Jack Bell Gallery is pleased to present Aboudia’s ninth solo exhibition at the gallery. In this new series of paintings, he works with acrylic, oil pastel and mixed-media on canvas. The artist draws inspiration from local street culture in his hometown Abidjan, Ivory Coast.
Aboudia is noted for his heavily layered, brutally energetic paintings that combine an innocence and spontaneity with the portrayal of a dark interior world. Since the Ivorian civil war in 2011, his urban landscapes have been haunted by trauma; armed soldiers, ominous skulls and a populace hemmed in by danger. This new series continues to grapple with the hardships of daily life and the social inequalities of downtown Abidjan. Often claustrophobic and oppressive, his painting achieves a careful balance between pathos and aggression.
In his imagery, Aboudia references characters from his direct neighbourhood, contemporary ‘Nouchi’ iconography and homage to more traditional forms of Vodou. Enigmatic details come in and out of focus, often only revealing themselves after several viewings. His expression of revolt in his everyday urban environment brings to mind artists from the great American tradition - Twombly perhaps in his casual-looking execution, and Dubuffet. Aboudia's unrestrained use of violent figuration is a welcome reminder of the power of paint to suggest the chaos of life.
Aboudia was born in 1983 in Abidjan, Ivory Coast. His work has previously been exhibited at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art, Nevada Museum, Royal Academy Summer Show 2017 and Saatchi Gallery among others.