Seeing in Black and White


Damola Adepoju

This summer in Chuck Gallery the attention of African art enthusiasts will turn to the beautiful works of Nigerian artist, Damola Adepoju, featuring his signature style which for more than a decade has been widely appreciated for the direct contrast of black and white. The result is of vintage quality exploring both architectural mnemonics and milieus common in Lagos metropolis, including unique studies of half nude female forms and a complementary range of exciting subjects outside the black and white oeuvre. 

MANCHESTER, MAN — Chuck Gallery is proud to present Seeing in Black and White, a solo exhibition spotlighting breath-taking paintings with remarkable perspectives by Adepoju. The collection is a kaleidoscopic narrative that uncovers the soul of a city in transition, the triumph of its population in constant motion, the norm of vehicular procession and the squalid recesses of ordinary dwellings.

Part of the highlight for the show is Isale Eko, a piece with warm chiaroscuro on the foreground and hazy vanishing backdrop relayed on weak light. On the middle left is a tonal stall illuminated by burning light which beautifully obscures the form of a human figure into a terse silhouette.

Adepoju had relied on textual fonts and prints from newspaper cut-outs layered onto the right to provide the design for the depicted building, a compositional approach in focal forms you would find throughout the artist’s works. Night in a typical Lagos neighbourhood without electricity possesses its own splendour and nowhere is this scenery more animated than in this work.

On view is Silent Contemplation. In this piece Adepoju revisits a theme which has drawn public attention to his series of sited models renowned for their solitary position, making them the subject of psychological and emotional scrutiny. Included in the show also is Homeward Journey. The painting, explored from an aerial perspective featuring a city in motion and stagnation at the same time, with the imagery of people and commercial vehicles, reminds viewers of the phenomenon of traffic jam in Lagos.


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