KELANI ABASS

 
Kelani Abass 2021 Ayajo

Born in 1979 in Nigeria. He lives and works in Lagos, Nigeria.

 

In his work, Kelani Abass explores the importance of the material heritage and the archive as a link between the past and the present. The photographic image is the starting point for a multi-layered plastic work. 

 

As a creative medium and object of memory, the photographic image is dissected and analysed through the multiplicity of forms that compose it. For his three-dimensional works, the artist uses old portrait photographs, original or reproduced in paint, which he retrieves from the archives inherited from his father's publishing business. Metal typefaces and other elements from the world of printing are added to these compositions. The relationship to memory and the importance of the archive assumes another dimension in his graphic work, where he recreates the image by repeated imprints applied with an ink pad. 

Kelani Abass thus brings to light these fragile and personal testimonies of a past time in Nigeria celebrating its independence. In this study of the "manufacture" of the image, the latter appears in its essential function as a support for memory - a fragmentary and multiple memory, rewritten and reassembled by the artist's hands.

 

Trained at the Yaba College of Technology in Lagos, Kelani Abass has exhibited in Nigeria and internationally. Recent solo exhibitions include [Re:] Entanglements, Contemporary Art and Colonial Archives at the National Museum Lagos in 2020 and If I could save time at the CCA Lagos in 2019.

In 2020 he has been selected to present his work at the 5th Casablanca International Biennale. Kelani Abass has participated in several residencies and workshops including Headlands Center for the Arts, San Francisco, California and Malt Air, Maltfabrikken, Ebetoft, Denmark.

In 2022, Kelani Abass is among the finalists for the first James Barnor Foundation Photography Award.  The same year, he exhibited at the MAR museum in Rio. Starting in May 2023, his work will be exhibited as part of the New Photography 2023 exhibition at the MoMA in New York. 

 

CURRICULUM VITAE

SOLO SHOWS

2022

Oxford University, Oxford – UK

Unfolding Layers of Time, ArtX Curated Projects, Lagos - NG

2020
1-54 Christie’s, 31 PROJECT, Paris - FR

Iranti, 31 PROJECT, Paris – FR

2019

[Re:]  Entanglements, Contemporary art and Colonial History, National Museum, Lagos – NG

2016

If I could save time, CCA, Lagos – NG

Aso Igba, Art Clip Africa, Lagos – NG

2013

Asiko-evoking personal narratives and collective history, CCA, Lagos – NG

2011

Man & Machine, Omenka Gallery, Lagos – NG

2009

Paradigm Shift, Mydrim Gallery, Lagos – NG

 

GROUP SHOWS

2023

New Photography 2023, MoMA, New York City - USA

 

2022

Um Defeito de Cor, MAR Museum, Rio - BR

Untitled, 31 PROJECT, Miami - USA

Fragments, 31 PROJECT x Galerie Antoine Dupin, Cancale - FR

KIAF, 31 PROJECT, Seoul - KR

[Re:] Entanglements: Colonial Collections in Decolonial Times, Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, Cambridge - UK

Subtle Textures, Rele Gallery, Lagos - NG

Cinquième Biennale Internationale de Casablanca – MA

Art Paris Art Fair, 31 PROJECT, Paris – FR

2021
Terrains of Possibility, Rele Gallery, Lagos – NG

South South Vesa, SMO Contemporary, Lagos -NG

Artissima, 31 PROJECT, Turin – IT

Art X Lagos - Guest curated project, Lagos – NG
1-54, 31 PROJECT, Londres – UK

2020

Art Paris Art Fair, 31 PROJECT, Paris - FR

SMALL, 31 PROJECT, Paris – FR

Three Borders, Palais de Lome – TGO

2019

No Room for Fear, SMO Contemporary art, Londres – UK

2018

Contemporaries II, SMO Contemporary art, Lagos – NG

Gallery of Small Things, CCA Lagos, Dakar – SN

2017

Ori Meta, Odun Meta, Ibikan, ISCP, New York – USA

2016

Shades of Time, National Museum, Onikan, Lagos – NG

Ori Meta, Odun Meta, Ibikan, CCA, Lagos – NG

2014

Painting the Cliché, Hohensalzburg Fortress – AU

Art for Peace, African Union, Addis Ababa – ETH

Art for Peace, Damla Art House, Istanbul – TR

Art for Peace, Waldorf Astoria, New York – USA

2012

Live Constructions. Time. Form. Daily, CCA, Lagos – NG

Convergence, Svengali Designs, Omenka Gallery, Lagos – NG

2010

City of a ThoÉtats-Unisnd Masks, Caterina de Medici/3rd Black Heritage

Exhibition, Nike Art Gallery, Lagos – NG

2005

Within Our Grasp, National Museum, Lagos – NG

2002

God of this age, Didi Museum, Lagos – NG
 

AWARDS

Candidats du prix James Barnor pour la photographie, juillet 2022

 

WORKSHOPS AND RESIDENCIES

2022

The Room Projects, Bernède – FR

2020

Malt Air, Maltfabrikken, Ebetoft – DK

2018

Headlands Center for the Arts, San Francisco – USA

2014

Salzbourg Int. Summer Academy, Painting the cliché – AU


2013

Professional Development Workshop for artists, CCA, Lagos – NG

2012

4 Weeks International art residency, History/Matter with CCA, Lagos – NG

2010

Residency Programme by CCA & Triangle Workshop – NG
 

EDUCATION

2007

Yaba College of Technology, Lagos – NG

Higher National Diploma (peinture)

2004

Yaba College of Technology, Lagos, NG

National Diploma (Art Général)

 

PUBLICATIONS

2021

HISTORIES, The Archival Issue, Foam Magazine

2019

International Perspectives on Publishing Platforms, Image, Object, Text. Analog and Digital Nigeria, Inheriting serial cultures in the work of Kelani Abass by Jennifer Bajorek edited by Meghan Forbes

WITH 31 PROJECT

PUBLICATIONS

2020

ÌRÁNTÍ

EXHIBITIONS

2022

Fragments, group show, Cancale - FR

2020

SMALL, group show, Paris, FR

ÌRÁNTÍ, solo show, Paris - FR

ARTFAIRS

2022

KIAF, Seoul - KR

Art Paris Art Fair, Paris - FR

 

2021

AKAA, Paris - FR

Artissima, Turin - IT

1-54, London - UK

1-54, solo show, Paris - FR

2020

Art Paris Art Fair, Paris - FR