Joy Labinjo - 20th Century & Contemporary Art Day Sale London Wednesday, June 29, 2022 | Phillips

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  • 'It’s important to me that they are relatable.' —Joy LabinjoBridging the themes between heritage and identity, Joy Labinjo’s work amplifies Black voices and reflects on her mixed British/Nigerian background, as well as her experiences growing up in London. With her compositions showcasing uses of bold block colours and contrasting tones, Labinjo’s body of portraits reflect on the importance of family and emphasise the strong emotional ties and cultural foundations cultivated at home.

    Exhibited at her solo exhibition, Joy Labinjo: Recollections at Tiwani Contemporary in 2018, the present work Visiting Great Grandma, depicts family members huddled close together as if posing for a photograph, highlighting Labinjo’s method of studying and drawing from family albums. In paying close attention to the traditional African clothes worn by the two adult female figures, the presence of ‘gele’s’, large head wraps, specifically aim to celebrate Black women. Using mediums such as household paint, Labinjo physically weaves the essence of the family home into her paintings. Similarly, her energetic technique of working large scale aims to monumentalise the Black figures she paints. 

    Consistently campaigning for the exposure of Black creatives and communities, Labinjo’s recent successful enterprises include her commission for the Brixton London Underground in 2021, marking the relationship between memory and belonging in the Afro-Caribbean neighbourhood of London. Her new exhibition, Joy Labinjo: Ode to Oludah Equiano at Chapter in Cardiff, honours the lives of pre 20th century Black British groups and individuals and runs from the 26 March – 3 July 2022.

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    • Description

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    • Provenance

      Tiwani Contemporary, London
      Acquired at the above sale by the present owner

    • Exhibited

      London, Tiwani Contemporary, Joy Labinjo: Recollections, 7 November - 21 December 2018

    • Literature

      'Joy Labinjo', Wall Street International Magazine, 30 October 2018, online (illustrated)
      Louise Benson, 'Fresh Portrayals and Family Scenes in the Paintings of Joy Labinjo', Elephant Art, 14 November 2019, online (illustrated)


Visiting Great Grandma

signed, inscribed and dated 'Joy Labinjo 2018 joy' on the reverse
oil and household paint on canvas
145.7 x 194.9 cm (57 3/8 x 76 3/4 in.)
Painted in 2018.

Full Cataloguing

£30,000 - 50,000 ‡ ♠

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Simon Tovey

Specialist, Associate Director, Head of Day Sale, 20th Century & Contemporary Art
+44 20 7318 4084

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20th Century & Contemporary Art Day Sale

London Auction 29 June 2022