By Rukeme Noserime. Critique from catalogue of “Colourful Moments” held at Didi Museum, Lagos, Sept 1997.
The predominating activity of art in modern times has been analysis, the search for the fundamental principle and specific functions, – that of inventing forms and producing objects with lines, colours, surfaces, masses and volumes. Hence art has become passionate and dynamic – a living phenomena within our system.
There is no intention to establish a hierarchy among the visual arts, but painting as distinct from architecture and the applied arts, is more directly concerned with our human destiny – with men and women in their existential situation facing God or the unknown, establishing relation between individuals and between societies. Painting can encompass the whole destiny of mankind in visual images accessible to all mankind. (Herbert Read; 1976:03).
Using the classification from the Family Ties Art Corpus, December 1996, Orimoloye falls within the mainstream of “spatial spontaneity and attroupement”. This is because of his pre-occupation with structure and spatial relationships, clustering of organic and inorganic masses, spontaneous application of thick or thinly applied paint in colourful recessed tonal patches.
Colour remains a vital position of paramount importance. When colour is at its richest, the form is at its plenitude. He has a good sense of spatial values and composition. His brush strokes are well organised with well graded patches of colours, which blend tenderly at a distance.
In “Street End”, a pictorial composition in gouache, one notices the spontaneous use of brush strokes, yet vividly conveying visually the feeling of a quiet and calm street end. The composition is further enhanced by the figure in red-shirt, which is balanced visually by the red patches of reflection on the ground.
A constant trait and sensation in all his works is this feeling of speed at which his are achieved. In “Sketches From Life” (a graphite drawing) speed, effective lyrical manipulations, composition, use of spatial qualities, and depth are all qualities exuded from this masterpiece.
In “Women Carrying Containers”, the artist attempts using visual allegory in buttressing his inner premonitions. The female figures are well elongated and fused infinitely into the painting.
These are symbols for elegance, gaiety determination and zest of the African woman.
Gbenga Orimoloye is an artist with contemporary visual poetry rendered in utmost simplicity and faithfulness. His works provide erudition, delight, freedom and individuality in modern art deliberations.
Head of Fine Art Department.
Yaba College of Technology, Lagos.