E.D. Adegoke: The Age of Dreams

7 - 26 August 2021

kó is pleased to present a solo exhibition by E.D. Adegoke, titled the age of dreams.

The works in E.D Adegoke’s The Age of Dreams are conceived in two broad categories: the first set which are formalised poses and less richly decorated than the second set, whose costumed figures suggest an elevation from literalism to the metaphorical. Rather than a calculated approach to centralise the “black figure” in the western canon, the paintings in The Age of Dreams exist in a redoubtable black context, considering Nigeria is the most populous black nation on earth.

These paintings are guided by the formal rigour of portraiture, as well as a creative desire to further foreground “blackness” in the discursive conjectures of art history. They no doubt work to strengthen the history of transformations in contemporary Nigerian portraiture. Adegoke’s paintings function as aesthetic strategies which aim to regularise an extremity of colour and perceptions of it. Hyper-blackness is deployed as a rhetorical tool within the space between realism and representation.

In Nigeria — as in Greater Africa — the contested constructs of power and agency are drawn less along the lines of race and colour, and more frequently dictated by gender and ethnic differences. Even without the friction and weight of race-based ideologies in the global north, Adegoke’s hyper-black figures retain the urgency and importance in relation to self-esteem and self-determination by challenging received notions of beauty, gender and identity.


This exhibition is curated by Sabo Kpade.


E.D Adegoke is based in Ogun State, Nigeria. As well as developing his practice as a painter, Adegoke studied Performing Arts at the Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ogun State where he has also worked as an art teacher and resident artist at the Kuta Art Foundation. Adegoke has participated in several group exhibitions at venues such as the Moody Jones Gallery (US), Bogobiri House (Nigeria) and 21 Euphoria Avenue (UK). The Age of Dreams is his first solo exhibition.