Kanbi Projects is pleased is present Constructs & Planes, a two-man pop-up exhibition featuring works by David Akinola and Gbolahan Ayoola. The exhibition explores geometric abstraction within an African aesthetic context. While the human figure has traditionally been the primary subject of African aesthetic, many forms of African art are characterised by their visual abstraction, or departure from naturalistic representation through innovative form and composition with varying degree of abstraction, from idealised naturalism to more simplified, geometrically conceived forms.
Focusing on the notion of abstraction within an African stylised context, the exhibition presents twelve works on paper that either take as their cue the definition of geometric abstraction or articulates a relationship to geometric abstraction with both artists using planes (two-dimensional works) to present new constructs (ideas and theories) situated within a contemporary African experience. While these constructs are, abstractions expressed in lines, shapes and colour, they are rooted in the human condition and have vital relevance for today's contemporary society.
Constructs & Planes examines the evocative interrelation between colour and form to create an aesthetic experience that engages the sight, sound, and emotions of the viewer. As Wassily Kandisky (one of the pioneers of abstract modern art) posited, total abstraction offered the possibility for profound, transcendental expression through a pictorial language that only loosely related to the outside world, but expressed volumes about the inner experience.
For Kadinsky, painting was, above all, deeply spiritual and he sought to convey profound spirituality and the depth of human emotion through a universal visual language of abstract forms and colours that transcended cultural and physical boundaries. Similarly, free from the burden of representation in the exhibited works, Ayoola and Akinola delve within their African experiences to express universal ideas on the human condition that transcends culture and geography. The outcome, are paintings that are object-free but emotionally rich that allude to a unifying human experience irrespective of race, belief or boundaries.
The exhibition is also an opportunity to examine the diversity of artistic practice within abstraction between the two artists given their generational differences, to reveal the potential tensions, both formal and conceptual, in particular, the influences and developments between generation of artists when their works are shown as a dialogue in close proximity.