New Telegraph

September 30, 2023

Art Pantheon lifts Akintunde’s autovista of futuristic design

Designer and architect, Adedapo Paul Akintunde, is the latest creative professional in The Art Pantheon’s space, as his solo exhibition of car and concept designs opened last Sunday at The Art Pantheon on Oniru, Lagos. The exhibition, titled; Autovista: African Vehicle Visions, offers drawings and designs to chart a broader vision for the automotive and creative industries in Nigeria. Akintunde described his style as full of dynamism, adding that his designs “look like things already in motion,” and that “this propulsive mindset is what drives Autovista; the movement is forwards.”

He added: “All my works have about them a certain dynamism; they look like things already in motion.” No doubt, Akintunde’s versatility across art and design oozes in his works that traverse the medium of painting on canvas and paper works of watercolour. Among such pieces of works on display are ‘Circa’ (acrylic on canvas, 2021, 51x20cm); ‘Trika 2’, (ink and watercolour on paper, 2020, 28 x 41 cm); ‘Regional Character’ (acrylic on canvas, 2021, 41 x 61 cm); ‘Green Revolution’ (acrylic on canvas, 2019, 51 x 120cm); and ‘Colourway On the Highway’ (acrylic on canvas, 2021, 41 x 61 cm). Director at The Art Pantheon, Nana Sonoiki, explained that Autovista is “a truly unique exhibition in Nigeria’s history,” creating “a space to engage with art as a catalyst for technological advancement and national progress.” According to Sonoiki, “in this vision of the future, the designs in Autovista are informed by the here and now.” In the catalogue of the exhibition, Joseph Omoh Ndukwu, tracked the progression of automotive technology in Nigeria, noting that, “It has been a long road building the automotive industry in Nigeria, and still more has to be done. Beginning in the 1950s, Nigeria started to have cars assembled in the country. Starting with companies like the Federated Motors Industries and SCOA Nigeria Plc., Nigeria had operational assembly lines manufacturing Bedford TJ trucks and Peugeot pickup trucks.

Production improved in the 1970s with Volkswagen and Leyland becoming more dominant in the market. In the 1980s, however, things started to take a dip due to economic downturns.” On the exhibiting designer, Ndukwu disclosed that dynamism, movement, propulsion and advancement, are words that inform the style and consciousness behind the works in Autovista: African Vehicle Visions.

“A propulsive mindset, quite simply, is driven by an ethos that is interested, more than anything, in moving things from where they are to where they ought to be. The movement is forwards, but it is forward- moving in a way that is mindful of the present. ”The designer that would be relevant in the future, that would hope to keep his place, must engage rigourously with the world as he currently knows it.

It is why Akintunde’s statement; ‘‘I am making cars for here,’’ made in the same Netflix interview, caught me as noteworthy. It has an implied yet powerfully audible ‘now’. Even as the future is in view, the present is continually engaged,” Ndukwu wrote. Akintunde is the Managing Director of Ivixi Design Movement Limited. He studied Architecture at the University of Lagos, graduating with distinction in his final year design studio presentation.

He studied Vehicle Design at the Royal College of Arts, London, graduating in 1994. After studying car design and working in the UK for some time, he returned to Nigeria and to architecture, rising to become the Group Creative Design Director of Design Union Consulting and a director of several other architectural establishments. The Art Pantheon, founded by Nana Sonoiki, announced its entry into the Nigerian art scene with ‘Metala,’ a solo exhibition by Dotun Popoola at The Grandeur Hotel, Oniru, Lagos.

In December, 2020, making a successful debut exhibition with Adeyinka Akingbade’s solo exhibition titled; ‘State of Mind’, in June, 2021. Art Pantheon is a strong player in African art economy as it specialises in exhibitions, documenting private and corporate collections and offering appraisals as well as valuations for insurance and market evaluations. The exhibition will run till Sunday April 10.

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