Jadé Fadojutimi - 20th Century & Contemporary Art Evening Sale London Thursday, March 3, 2022 | Phillips
  • 'A lot of my works are layered in what I am, or who I am. What I think things should be or shouldn’t be.'
    —Jadé Fadojutimi

    One of the most exciting and in-demand artists working in Britain today, Jadé Fadojutimi is best known for her exhilarating, large-scale compositions which occupy a strange, shifting terrain between figuration and abstraction. Absorbing, rhythmic, and strikingly beautiful, the diaphanous layers of colour and complex spatial arrangements of My Blanket has a Possessive Nature are cornerstones of the artist’s evolving style, and highly revealing of the ways in which form, colour, and texture combine in her works to generate unique ‘emotional landscapes’. As the title’s emphasis on the autobiographical suggests, Fadojutimi uses the objects around her as a means of exploring the fabric of identity itself, and while her work is conceptualised ‘as a diary of my life’, it is her studio that reveals itself ‘as a diary of my childhood.’i


    In the Studio


    Ahead of the 2021 Liverpool Biennale Jadé Fadojutimi discusses her practice and the objects and ideas that inspire her in her London Studio.


    Like Henri Matisse’s vibrant interiors, Fadojutimi’s studio brims with colour, texture, and pattern, material elements that find their ways into her paintings in the production of complex immersive environments. Conceiving of her paintings as transparent windows reflecting the superimposed image of herself and the world beyond her, Fadojutimi transposes identity and experience into accents of pure colour, creating worlds where ‘each line, each colour is an act of translation from a mood to a mark.’ii

    Filled with verdant green houseplants, richly patterned throws and furnishings, and an assortment of toys, clothes, and sweeping cinematic soundtracks, Fadojutimi has described how she consciously designed her studio to feel like her bedroom – a familiar, comfortable space steeped in nostalgia and an emotional resonance that is clearly communicated in the present work. With its emphasis on the kind of protection, comfort, and warmth associated with childhood, the blanket of the title here strikes a deeply personal note that recalls the artist’s discussion of her 2017 painting When Teddy Left. A toy that the artist has had with her since birth, Teddy represents a deep emotional attachment for Fadojutimi, an intensity of feeling that she was able to harness to explore profound sensations of trauma and loss in the execution of the work. Similarly, it is the title of the present work which anchors our narrative approach to the piece, and while the titular blanket itself hovers at the edge of abstraction, its emotional reality is deeply felt.

    Making and Mending: Textiles and Identity

    'My first textile piece, Clustering Thoughts, has allowed me to work with a medium that has sparked my curiosity for a while. I believe in the power of colour, the power of thought and the will to express and converse through any medium that spurs you into conversation, whether that be with yourself, your surroundings, or the people around you.'
    —Jadé Fadojutimi

    Fascinated by fabric and fashion and the ways in which we weave our own complex narratives around ourselves, the language of craft and textile work is surprisingly well-suited to a discussion of Fadojutimi’s practice. As in her paintings, textile work draws fruitfully on the personal and on the maker’s immediate environment, playing with abstraction, colour, pattern, touch, and memory in its production. Themes and motifs familiar to textiles recur across her paintings in the form of looping ribbons, bows, and the trapezium of the patterned blanket occupying the centre of the present work. Turning her hand to fabric directly in 2019, Fadojutimi made these connections more explicit.

    Recalling the bold abstractions and compositional complexity of Anni Albers' work and the deeply personal narrative power of Faith Ringgold’s Story Quilts, My Blanket has a Possessive Nature moves beyond the representation of a specific object to a more nuanced investigation of the emotional resonance of colour and memory.


    Anni Albers, Pictorial Weaving, 1953, Detroit Institute of Arts, Michigan. Image: © Detroit Institute of Arts / Bridgeman Images, Artwork: © 2022 The Josef and Anni Albers Foundation/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/DACS, London


    Dominating the centre of the composition, a flurry of alternating brush marks executed in hues of vibrant oranges, slate greys, and flashes of white create a striking chequerboard effect. The energy and variety of these marks generates a concentration of rhythmic energy and vitality which is especially pronounced against the pale washes of pearlescent shades of pinks, mint greens, and sherbet yellows that surround it. Highly typical of Fadojutimi’s virtuoso treatment of paint, the shimmering translucency of these passages are the result of the artist’s use of Liquin, a thinning agent that dries fast and hardens the surface to a high sheen. Well-suited to her intensive and expulsive working practice, manipulating her materials in this way allows the artist to move paint freely and quickly across the canvas, creating a startling internal luminescence that has often drawn comparison to the effects of stained glass, or running water.

    Pulled between figuration and abstraction and offering such a raw presentation of the interface between public and private worlds, My Blanket has a Possessive Nature offers a profound reflection on what it is to make and be made, echoing a long and poignant history of quilt making as much as it reflects on a more opaque, personal narrative. Executed in 2018, just one year after her graduation from the Royal College of Art and in the same year that she exhibited alongside Faith Ringgold at the Armory Show in New York, My Blanket has a Possessive Nature belongs to highly significant period in the formation of the artist’s painterly language. Tellingly, the first work of Fadojutimi’s to enter the Tate’s permanent collection - I Present Your Royal Highness – also dates from this period and has firmly secured Fadojutimi’s reputation as a formidable talent and leading voice in the contemporary British art scene.



    Faith Ringgold, Street Story Quilt, 1985, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. Image: © The Metropolitan Museum of Art/Art Resource/Scala, Florence, Artwork: © Faith Ringgold / ARS, NY and DACS, London 2022


    Collector’s Digest


    •    At just 28 years old, Jadé Fadojutimi is the youngest artist to be represented in the Tate’s permanent collection. A graduate of the Slade School and the Royal College of Art in London, her work is also included in major international collections including the Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami, the Musée d’Art Moderne de Paris, the Baltimore Museum of Art and The Hepworth Wakefield, West Yorkshire.


    •    After her first institutional show at Peer, London in 2019, Fadojutimi has gone on to present work in a series of key locations. Recent exhibitions include her American institutional debut at the Miami Institute for Contemporary Art, and the upcoming presentation of works at The Hepworth Wakefield, West Yorkshire and the Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo in Turin later this year.


    •    Presented at Phillips London last October, Myths of Pleasure represents the highest price achieved for Fadojutimi’s work at auction.


    •    Jadé Fadojutimi has recently been selected to participate in La Biennale di Venezia, curated by Cecelia Alemani and due to be held later this year.


    i Jadé Fadojutimi, quoted in Katy Hessel, ‘27-Year-Old Painter Jadé Fadojutimi is in a League of Her Own’, Vogue, 31 August 2020, online.

    ii Jennifer Higgie, ‘From Life – Thoughts on the Paintings of Jadé Fadojutimi’, Jadé Fadojutimi, Jesture, London, 2021, pp. 10-11.

    • Provenance

      Pippy Houldsworth Gallery, London
      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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Property from an Important Private Collection


My Blanket has a Possessive Nature

signed and dated 'Jadé Fadojutimi Oct '18' on the reverse
oil on canvas
180.5 x 180.7 cm (71 1/8 x 71 1/8 in.)
Painted in 2018.

Full Cataloguing

£120,000 - 180,000 ♠†

Sold for £529,200

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20th Century & Contemporary Art Evening Sale

London Auction 3 March 2022