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For generations-3, future treasures return in fresh strokes

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Serenity, by Oluwafunke Oladimeji (23.5 x 31.5 inches, oil on canvas (pallet knife), 2019).


With the support of Universal Studios of Art, National Theatre, Iganmu, and Mydrim Gallery, Ikoyi, Lagos, 10 artists will be lifted into the future art mastery.

Chinedu Uzoma, Damilola Opedun, Emeka Nwagbara, Ezekiel Osifeso, Olajide Salako, Olufemi Oyewole, Oluwafunke Oladimeji, Opeyemi Olukotun, Segun Fagorusi and Raji Mohammed are Generations-3: The Future Masters artists whose paintings started showing yesterday. The show runs till July 13, 2019 at Mydrim.

According to the director and curator at Mydrim, Mrs Sinmiddle Adesanya, the exhibition series, which started three years ago, is in the final stages of the first phase. Nine out of the artists have shown in the previous editions.

A total of 55 paintings will be on display. Bathed in colours, Uzoma’s The Search explains how the artist applies creative lighting technique in rendering figural expression on canvas. Despite the capture of multi-dimensional sources of lights, Uzoma’s palette exposes the main source by beaming more illumination overhead.As an artist with conservative colour disposition to textures on canvas, Opedun shares his humanitarian projects of Makoko community in true reflection of the coastal environment.

The coalescence of haze, wind and water expressed in one of the paintings, titled, Gratitude, for example, empathises for the riverine community.Perhaps, Nwagbara adds a new period into his art vocabulary with minimalism touch that strengthens some of his past themes, so suggests The Prognosis of Gele series’ I and II. Between the figurative representation of his themes such as, the Gele Series – White Gele’, and the minimalist approach, Nwagbara offers rich diversity in visual culture expression.

Between realism and strokes of impressions lies the strength of Osifeso, an artist whose contextual composite speaks volume in visual communication. More pronounced is Osifeso’s articulation of space, so reveals works like Silent Anticipation and Strategic Positioning.

Artist like Salako further strengthens the hyperrealism trending among young Nigerian artists. As much as the mastery of art, to a large extent, is complex when figurative painting is in focus, photo-finish pieces like Salako’s Contemplation, Oge and Apprehension would also put any artist on the critic’s spotlight.

As the only lady in the group show Oladimeji’s strong strokes in streetscape keep growing from one step to another. For this show, Oladimeji steps up her spotlight-effects on water and skyline, a technique that dominates nearly all the pieces she is showing in this exhibition. So much for dawn and dusk effects on her canvas, so explains a distinct piece titled, Serenity, which exudes great depth in the skyline. Olukotun delves into the complex rendition of mobility by focusing on commercial motorcycles being used as taxi across Nigeria and parts of West Africa.

Writing about the socio-economic menace of okada in this review would attract volumes, but within the artistic expression context, Olukotun seems to have flaunted his growing skills of machines rendition in urban settings. The artist’s paintings celebrate okada riders against the general impression as ‘necessary evil.’

And in night-effect paintings such as, Survival Series, he announces the diversity of his canvas. In a streetscape by Oyewole, titled, Gone Like Yesterday, comes the combined monochromatic and subtle application of colours, coalescing into fresh texture. More fascinating about this piece is the wide angle capture of the scenery, taking as much activities as possible.

Unmistakably Lagos urban scenery, the artist’s capture, which include the notorious Lagos yellow buses may just be one of the last recordings of the soon-to-extinct urban means of transportation in the city. Oyewole continues his canvas of pseudo-monochrome technique in quite a number of non-street scene paintings like, Contemplation and Same Story.

Despite being realism, Mohammed’s brush movements on canvas always release some dramatic moments capable of striping viewers’ prejudice. Among such rendition is ‘Prepping For Nightfall’, in which the artist brings to fore the science and spiritual depth of illumination.

The spiritual affinity of his brushstrokes continues in The Wait, a three figure gathering of what looks like family expedition. In creative context, the work highlights the artist’s painstaking contrast application of light to exude dramatic moment, this time: a dialogue between humans and the atmospheric realm.

With sympathy for less focused activities of the rural women, particularly senior ladies, Fagorusi comes into this exhibition with two paintings about dignity of labour and loss of a loved one.

In Iya Alaro, comes celebration of native Yoruba fabric designer — a culture against the tide of western produced textile wave — is captured in active production. Quite emotive and tears jerking is the solemn air of being bereaved in Who Knows. Irrespective of one’s sense of empathy, Fagorusi, in these paintings, applies the psychology of colours to stimulate emotion.

As the last in the first phase of the Future Master series concept, the current show is very significant in art appreciation. Every piece collected, potentially, has a strong provenance attached with it. In the nearest future and beyond, when the history of second decade of 21st Nigerian art is being recalled, the exhibited paintings of Generations-3: The Future Masters Series would have weighed higher on art appreciation scale.

Co-curated by Seun Alli and David Oluwatoyin, the concept, Adesanya said celebrates young artists’ skill. “It is aimed at rewarding creativity and skills to prepare the young artists for the future,” the curator explained. “In subsequent shows, new set of artists will be showing works with high depth of skills.”


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