About Exhibition

18 December 2022 - 15 January 2023

Art Pantheon Gallery is pleased to present Toward Self-Making, an exhibition reflecting on
individuals, individual autonomy, self-definition, solitude, introspection, and beauty. The
three artists in the exhibition take different approaches toward thinking about the individual
and notions of the self. Their paintings serve somewhat to peel back layers to make certain
questions apparent—who is a person? And how do people become who they are? What about
each of us is irreducible?

In Toju Clarke's work, figures in plain clothes and self-assured postures are centered in the
canvas. The colours are clear and bright but not flashy, not overtly vivid. The backgrounds are
also clear, filled largely with one colour. The centrality and assuredness of the figures and of
the artist, are the point.

Abisola Gbadamosi paints the feminine form with whorls and bewitching colours. Flowers,
fairy dust, beautiful lines and lustrous hues are the hallmarks of her canvas. For Gbadamosi,
the individual—the woman—is a being of enchantment. The world they occupy and make is
one of beauty, and because it is beautiful it is powerful.

Solitude, quiet, self-education are important to David Olatoye. His figures are reading, are
reclining, are seemingly at peace. The colours have the calm, soothing tones of mild sunlight at
midday. The figures are sophisticated and aspirational as can be seen in the title of books
they're reading. One has the name of the popular African American actress: "Viola Davis". The
other is The Love Songs of W. E. B. du Bois. They are people in whom, perhaps, we see aspects
of ourselves. Or perhaps, they are people we would like to be.

Toward Self-Making reminds us that it is impossible to fully see ourselves and others. The
artists are aiding us, in their own way, to look again.

Toju Clarke

Toju Clarke is a visual artist living and working in Lagos. He studied graphic design at the Yaba College of Technology. He makes graphic art and sgraffito paintings, a technique of painting that involves scratching on canvas.

His works, often large paintings of human busts, examine moods and mental states. Their power lies in how they keep us ruminating on states of mind that we otherwise may not want to ponder on. Joy, anguish, masculinity, and intensity are deftly portrayed. The focus on the human face and bust in his paintings create a hallowed space for human presence and expression.

Abisola Gbadamosi

Abisola Kuburat Gbadamosi is a visual artist born in 1995 in Nigeria.
Originally from Ibadan, Oyo state. She grew up spending the majority of her
formative years between Lagos and London. Gbadamosi’s work focuses
on the interplay between light and colour, spirituality, everyday life and loss.

Having experienced the loss of both her parents at a relatively young age
she turned to art as a form of therapy, a way of processing her innermost
thoughts and working through conflicting emotions which she struggled to
vocalise. The use of watercolour gives her works a distinct and noticeable
style which she uses to create ethereal portraits, successfully translating
her different states of consciousness.

David Olatoye

Nigerian-based contemporary artist, David Olatoye, 27, creates hyper-stylized portraits with a digitized and ultra-modern edge in his chosen media of acrylic and pen.

A visual creative with a penchant for the written word, Olatoye’s star has risen sharply since he launched his career in Lagos in 2015, after finishing his Bachelor of Fine Art degree at the highly regarded Obafemi Awolowo University in Ife, Nigeria. A highly collectable contemporary artist, Olatoye’s work explores the concepts of reconstructed and idealized domestic scenes through a critical lens that examines his own somewhat sweet/ugly childhood experiences and the expectations of life in a traditional Nigerian home and society.

Olatoye being a positive and lovely soul, creates a bond between subject and environment emulating a filial piety and forging an emotional attachment between his subjects, himself, and the home life he dreams of. It is inevitable that his lens on domesticity extends to the potency of women – an autobiographical stance given the status of female family figures that exists in his culture and his own upbringing.

Some of David's previous exhibitions include:

- ART MIAMI, Palm Beach Modern + Contemporary, GR Gallery, New York.
- 1-54 CONTEMPORARY AFRICAN ART FAIR PARIS, African Arty Gallery, Paris.
- 1-54 London, Kanbi Projects, Sommerset House, Strand, London.
- ART X, Kanbi Projects, Federal palace, Victoria island, Lagos, Nigeria.

- Ronchini Gallery, 22 Dering Street, London, United Kingdom.

- Pacers Gallery Lagos Nigeria.
- RELE Young Contemporary, Lagos Nigeria.