January 9 - March 27, 2021
“SITE131 welcomes the New Year on Saturday, January 9 from 5 to 8pm (through March 27, 2021), introducing a young Nigerian American artist now living in Dallas in his first solo exhibition, JEREMIAH ONIFADÉ: surreal figures. Capturing what he keenly remembers from his native country, Onifadé’s narrative paintings serve as charming stories about the life he left. A singular, elegant, and dancelike figure strides across the canvas in a world all her/his own. The art viewer then has the chance to unravel the narrative while observing the lightly touched figures appearing almost from another planet. In light of current conditions for each of us, a life seeking good health and well-being can gain greatly from an experience with art.
A love of the old Masters he continues to study privately informs his art and storytelling works. His balletic figures, resembling the cupids of the masters, he calls ORBS; the human emotions, which appear as snakes or ropes, he calls CODS. All the paintings recall his Nigerian life’s memories, though the viewer need not know the narratives to appreciate the waif-like figures, which dance across the surface.
Fourteen paintings, from large to small, line the gallery walls engaging the viewer. In Ibinabo’s Red Salmon, 2020, a charming cocoa-skinned figure, with her all-knowing singular eye that’s sheltering a male’s gaze, holds her fancy chocolates near to her. In Folorunsho Leading the Front, 2020, a center stage, elegant female dances in place bathed in a fresh green background. Surrounded by her simple interiors that mimic her dancing, a male hides in her shadow on the floor gazing up at her.
Onifadé’s circuitous path to the arts began when he departed Nigeria eleven years ago to study at
The Savannah College of Art and Design. He soon had to leave the school, unable to meet its financial demands. After two years service in the U S military, he continued his dedication to art study with an Associate Liberal Arts degree from Collin College, a Bachelor of Science degree at University of North Texas, finally graduating with a Masters in Engineering at Southern Methodist University. The engineering focus gave him a career while he painted in isolation. A grant from the City of Dallas Office of Arts and Culture last year gave him the impetus to mount a 96-hour private art show in a small house in Bonton as his unofficial “art hello” to Dallas.
An Art Chat with artist Jeremiah Onifadé and director|curator Davidow will be held during the exhibition. At the southwest end of the Design District, SITE131 at 131 Payne Street, Dallas 75207, is open Fridays, noon ~ 5pm, and by appointment. SITE131 requires masks and social distancing. Special tours can be arranged. Director|curator Joan Davidow and assistant to director Stephanie DeLay can be reached online at SITE131.com or [email protected]”
On View: January 9, 2020 | 1–5 pm
Artist talk: February 27, 2021 | 3–4 pm
Artist talk in the gallery
131 Payne St.
Dallas, 75207 TexasGet directions