Gripping, Alluring, Familiar, yet, Intriguing, that’s how to describe the paintings, and drawings of Adewale Adénlé’. This is because these art forms bestride the socio-political polarities in the cultures of West Africa and North America
Although based in Columbus Ohio. Adéwálé Adénlé’s name is now being linked on the list of contemporary US based artist-scholar, using visual arts to elevate cultural dualities.
With each splash of color, with every stroke of pen and every careful blurring of charcoal, Adéwálé Adénlé’s paintings induce your mind to consider not only the reality of the visual objects/forms and their aesthetic contexts, but they also usher you into an explorati of how the visual objects/forms may deconstruct dominant socio-political norms and historical narratives.
Born in Nigeria, West Africa, Adéwálé Adénlé’ was at the forefront of using Newspaper cartoons and illustrations for pro-democracy activism. His visceral and acerbic satire drew the ire of the notorious military regimes in Nigeria and propelled the publication of his first book, Mixed Feelings in 2000.
The efficacy of Adéwálé Adénlé artforms soon got international recognition. In 2001 he was awarded the Reuters News Graphics fellowship/award. This award gave him the unique opportunity to participate in the Show-Don’t Tell workshop at the University of Navarra, Pamplona, Spain, in addition to working at the Reuters studio in London UK.
Adéwálé Adénlé was the recipient of the 2021 Robert L. and Phyllis J. Iles Award at the Ohio State University. He has done restorative work on collections at the Southern University in New Orleans, His recent public commission includes “Congo Square” an 8ft. x 12ft. high relief cast bronze, commissioned by the city of New Orleans and installed at the Louis Armstrong Park-New Orleans, Louisiana.
A doctoral candidate in the Department of Arts Administration, Education and Policy at the Ohio State University Columbus, Anderle’s work continues to push the perceived notions of how Western pedagogical and curatorial frameworks influence artistic display as well as the interpretation, and preservation of African ethnographic and spiritual objects in art museums in United States.
Below are some of his popular visual artworks.