A member of the Contemporary Art Society and always a big seller on LondonArt, Abi Adeyemi is an artist whose work is as varied as painting could be by one single artist, yet somehow she still manages to imprint her own approach and themes upon the work. An abstract painter working predominantly in acrylic on canvas, she has also made forays into digital print and she uses digital processes in designing her imagery. For Abi the act of creation is one of invention, exploration and experimentation. Only recently discovering her natural ability to translate her thoughts and emotions into a visual language, she is developing her creative skills as she paints, gaining hands on experience with the materials and techniques as well as fine tuning her intuition and aesthetic as she goes along. The range of form, colour and scale found throughout her work reflects this stage of Abi Adeyemi's artistic development and allow us an insight into her life.
Her work has been exhibited widely both in London and Nigeria. Notable exhibitions have included: the International Women's Heritage Exhibition 2006 at Fairfield Hall in Croydon, which was a group exhibition of the best female artists in the boroughs of Croydon and Bromley. She has shown at the Quintessence Gallery, the Herne Hill Gallery, the Pendulum Gallery, Lagos and the Vintage Lagos Nigeria Exhibition in 2004. She has also exhibited at the Volvo Interior Show at Olympia.
Her choice of imagery is executed with exuberant confidence. Often including bold shapes or gestural brushstrokes, she doesn't shy away from clear statements and intense colour and mark making. In this sense her work is reminiscent of certain monumental paintings of the Abstract Expressionists in America in the 1950's. Works such as "Orgasmic", "Playful Violet" and "Catch Me If You Can" borrow from the dripping, spattering style of paint application of Jackson Pollock. But Adeyemi's works have a more pared - down feel, almost like contemporary "soundbites". Her versions are lighter and playful. Her work might be construed as Postmodern in that she borrows from a range of different modern styles for her own purposes. One might also discern a debt owed to the work of Mark Rothko in paintings such as "Within Thee", "Window of Opportunity" and "Pink Fusion". But again, her take is lighter and swifter as she plays with these established abstract traditions.
Another kind of work she likes to make employs gestural brushstrokes, which bear a resemblance to Tachist painting of the 1960's, bringing to mind artists such as Franz Kline and Fautrier. But Adeyemi is not interested in a mere mimicking or quoting of past styles as dry conceptual means, her work is autobiographical or personal in that she alludes to music, the turbulence of life, moods and elements. Good examples of works belonging to this category include: "Anxiety", "Whipped" and "Jammin", whose colours are the Rastafarian red green and gold of Jamaica. She says "I feel a very strong "force" taking over during the act of creation. I am guided through my paintings like a journey. This interactive process between myself, my brush, the canvas and the paint is my responsibility as an artist."
In certain works she utilises a visual language redolent of Russian Constructivism: "Float" is very minimal: two black lines cross over producing an assymmetric design, which somehow balances. But occasionally, the forms are more straightforwardly populist and recognisable: a cross, a heart as in "I Heart U" or a frame or a basket shape such as in "Ikoko Aiye", perhaps echoing African street imagery. There are also references to street art’s stenciled forms.
There is a whole swathe of her work, which seems to echo digital processes such as the ‘swirl’ and ‘pinch’ Photoshop filters. "Belle", which is available as a digital print is hard edged, graphic and very contemporary. Works such as "Candy", "The Road to Stardom" and "CelasTwist" are intense admixtures of bright colouration in complex patterns. Abi Adeyemi sees her work as having a message but she sees these as open to interpretation with her titles being instantaneous, inferring a correlation between the piece and a snapshot of her life at that moment. The Guardian said that "Abi's art has the mission to awaken art collection culture of the people", whilst the Daily Sun states that "Abi Adeyemi is a rare artist both by birth and by inclination". Both sentiments sum up the idea that Adeyemi is indeed a prolific and popular artist and certainly one to watch.