Chiderah Bosah - A Solemn Chronicle of Believers : Gallery III

2 Dec 2022 - 18 Jan 2023

Gallery 1957 is pleased to announce A Solemn Chronicle of Believers, a solo exhibition by Nigerian born artist, Chiderah Bosah. Following a four-month residency in Accra, A Solemn Chronicle of Believers continues through the 5th of January 2023. This body of work finds strength in surrender, and remaining faithful against adversity. 

A true millennial, Bosah’s art speaks to the collective experience of the Nigerian youth against the backdrop of today. Across a series of muted yet powerful figurative paintings, the artist traverses a viewer through inner dialogue of faith and hope. The show’s inspiration sparkled from the Oscar Wilde quote, “We Are All In The Gutter But Some Of Us Are Looking At The Stars' ' as emblematic of Bosah’s desire to express communal aspirations.

In A Solemn Chronicle of Believers, Bosah investigates internal dialogues with the self through contemporary portraits that examine the human spirit, and how humanity is revealed externally in powerful and captivating expressions. Using a sophisticated palette of saturated yet calming hues, the artist creates quotidian images of people he sees daily in colourful dreamlike voids. With complex form and gesture that highlights repose and elegance, there is a palpable softness and nuance that appears in Bosah’s work. In this series the artist deviates from his signature motif of broad white stripes that abstract the gestures of the lower body; this time exploring what it means to include the details that sometimes reveal the subject just as much and often-times more, than they take away. The artist dives deep to the self-affirming expressions of beauty, and adornment while grappling with the daily life of a young Nigerian person in response to the consequent pressure and violence in the country. 

Bosah often paints his friends and takes full control of his subjects' gaze by depicting a direct and penetrating gaze. The power of the gaze in Bosah’s portraiture works is so strong that it can affect viewers as deeply as if the subject of the portrait were actually staring back at them. He does this by painting his subjects in an intimate glare, which can feel as if we are intruding on a moment between the artist and subject, or between the subject and the recipient of the painting. In this case, this intrusion into the intimate is the exact purpose of this body of work.  

A Solemn Chronicle of Believers is a body of work which exudes simplified realism and the artist draws us into a moment in which we might not otherwise participate in; he envelops the viewers in an intimacy that would not be normally possible. Bosah wants us to understand the plight of his community while appreciating the journey towards believing everything will turn out okay. 

Installation Views