Artpedia Nigeria Launches New Gallery Space

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Yinka Olatunbosun

Artpedia Nigeria is set to launch a new gallery space at Lekki Phase I with a group art exhibition “The Persistence of Time,” featuring top Nigerian contemporary artists. The show which opens on Saturday, February 20 runs till Friday, April 30.

“The Persistence of Time” is a showcase of 28 paintingsfrom the gallery’s expansive collection featuring artists such as Ada Godspower, Elizabeth Ekpetorson, Frederick Idele, Ikechukwu Ezeigwe, Habeeb Andu and Sejiro Avoseh.

The title of the exhibition taps from the iconic painting of Spanish artist, Salvador Dalí, one of the remarkable artists of the Surrealism art movement named “The Persistence of Memory (1931).” In consonance with the movement, the show presents a school of artistry that has been shaped by time through individual experiences and social events — and distinctively marked by the capricious forms and precise reflections of the unconscious mind.

The exhibition is a walk through the socio-political connotations of Avoseh who is easily identified for his style of fusing collage and painting techniques. The hasty yet measured brushstrokes of Elizabeth Ekpetorsonwho logs time and allows its resulting elements such as emotions and reactions to fuel her artistic production.

It is almost always a prerequisite in many art shows to create a concept that introduces a completely fresh meaning and sense to a collection. The exhibition, “The Persistence of Time” explores the influence of time in artistic innovation. This is reflected in the interconnectedness of the 28 randomly selected and displayed artworks by six artists who have independently produced each body of work at different times, dating from 2017 to 2021. It also realizes other sub-themes totaled as creative inspirations and range from sociopolitical influences to identity that indicate the actuality — accurately serving as a repository where evidences of the now will be stored for posterity.

Established in November 2020 by Onomen “Nomzky” Onohi, an avid collector of art, this exhibition will be the first in the Artpedia gallery space, officially launching it into the art community and sector. The Persistence of Time is curated by Lagos-based curator, KenniiEkundayo. She has curated exhibitions around the country and internationally. Her professional practice began in March 2017 with a group exhibition of amateur photographers, and has grown to curating key projects involving the likes of revered legendary artist, Bruce Onobrakpeya and Nobel Laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka, in various media ranging from drawings and paintings, to film and photographs, to texts and installations amongst other art forms.

She is affiliated with the Committee for Relevant Art (CORA), a Nigerian not-for-profit platform for artists, art critics and aficionados, and culture advocates as the Communications Officer. She is also a part of the organising team of the Lagos Book & Art Festival, LABAF, a yearly prime literacy and youth empowerment project that recently concluded its 22nd edition.

Ekundayo is Head Curator, Galeri Odumije, a research and curatorial outfit she recently established and which operates out of Lagos, Nigeria.