Jadé Fadojutimi - 20th Century & Contemporary Art Evening Sale New York Wednesday, June 23, 2021 | Phillips

  • A vibrant tangle of frenzied line against a tawny background, Jadé Fadojutimi’s Untitled, 2018, expresses the effervescent and uncontained energy that has propelled the young artist to the heights of critical success: at just 27 years old, she is currently the youngest artist in the collection of Tate, London. Fadojutimi’s work evades classification as the artist’s compositions reconcile the complicated conflicts of identity and environment.


    Arshile Gorky, Water of the Flowery Mill, 1944. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Image: © The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Image source: Art Resource, NY, Artwork: © 2021 Estate of Arshile Gorky / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

    “Painting fills the gaps in language. There is a lot that I can’t necessarily put into words. When I’m making a painting, unexplained emotions come out. Language acts as a barrier between the work and the person viewing it.” 
    —Jadé Fadojutimi

    Untitled is overtaken by dense ochre webs, imparting a structure to the composition that recalls the synaptic architecture of the brain. Fadojutimi’s practice engages the precariousness of self-permanence and the effect of the exterior on interiority. Often working in fortissimo fits of inspiration, she is informed by the everyday strangeness of life—a familiar street rendered foreign in the dark, an errant feeling of isolation, or au fait occurrences in the exotic—as her otherworldly works illuminate the impact of the outside world on our interiorities, a mode of expression engaging identity to investigate itself.


    Lee Krasner, April, 1957. Private Collection, Short Hills, Artwork: © 2021 Pollock-Krasner Foundation / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

    While her work explores new frontiers in contemporary painting, Fadojutimi operates in a celebrated tradition of painters who fuse the vocabularies of figuration and abstraction. Fadojutimi’s work rightly garners immediate comparisons to Joan Mitchell’s abstract landscapes, but her paintings also share considerable kinship with the surreal early abstractions of Mark Rothko that represented a midpoint between the two aesthetic extremes, a chimeric style that lingers in the interstices between abstraction and figuration.

    "To us art is an adventure into an unknown world, which can be explored only by those willing to take the risk."
    —Mark Rothko

    Like Rothko, Fadojutimi’s deeply psychological work upends common conceptions of what painting can be; she paints between the lines of figuration and abstraction, eschewing exclusive use of one style for a fusion of both. The result is a synesthetic landscape that charts the complicated terrain of lived experience. If Rothko considered his work in Jungian terms, then Fadojutimi’s is decidedly Freudian; describing her painting as a diary of her life, Fadojutimi transliterates subjects more readily felt than articulated, processing deeply held and difficult emotional experiences—alienation, otherness, and inhibition—into ebullient, triumphal forms. An expression of the self in brazen pareidolic abstraction, Untitled celebrates the victory of self-acceptance in the everyday battles of being human.

    • Provenance

      Pippy Houldsworth Gallery, London
      Private Collection
      Acquired from the above by the present owner

    • Artist Biography

      Jadé Fadojutimi

      Jadé Fadojutimi is a British contemporary artist who lives and works in London. A recent graduate of the Royal College of Art, Fadojutimi has seen a precipitous ascent to success: she is the youngest artist represented in the collection of the Tate, London, and has upcoming exhibitions planned for the Hepworth Wakefield and the Liverpool Biennial. Fadojutimi’s work is immersive and all-encompassing, featuring tightly woven lattices of ecstatic pigment and electric line. The raw but bubbly energy of her paintings reflects aspects of the artist’s own interiority, as she treats each canvas as an opportunity to explore undiscovered or under-interrogated aspects of her individuality. Fadojutimi believes that color and personality mingle and encourage one another; the matrices of line and color resemble the psychedelic spindles of neural networks, actualizing the artist’s investigative efforts as visual translations of the artist’s explorations of identity and fluidity.

      Fadojutimi brings a frenetic energy to painting, as many of her works are completed in late-night bursts of creativity; what may start the night as a blank canvas often emerges in the morning as a finished work. Describing her practice in environmental terms, Fadojutimi strives to incorporate the ineffable associations of memory absorbed from the warm moments and special objects of life; taken against the societal backdrop of their creation, Fadojutimi’s paintings shine out as optimistic beacons for dark times.

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signed, signed with the artist's initials and dated "June '18 Jadé Fadojutimi JF" on the reverse
acrylic on canvas
59 1/8 x 47 1/4 in. (150.2 x 120 cm)
Painted in 2018.

Full Cataloguing

$40,000 - 60,000 

Sold for $390,600

Contact Specialist

Amanda Lo Iacono
Head of Auctions
New York
+1 212 940 1278


20th Century & Contemporary Art Evening Sale

New York Auction 23 June 2021