The Armory Show 2022: IyunOla Sanyaolu and Michael Igwe

The Armory, New York, 9 - 11 September 2022 

For this year's edition of The Armory Show, Rele Gallery is pleased to present a joint exhibition of Michael Igwe and IyunOla Sanyaolu. Employing different approaches to traditional painting, both artists offer distinct stylisations of human form and landscape, weaving narratives of existence, across spatial and temporal spaces.

Michael Igwe’s ethereal paintings distill experiences and responses from the weight of existence, reflecting on the condition of being in a space that demands relentless watch over one’s self against the dire conditions of everyday life. They present us with stillness, with melancholic bodies frozen in the uncertainty of being. In his work, Igwe imagines the body as a subject of experiences, transformed by time and the instability of memory.

Sanyaolu’s textured canvases reflect on personal states of feeling and experiences as she moves between locations. Mirroring the ephemeral quality of movement across spaces, she employs a looser approach to form, composition and landscape, drawing on the evocative nature of colour in conveying mood and textures of place. Sanyaolu’s paintings capture random moments of existence, offering peculiarities of changing environments as well as the body’s intimate responses to and occupation of these changes.