ADA \ CONTEMPORARY ART GALLERY, SPECIALIZED IN THE WORK OF EMERGING ARTISTS ACROSS AFRICA AND ITS DIASPORA, PRESENTS A SOLO EXHIBITION BY RISING ARTIST ENIWAYE OLUWASEYI
After the successful inaugural opening of the gallery and sold-out inaugural exhibition, titled Gindin Mangoro: Under the Mango Tree, by portrait artist Collins Obijiaku, ADA \ contemporary art gallery unveils its next show, The Politics of Shared Spaces, the debut solo presentation by Nigerian artist Eniwaye Oluwaseyi (b. 1994).
The gallery presents the artist’s all- new body of work, a selection of 10 large-scale canvases that highlight the power struggles that exist within the spaces we share, whether it is a shared living space; a shared mindset; a shared community or our shared transience. The Politics of Shared Spaces is a comprehensive portfolio of work by Oluwaseyi highlighting how social and political identities are defined, while questioning the embodiment of communal arenas both physical and metaphorical – and relative to narratives of race and class.
On view within the gallery’s 850-square-meter space, Oluwaseyi’s paintings capture each subject in a vacuum of uncertainty, making it unclear to the viewer who prioritizes each presented visual space. Oluwaseyi creates vivid and bold compositions in order to seize each individual in a non-dominant manner focusing primarily on the uniqueness of our co-existence. His paintings document our current climate, presenting raw portraits related to the Nigerian #EndSARS movement, as well as the lockdown politics, choosing, in his point of view, marginalized communities from albinos to Black youth. Eniwaye purposefully favors vibrant colors to highlight the term “person of color” emphasizing the majesty within each subject.
The artist sees himself as both a critic and an observer. His paintings are influenced by injustice, racial conflicts and pressure of living a modern life versus traditional societal norms. Working in oil on canvas, his delicate paint strokes depict his human figures in an elegant and yet vulnerable manner, which lies in stark contrast to the powerful and striking presence of each of the represented subjects. “I try to combine unusual color palettes to go beyond the borders of religion, race and tradition,” Oluwaseyi comments.
Oluwaseyi navigates through the intricate struggles that form the backbone of individual tales of existence to tell the untold stories in society. His art works are impregnated with the struggles and experiences of individuals, evoking strong feelings of hope and redemption in the minds of viewers who connect with his pieces.
On view until January 2021, the exhibition also extends digitally, complementing the gallery display with a multifaceted immersion into Oluwaseyi’s practice. A virtual viewing room and visit, as well as personal sketches and videos of the artist, these supporting materials offer an intimate insight into both his inspiration and his artistic process.
The Politics of Shared Spaces is the second iteration of ADA’s program of dedicated solo and group exhibitions, off-site projects, talks, creative partnerships and more. In 2021, ADA will also launch a residency program bringing together a local Ghanaian artist and an international artist whose practice is rooted in Africa and its legacy. Cultivating a dialogue between local and international artists, the residency is a manifest to ADA’s engagement in nurturing Ghana and Africa’s emerging art community, while strengthening its ties and influence across global audiences.