Academic journal article Journal of Pan African Studies

A Critical Analysis of the Exploratory Art of Kunle Adeyemi

Academic journal article Journal of Pan African Studies

A Critical Analysis of the Exploratory Art of Kunle Adeyemi

Article excerpt


Kunle Adeyemi has been practicing artist for over two decades as a painter with skills and a developed dexterity acquired from Yaba College of Technology, Lagos- Nigeria. He acquired printmaking skill during his MFA degree programme at the University of Benin. His printmaking skill was further enhanced with internship training with Dr. Bruce Onobrakpeya at his Papa Ajao studio, Lagos and Agbahar Otor, Delta State, Nigeria and has just concluded a Ph.D. programme at Delta state University Abraka. Paintographs and Paintocasts: A new consciousness marked his 15th Solo exhibition and had participated in well over 75 group exhibitions. He passed through the tutelage of Nigerian art masters like Iren Wangboje, Dele Jegede, Kolade Oshinowo, Yusuff Grillo, Osa Egonwa, Dan-Ikhu Omovbude and others.

According to Adeyemi, his rendered themes categorized can be into four (4): Naturalistic cum semi-abstraction where religious, mythological, historical, literary and everyday life is expressed. The second category is Abstract expressionism with much of visual impact than storytelling; the third category is Iconic cum Expressiveness which displays distorted prompt imagery and color; while the fourth category is geared to create subtle poetry specifically for contemporary enlightenment rather than relating them to meanings (2012:9).

However, it is of note that Adeyemi's subject matter, composition, forms, colors and context are derived from the immediate environment of the Yoruba in Southwestern Nigeria. And it is observable that most of his themes and titles do not reflect indigenous concepts, but modern ideas expressed much in modern language.

Art Critics have some methods of presenting critical evidence: looking for appropriate precedents to any creative work of art before arriving at a critical conclusion. Feldman identified four stages of critical performance: the Descriptive Analysis, Formal Analysis, Interpretation and, the Evaluation or Judgment respectively (1967:468-498). In order to fulfill an utmost critical exercise, the order has to be followed sequentially, proceeding from the simplest (descriptive analysis) to the most difficult (judgment). The exercise is more of an empirical one i.e. from specific to general before drawing conclusions about the collective value of the work of art.

By descriptive analysis, the critic seeks to make inventory all that is before him, collection of all evidence, names of things present, mode of execution, things not superficially visible but objectively present in the work. For formal analysis, the critic seeks out for how artistic elements are constituted: the organization of shapes, areas, colors, textures, spatial arrangements, lines, etc. The descriptive analysis takes care of the inventory of all decorative elements, the total composition, viewers and universal expectation and other phenomena dictates that is present in the work. Next to this is the Interpretation stage where expressive meaning of the work, theme, artists conscious or unconscious ideas, explanations of artistic achievements, ideological content and constructs; the organization of formal and other qualities into one organic unity; the people's opinions about the work, the disunity or orderliness explicated; all meanings that can be confirmed, the impact of the work on visual sensation; what artistic and intellectual problem has been solved by the artists, how the artwork can be likened to its predecessors. These leads to the final stage of critical experience--the Judgmental stage where such a work is ranked with other works in its class, the actual worth or value pronounced, the comparison with other historical models, the artistic styles and the genre it belongs; the expression of the spirit of the time at its creation; the breakthroughs and originality of the work; the craftsmanship, the skills, materials

and other facilities involved; its expressiveness, the technical deficiencies and proficiencies explicated. …

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