Jadé Fadojutimi - 20th Century & Contemporary Art Evening Sale New York Wednesday, May 17, 2023 | Phillips
  • Jadé Fadojutimi moved to a large studio in South London in 2020. For the young artist, painting is an intense experience, both physically and emotionally, and this new studio gave the artist the space to create some of her largest and most ambitious canvases to date, The Menstrual Marshland, 2021, included. Looking at the surface of the present work, one can image Fadojutimi, alone in her studio, late at night, with her favorite soundtracks playing.i We can picture how she colors the canvas ground with neon yellow, and brushes in fluorescent orange, green, and blue as she comes into a state of introspection. Then, the dripping, wide strokes of plum purple record a physical action, as Fadojutimi, “dances and runs at the canvas, scales ladders, cries, and sometimes breaks off to write in her diary.”ii The titles of her work, emotional and intimate as her practice (as The Menstrual Marshland indicates), often come to her as she paints. Fadojutimi adds finishing touches of cerulean blue oilstick, in arching shapes like bundles of flower stems, or bunches of hair; her organic forms recall the sculptures of Louise Bourgeois. And so the work comes together: an action painting, all her own.


    Lee Krasner, Celebration, 1960. The Cleveland Museum of Art. Image: © Cleveland Museum of Art / Purchase from the J. H. Wade Fund / Bridgeman Images

    Fadojutimi is, at her core, a colorist, as the astute juxtaposition of pale neons and rich plum in The Menstrual Marshland reveals. But beyond her strong color sensibility, the idea of color permeates every aspect of her life. As she shares, her practice and way of life are one, and painting in such vibrant colors as with The Menstrual Marshland is, for Fadojutimi, a way of working through her identity and lived experiences. As such, she has come to believe that we are all “constantly changing; we’re like continuous, fluctuating color, in a sense,” as we pass through our daily lives.iii

    “Color is everything to me. I translate objects through color; it’s the thing I notice first, and it’s probably the way I make most decisions in my life.”
    —Jadé Fatojutimi 

    The neon colors of The Menstrual Marshland date to an epiphany Fadojutimi had in early 2021. “I started playing with neons because I really love light,” she explains, and by applying neon colors to the ground of the canvas, she was able to uncover a new spectrum of light, a “sharpness” that she found really exciting.iv The Menstrual Marshland reflects this interplay in the passages between dark plum and bright neon, drawn together by the artist’s gestural lines of oilstick.


    The movement of The Menstrual Marshland, the underlying sense of action and play, aligns with one of the artist’s oldest inspirations: anime. One can see Fadojutimi’s engagement with the bright, line-driven style of these Japanese cartoons, especially the anime-style of depicting movement, as in fight scene. Even the neon yellow paired with blue is reminiscent of Sailor Moon, one of the artist’s favorite anime characters.v


    Louise Bourgeois, Maman, 1999. Installed in Paris, France, April 27, 2008. Image: Manuel Cohen / Art Resource, NY

    This childhood connection is essential to Fadojutimi; she crafted her studio to feel like her childhood bedroom, in order to tap into the deep emotional wellspring that is the key to works like The Menstrual Marshland. The emotional intensity behind her work invites comparisons to 20th century powerhouses like Joan Mitchell and Bourgeois. “I just love to share my world with people,” Fadojutimi says.vi The Menstrual Marshland, as part of her painting practice, gives her room to breathe, and she hopes her viewer can find that same feeling of relief and release.


    A studio visit with Jadé Fadojutimi for the Liverpool Biennial, 2021.


    Collectors’ Digest


    • Fadojutimi is a bright star of contemporary British painting; she is the youngest artist to have a work collected by the Tate Modern, with I Present Your Royal Highness purchased in 2019, when the artist was only twenty-six years old.

    • Since then, her works have come to populate numerous public and private collections, including those of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Kunstmuseum Bonn, and the Institute for Contemporary Art, Miami.

    • Building on a history of strong shows at prestigious galleries, museums, and biennials worldwide, Fadojutimi’s most recent solo show was with The Hepworth Wakefield, West Yorkshire, Jadé Fadojutimi: Can we see the colour green because we have a name for it?, Sep. 2022-Mar. 2023 (supported by Gagosian).

    • Her work is currently on display in New Abstracts: Recent Acquisitions at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, through May 29, 2023, and Space for Imaginative Actions at Kunstmuseum Bonn, through Jan. 1, 2024.



    Alex Needham, “‘Painting takes me over – like witchcraft’: Jadé Fadojutimi, art’s hottest property,” The Guardian, Sep. 7, 2022, online.

    ii Ibid.

    iii Jadé Fadojutimi, quoted in “Jadé Fadojutimi – Studio Visit – Liverpool Biennial 2021,” (video interview), online.

    iv Ibid.


    vi Fadojutimi, quoted ibid.

    • Provenance

      Taka Ishii Gallery, Tokyo
      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.

      View More Works


The Menstrual Marshland

signed twice and dated "Jadé Fadojutimi April '21" on the reverse
oil, oilstick and acrylic on canvas
86 3/4 x 118 1/8 in. (220.3 x 300 cm)
Executed in 2021.

Full Cataloguing

$400,000 - 600,000 

Sold for $533,400

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20th Century & Contemporary Art Evening Sale

New York Auction 17 May 2023