LouiSimone Guirandou Gallery is pleased to present “The Power of Love“, an exclusive group exhibition featuring three outstanding contemporary African artists. Until October 28, 2023, Théophany Adoh, Isaac Iirumva and Prince Obasi will unveil a series of works as complementary as they are intriguing on the theme of love, a feeling common to all individuals and represented here in all its splendor through the works of the exhibiting artists.
Love is a unique, yet common feeling that evolves and manifests itself in different ways according to social norms and temporality. According to ancient Greek, it can be perceived in four forms: Eros, which refers to desire and passion, Philia, which refers to friendly love, Storgé, which refers to family ties, and Agapé, which refers to love of neighbor. This complex and mysterious sentiment fascinates by its elusiveness, inspires by its beauty and frightens by its indecipherable scope. In a non-exhaustive approach, the three artists explore, through art in perspective, the different forms of this amorous sentiment, tackling in “The Power of Love” the notions of seduction, passion, commitment and filial love.
In her depictions of love, Théophany Adoh depicts characters with abused features. This exaggeration takes on a much deeper connotation, as each amplified feature refers to a stage in this complex feeling. Luscious lips enlarged and fused to denote seduction and passion, a shared gaze made wide to notify the commitment of the two beings, all these details going beyond the physical characteristics notify the evolution of the love relationship.
Isaac Iirumva‘s paintings immerse the viewer in a powerful, intimate atmosphere, offering no interpretation other than that which the works suggest. The artist succeeds in communicating the intensity of the bond between two individuals through the circular-headed couples he depicts. The figures depicted in his works don’t just look at each other, they feel each other deeply, and the use of flat tones of color places the viewer at the very heart of this intimate scene.
Prince Obasi‘s artistic practice is inspired by 19th-century European-style bourgeois portraits. His paintings feature square-eyed figures with peculiar facial expressions, offering a vision of modest love in reference to the relational norms of the period from which they draw their inspiration. Meticulous clothing, frontal poses, antique jewelry and lace inscribe his canvases in the Western codes of classical portraiture, while the caricatured features of the characters clearly denote this framework. Discreet smiles, rosy cheekbones and gentle, revealing gestures are enough to convey the romantic note filled with discreet love that Prince Obasi seeks to convey to the public.
Through a distinct yet complementary artistic approach, artists Théophany Adoh, Isaac Iirumva and Prince Obasi each tackle a state of the many facets of the feeling of love. The intensity of the portraits and the power of the feelings depicted lead viewers to imagine the scope of such emotion, and the vast range of its manifestations.