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Anthony Olubunmi Akinbola’s work responds to and updates the legacy of the readymade, placing the sculptural mode of inquiry in dialogue with traditions of abstract painting. Foregoing conventional approaches to painting and sculpture, he reimagines the construction of identity through startling original treatments of color and texture. His self-developed techniques explore the possibilities of totemic materials such as palm oil, hair brushes, and durags—fiber scarves used in the maintenance of Black hair. Anthony Olubunmi Akinbola pushes his materials away from their typical cultural and historical evocations, emphasizing plays of color and texture while highlighting unexpected thematic associations. Throughout the artist’s process he has used durags as a primary material to continue the investigations of the Color Field and Action Painting movements. His multifaceted compositions celebrate and reconcile diverse cultural narratives, creating multilayered works of art that engage consumption, respectability, and the commodification of Black culture.

Anthony Olubunmi Akinbola was born in 1991 in Columbia, Missouri. He has been included in solo and group exhibitions at venues including the Queens Museum, New York; Pace Gallery, NY; Carbon 12, UAE; the Museum of Arts and Design, New York; the Kohler Arts Center, Sheboygan, WI; FALSE FLAG, New York; and Zuckerman Museum of Art, Kennesaw, Georgia. He has been a resident artist at the Anderson Ranch Arts Center, Snowmass, Colorado; DordtYart, Dordrecht, Netherlands; and Verbeke Foundation, Kemzeke, Belgium. He lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. Anthony Olubunmi Akinbola’s next group show will be in January 2022, at Zidoun-Bossuyt Gallery in Luxembourg.

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