TAFETA is pleased to announce that we will be participating in 1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair London in October 2017. This will be our third appearance at the leading international art fair.
TAFETA will present four artists whose practices push the envelope of contemporary African art; Temitayo Ogunbiyi, Niyi Olagunju, Babajide Olatunji and George Osodi.
Temitayo Ogunbiyi (b. 1984) uses a variety of techniques including: drawing, fabrics, collage, and installations to respond to contemporary channels of communication in physical and virtual space. Her works are peppered with stories or instructions, from Internet anecdotes to prayers, recipes, and dreams. Her approach is often site-specific, and explores shared forms and histories of growth and pattern—as textile, ritual, celebration, and repeated gesture.
Temitayo’s recent work celebrates and draws links between three dominant aspects of contemporary Nigeria—hair braiding, pineapple production, and prayer. Exhibitions of her work have taken place at Tiwani Contemporary, London, selected by Zina Saro-Wiwa (2016); Museum of Contemporary Diasporan Art, Lagos (2013); Pulitzer Art Foundation, St. Louis (2012); and Centre for Contemporary Art, Lagos (2012).
Adeniyi "Niyi" Olagunju holds a National Diploma in General Art from Yaba College of Technology, Lagos, a BA Fine Arts (Hons) degree from St. Anne’s College, University of Oxford, UK, and an MA Fine Arts with specialisation in Sculpture from Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, Texas, USA. He is a practicing studio artist with exhibitions across three continents.
Olagunju's contemporary appropriation of traditional African sculptures continues his exploration of global trade and the "absolute commoditization of everything." His Ekpiri series, a body of work made from the shells of ekpiri seeds, confronts the notion of representing cultural tropes. Reminiscent of the aesthetics of El Anatsui, these works are rooted in traditional Igbo dance and music, hence the waved installation.
Olagunju's sculptures question the value system driving the continued growth in the sale of traditional African artifacts. The artist bisects his sculptures vertically and coats them in metals mined from the region from where they are originally sourced. His use of precious and semi-precious metals draws attention to the multiple relationships that can emerge from the exploitation of natural resources in Africa and its impacts on people and their cultural legacies.
With a B.Sc in Botany from the OA University in Ile-Ife Nigeria, Babajide Olatunji (b. 1989) is a self-taught, full-time studio artist. His paintings have been acquired by the Mott-Warsh Collection in Michigan and most recently selected for inclusion in the Royal Academy Summer Show.
Olatunji's Tribal Marks Series is a collection of 'hyperrealist' portraits informed by the artist's extensive research into the age-old practice of facial scarifications and interactions/discussions with carriers of these marks. Marrying his deep knowledge with technical proficiency, Olatunji creates portraits that are highly photorealistic.
Each portrait is an illusory creation, but even if the subjects do not exist in reality, the layers of context behind their creation and their skilled execution bestow on the works their high degree of photorealism.
In the artist's words, “the rendering process starts with the creative imaginings of the subject, considering personality, character, skin-type and even factoring in medical history in some cases. It involves fashioning a story around them and then drawing desired morphological characteristics from an exhaustive study of faces - to produce unique portraits."
An Associated Press photographer and participant in the 2015 Venice Biennale, George Osodi (b.1974) employs the traditions of photojournalism to convey complex narratives about his native Nigeria.
Showing at the fair are works from the Oil Rich Niger Delta Series, where the artist employs classic photographic motifs to document men, women and children living their everyday lives against the backdrop of the environment and social impact of the oil industry.
Osodi belongs to a generation of photographers who want to represent their country from a Nigerian perspective; authorship is therefore central to his practice. “I feel that it’s high time we as a country see this diversity as a point of unity in Nigeria rather than something that divides us,” Osodi has said.
Osodi's work is part of major international collections including the Smithsonian Museum in New York, USA; EMET, the National Museum of Greece; the Martin Marguiles Collection in Miami and the Museumslandschaft Hessen Kassel in Germany.
Note to editors
For more information or high-res photos, please contact Ifeanyi Awachie at [email protected].
Originally set up as an art-consulting outfit in 2005, TAFETA was re-constituted as a gallery specialising in twentieth century and Contemporary African Arts in 2009.
Located in Fitzrovia, London, TAFETA remains the leading purveyors of some of the most important twentieth-century artists of African extraction. However, we continually seek out new talent in the contemporary space, successfully placing younger emerging artists in important private and institutional collections globally.