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Maker: Tayo Adenaike
Nigerian, born 1954, Nigeria
Evolving Cosmos
Date: 1996
Medium: Watercolor on paper
Dimensions: H x W: 60.9 x 45.9 cm (24 x 18 1/16 in.)
Credit Line: Sylvia H. Williams Memorial Fund for Acquisitions
Geography: Nigeria
Object Number: 96-16-1
Search Terms:
Exhibited: Visionary: Viewpoints on Africa's Arts

A. Omotayo (Tayo) Adenaike is associated with the Nsukka Group of artists who were teachers, students or both at the University of Nsukka, Nigeria. They were known to incorporate the Igbo women's traditional art form, uli, into an aesthetic, most notably in the use of line along with negative and positive spaces. More recently, artists such as Adenaike have developed a visual language with the assistance of nsibidi that expresses a highly personalized philosophy about life, art, and meaning. Working primarily in watercolors, Adenaike adapts his training at Nsukka into a higly personalized style, where organic forms suggest emotional and imaginative psychological spaces. His use of nsibidi brings a hint of representation into an abstract realm where color and space rule. Inspired by his Yoruba childhood and life experience, Adenaike's work is topical and at times deeply personal, with subconscious elements.

Watercolor painting on paper depicting a circular motif, probably a sun, surrounded by cool tones of blues and purples, morphing into pinks. Small black dots and spirals are painted below the sun motif.

Visionary: Viewpoints on Africa's Arts, National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C., November 4, 2017-ongoing (installed January 16, 2020)

African Cosmos: Stellar Arts, National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C., June 20-December 9, 2012; Newark Museum, February 26-August 11, 2013; Los Angeles County Museum of Art, August 23-November 30, 2014; Michael C. Carlos Museum at Emory University, Atlanta, January 31-June 21, 2015 (exhibited at Carlos Museum)

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