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Adegboyega Adesina

The Visitors

curated by Alessandro Romanini

opening Wednesday, October 4th, 2023

on view until Nivember 11th, 2023

Galleria Anna Marra is glad to present The Visitors, curated by Alessandro Romanini, first solo show in Italy by Adegboyega Adesina (Lagos, 1998), Nigerian artist who, despite his youth, has developed an admirable ability to put differing and often heterogeneous elements together synergistically, and has given life to an expressiveness that is perfectly in line with a postmedial attitude, that allows him to integrate the various techniques seamlessly.

The works presented, a dozen of paintings on canvas, show his ability to blend syncretically his personal and autobiographical dimension with a wider reflection on the zeitgeist of his country and existence, raising the former to a valence of universality.
Another harmonic union is the one he establishes between his thoughts on Africa’s past and future history in general as well as that of his Country, Nigeria in particular, on issues such as colonisation and the construction of a common, global future, with an openness which is existential in nature and often declined from a ‘spiritual’ point of view, that concerns every single living being, their expectations and questions. Differently from many of the African nations which gained independence in the 1960s, Nigeria has a rich precolonial tradition of expressive forms and cultural variety testified to by the more than two hundred languages and relative dialects spoken in it, many of which are connected which an equal number of specific artistic forms.

In the exhibition Adesina develops a sort of concept album, a story for images where the artist himself and his close friends, family and elective family, become the protagonists and drive of his visual narrative development, forcing the spectator – deliberately – toward an active engagement by inducing him/her to develop highly suggestive interpretations.

Adesina’s is a diary of images recording relational elements, a predisposition to creative inspiration, artist blocks and a circadian scan of existence.
Adesina overcome a set of stereotypes that for many years accompanied a sort of international language adopted by many artists of the diaspora in the wake of postmodernism and resolved it without conflict. In his homonymous text Cheikh Hamidou Kane referred to it as “The Ambiguous Adventure” i.e. the double culture, the hybrid identity produced by colonialism.

The artist demonstrates that he has investigated and meditated on various iconographic forms, and then resolved the dichotomy between artistic-cultural roots, contemporary iconography and interpretive dimension.
As the texts accompanying the artworks show, he has inserted himself in a Nigerian tradition, not unlike that of the Nsukka artists who write poetry which outlines relations hidden among lyrics and design, but he renews this, presenting us with new expressive forms. A tradition that for more than 60 years has closely linked art with literature.


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