Abdulsalam Abiola, a contemporary Nigerian artist on the international scene, launches his first solo exhibition in Dubai at Urbanist Art Gallery on 13 November.
Abdulsalam Abiola is a contemporary Nigerian artist of international acclaim. Born in 1996, he graduated from the Tai Solarin University in Ogun State, Nigeria, with a bachelor’s degree in Fine and Applied Arts, focusing on Painting. He has been active since 2017, participating in numerous collective shows since, and winning an award from his alma mater in 2018. More recently, he held a solo show in Beirut, Lebanon, at Mission Art Gallery, titled ‘Orchestra’ (2023).
Bringing his work and his talent to Dubai, Abiola’s second solo show is set to open at Urbanist Art Gallery on 13 November. Urbanist Art Gallery is a vital platform for artists from the region, bringing contemporary art from around the world to their audience in Dubai and globally. Always active, the gallery constantly aims to collaborate with regional and international artists in order to promote their work and bring the best of art to Dubai. Founded in 2022, it is an inspiring place with many requisite activities on an ongoing basis.
Abiola’s paintings are a unique combination of several Modern Art styles, such as Surrealism, Expressionism and Cubism. The untitled painting 1, for example, is a very interesting combination of portraiture, still life and landscape. The artist overlaps two figures, one featureless, the other with defined features, in addition to placing a stylized rose in a pot on the left. On the upper right, shapes that seem to reference a hill-like landscape with a road or a stream appear. None of the colors are realistic; indeed, the artist tends to prefer bright and unnatural colors, much in the spirit of Expressionism. The areas of color are flat, the shapes abstract. This simplification of style allows the artist to play.
None of the colors are realistic; indeed, the artist tends to prefer bright and unnatural colors.Maie El-Hage, art historian
Another painting, untitled painting 2, is very interesting in the nature of its abstraction. The reference to René Magritte is hard to miss. A featureless face on a bust appears, wearing a patterned hat. In the center, a clock appears in an empty space, much like Magritte’s ‘Time Transfixed’ (1938). At the bottom, where the lips should be, is a solitary apple. It can also be a reference to Magritte, this time to ‘The Son of Man’ (1964). The colors, however, are Abiola’s own. In the bodice, are cubic-like patterns that reappear in his other paintings as well, such as the pianist in untitled painting 3.
Abiola has exhibited at Lifemate Nigeria Showroom (2019), Thought Pyramid Gallery (2021) and Tripple A Gallery (2022) in Nigeria. He is currently represented by Thought Pyramid, Top art gallery, Tripple A gallery, Moeshen art gallery and recently Mission Art Gallery in Beirut. His highly anticipated show at Urbanist Art Gallery is set to take Dubai by storm.
Abdulsalam Abiola’s show at Urbanist Art Gallery opens on Monday 13 November from 5 to 9pm, and will remain on show until 22 November, 2023. Make sure to pass by and see the show!
The Gallery is located at Box Park Al Wasl Road in Dubai.
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