, in Nigeria, where he has worked and lived.
The exhibition featured large paintings executed under three main themes. In his self-portraits, portraiture of other persons, he assumes the role of a teacher only now as an artist painting his thoughts on being. The portraits included in the Human Anthropology series reflect one’s need for self-examination and understanding.
The Abstract Figurations laid in bottle figures, heads and lurid colours stands objectively as a nudge to further indulgence in one’s thought process, carving a familiar path to the often ignored place of emotions and thoughts. As with the general style of the works included in this exhibition, his abstract landscape series portray a visual product of the mind having sighted spaces and environments that held emotional weight to be strongly imprinted on his artistic consciousness.
The exhibition garnered generous presence by fellow established artists, art collectors and lovers. Ayoola, present at the day of the opening, admitted to his desire for his viewers to really understand what he is about and what his practice seeks to do than just strokes and colours. Of most importance to the artist, is the need to have conversations around the work and the process. He expects people to not only be around to be spoken to but also engage in meaningful conversations.
AYOOLA will be open at Rele Gallery till the 9th of July.
See pictures from the opening below: