Anthony Olubunmi Akinbola's work was first introduced to us more than three years ago, ata private Collection in Miami Beach. Since then, the gallery had stayed in close contact withthe New York based artist. Akinbola is Galerie Krinzinger's first Artist in residence since theoutbreak of the Covid19 pandemic. His exhibition will open on January 27, in the Showroomof Galerie Krinzinger (Seilerstaette 16).
MULTILATERAL focuses on the protean nature of the ready-made and invites the viewer to bring their own experiences and understanding to a host of prompts within the exhibition. Akinbola abstracts elements from the social and natural world in an attempt to mitigate the space between abstraction and representation.
'Multilateralism' refers to the principle of participation by three or more parties, a term commonly used in the field of International Relations. Akinbola takes this principle and applies it to the variety of materials and objects used not only in the studio but also to create the exhibition. The result is a visual discourse around the conversation of Globalization and an ever -onverging world.
MULTILATERAL combines several bodies of work including the artist's signature CAMOUFLAGE paintings which consist of Du Rags; fibre scarves used in the maintenance of Black hair. These paintings are not only bold and striking textural abstractions but they are also visual statements engaging conversations around global consumption, respectability, and the commodification of Black culture. The exhibition also introduces a new body of works on paper not yet presented to the public made of palm oil, yet another material of protean significance.
A movable sculpture consisting of cassava and hand truck tires sits in the center of the space, almost like a car on the showroom floor of a dealership, a visual prompt that ties the rest of the elements in the exhibition together. A rack of stock fish and a photo of a yellow shopping bag with the logo 'Lords Exotic Super Market'; a main source of material for the artist, not only reference commerce but also connect Akinbola's experience during his residency in Vienna to the exhibition in a visceral and personal way.
Rather than negating the cultural connotations of his works altogether, his work invites the viewer to engage and detach their own pre-understandings of the employed materials, exploring how changing context creates newfound views on the familiar. Akinbola examines the narrative of our individual and continual role in the fragile constructions of who we are.
Akinbola was selected for the Anderson Ranch Art Center Residency in 2017, was awardedthe Van Lier Fellowship in 2019, and was an artist in residence at Galerie Krinzinger, Vienna in 2021-22. He has featured in exhibitions Pace Gallery, NY, Hauser and Wirth, NY, NightGallery, CA, Carbon12, UAE, False Flag, NY and The Verbeke Foundation, Belgium. As well as Queens Museum, NY and The Zuckerman Museum of Art, GA among others. Following his show at the Museum of Art and Design, NY in 2020, Akinbola mounted a significant solo exhibition in early 2021 at the Kohler Arts Center, WI, and MULTILATERAL will be his firstshow with the Galerie Krinzinger.
Press release courtesy Galerie Krinzinger.