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Arnolfini - est 1961

Arnolfini welcome you into the kaleidoscopic and multidisciplinary world of Adébayo Bolaji, whose solo exhibition In Praise of Beauty takes over the first-floor galleries, exploring and questioning notions of beauty through painting, sculpture, film and writing.

‘Beauty, in one sense, is a narrative, an experience, and a value so powerful that it can transform even the most powerful among us into the weakest in a moment. In Praise of Beauty is creative questioning, a deliberate act of bringing beauty into focus, and an opportunity to explore, discover, and rediscover its essence.’ Adébayo Bolaji.

Based upon a new body of work (commissioned by New Art Exchange) In Praise of Beauty includes the monumental works in acrylic and oil pastel The Vessel (2024) and No Beauty Without Struggle (2024), mixed-media series I Love You (2024), drawings, and mythological-inspired sculpture with The Head of Medusa (2024). Showing alongside is A Notebook on the Voice (2023), a film which Bolaji describes as ‘a scrap-book, exploring ideas on what it can mean to have a voice, to use it, or to have it used…’

For its reimagining at Arnolfini, Bolaji has added a small number of new paintings and collaged works, developed this year as part of his ongoing philosophical enquiry into ideas of beauty.

Trailer for A Notebook On The Voice, 2023, to be screened in the Dark Studio, Level 2.

In Praise of Beauty is accompanied by a programme engagement activities and events.

Bolaji has exhibited internationally with artist residencies in New York, the PRAH Foundation, Margate, and Yinka Shonibare’s Guest Projects, and has recently unveiled his first public art commission The People’s Throne in Acton Gardens, London in 2023. He is represented by Beers, London.

In Praise of Beauty originated at New Art Exchange, Nottingham.

the logo for New Art Exchange - a white background with turquoise letters nae in cursive text  linking in to one another. underneath the works new art exchange.

About the Artist

A colour photograph of artist Adébayo Bolaji stood in between his artworks No Beauty Without Struggle and The Vessel, both of which are 400cm in height. Adébayo Bolaji is dressed in a long, black coat over a peach coloured shirt and pale green trousers. He wears brown shoes and a dark blue, woolen hat with the word Celine stitched in white. He has just above shoulder length black hair and a beard and looks directly at the camera.

Adébayo Bolaji

Adébayo Bolaji, is a multi-disciplinary artist living and working in London, England. At the centre of his practice is the dialogue of change and the focus of the individual within a connecting society.

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