Dennis Osadebe: Safe Space

Dennis Osadebe: Safe Space - Omenka Online

From 18 Feb 2021 to 12 Mar 2021, GR Gallery will present Safe Space, the first solo exhibition of Dennis Osadebe with the gallery, after two years of collaboration.

The exhibition will reveal the latest series of artworks conceived by the artist appositely for this occasion focused on the concept of a safe space as their point of departure, defined by Osadebe as a place to experiment, be yourself, reflect, enjoy, and dream, the works consider the spaces potential dimensions, the narratives that contain it and the theatre or spectacle that unfolds around it. A new print, also inspired by this new concept, will be released during the exhibition.

Safe Space explores the duality between the physical and psychological roles that forge the foundations for locations of refuge and comfort, rather than solely focusing on a specific place. With the idea in mind that the creation of a safe space could be as simple as a group of people with shared ideas coming together. This is amplified by references to paintings by both Old and Contemporary Masters, key influences in Osadebe’s practice, shown through the artist’s characters performing both mundane and sometimes charged actions.

Dennis Osadebe is best known for his vibrant post-pop style—a unique blend of digital processes, which he uses to create canvases that are subsequently layered with acrylic paint. With his characteristic use of flattened planes and bold colours, the artist creates what he refers to as a “neo” visual style, one that is “modern, bright, expressive, and provocative.”

Working primarily in digital and traditional media, the artist employs rectilinear and curvilinear lines in delineating minimalist geometric shapes, creating plasticky scenes with themes ranging from the every day to the futuristic. He explores the increasingly blurred line between digital and traditional painting techniques, creating work with rich materiality and a multiplicity of form.

Osadebe deconstructs the notion of contemporary African art, questioning exactly what it means. Self-taught and working professionally since 2013, he has long been frustrated by the limiting label of “African art” that gets slapped on the work of artists with connections to the African continent.

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