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In generations 4, future masters bring lyricism to destination search

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Cold Blue, Charcoal and pastel on paper (archival), signed and dated 2020 by Akintomide Aluko


As new ideas keep expanding the contemporary art scope, blurring the line between avant-garde and traditional texture seems to suggest where mastery of art counts for some artists.

Ademuyiwa Ladega, Akintomide Aluko, Akintunde Odesola, Ayooluwa Akinrinola, Opeyemi Olukotun, Olalekan Adebiyi, Folashade Fagorusi and Toromade Tosin are among such artists in search of a ‘mastery’ destination.

Fortunately for these artists, who are mostly in the early years of their careers, they have a platform to set out in the search for the mastery of art.

The platform, Generations: The Future Masters 4 is a yearly art show designed for artists who work on traditional form of fine art. The show, which opened on November 8, 2020, ended yesterday at the Mydrim Gallery, Ikoyi, Lagos. The show was initially scheduled to end November 21, 2020 but the enthusiasm it generated made organisers to push the date forward.

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This edition asserted the growing interests of artists to sustain basic forms of creating visual contents, specifically in the fine art context.Across colour and monochrome textures, Ladega expresses his skills in figurative drawings and paintings, using pastel on paper.

From Sleeping in My Favourite Wrapper, a full colour piece, signed and dated 2020 to a seated female figure titled, Till He Comes, and quite a number of other figurative pieces, Ladega injects life into pictorial visuals.

A collector with passion for works on paper, specifically of the dry medium, has quite a number of choices to make as another artist, Aluko, brings bold impressionism depth into the gathering.

Apart from quite a number of monochromatic pieces, the artist injects a kind of hybrid in to pieces such as Cold Blue, a charcoal and pastel on paper with black and white toned in blue as well as Limitless, a conspicuous matting of red head-cover in black and white facial rendition.

Odesola’s brushstrokes creates fluidity in colour movements as the artist’s scanvas exude creative dexterity across abstraction and subtle figurative. From a journey into the landscape of Bustling Duties, to the subtle figurative Strings Of Hope and Touchy Feel, Odesola’s canvas of swimming colours drag quite a strong depth along into the realm of aesthetics.

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Enriching the Generations 4 artists’ gathering are sculptural pieces by Adebiyi, such as Exotic Dancer, Alarede, Rejoice and others. The artist exhibits both welded and cast metal to create motion in the figurative works. For example, Rejoice, a welded metal, dated 2019, depicting joyous lady appears lifting the full-size human figure off the ground from its basement.

Still adding sculptural value into the exhibition is another artist, Akinrinola. The artist takes a specific spot in the vastness of sculpture sub-genres by choosing bust art as seen in all his works for the exhibition.

Apart from a pseudo-bust titled, The King Maker, nearly all his sculptures are unambiguously busts, exploring both metal and fibre glass medium.

For Olukotun, an artist with palette for social and cultural visual narration, the strength of his canvas appears to be in the diverse tones. From Red II, bathed facial in bold red to Iya Arugbo, an elderly woman in black and white face against yellow background as well as Social Distancing, in threesome motorcyclists, each wearing face mask, the artist’s canvas stresses the mastery journey of the group exhibition.

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Fagorusi’s paintings highlight the economic aspect of the grassroots people just the cultural value attracts her mixed media of fabrics on board. The artist shows, among others, quite interesting pieces in works like Aboki Shine My Shoe, about a street cobbler and Fast Food Joint, capture of roadside plantain roasting spot, both in wool on board.

Toromade brings musical flavour into the exhibition with his paintings of quite a number of Afrobeat series. Bathed in monochrome of brown, such works include Afro Series (trumpeter) Coffee and acrylic on canvas.

In a gallery statement, Sinmidele Adesanya, Director of Mydrim cited pioneer Nigerian modernists Aina Onabolu, Akinola Lasekan, Ben Enwonwu, Abayomi Barber, Bruce Onobrakpeya and Yusuf Grillo, as being “instrumental in redefining the local and global visual art communities.” She recalled that the pioneer masters have projected the diverse nature of great art.

The need to keep the chain of master artists strong, even in 21st era, Adesanya explained, led to the Generations series, in collaboration with a contemporary maste,r Abiodun Olaku. “In 2017, in a bid to remedy this anomaly, Abiodun Olaku, one of Nigerias’ master artists in collaboration with Mydrim Gallery created the platform “Generations: The Masters Series ”

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