Kelani Abass (b. 1979) studied at the Yaba College of Technology, Lagos, graduating in painting with distinction. He has taken part in several residencies and workshops including Malt Air, Maltfabrikken, Ebeltoft, Denmark, 2020, Headlands Center for the Arts, San-Francisco, California, 2018, Summer Academy of Fine Art, Salzburg, Austria, 2014, History/Matter, Centre for Contemporary Art, Lagos, Nigeria. 2012. His recent body of work explore the importance of material inheritance and interrogate how past and present coalesce. He attempt to make a statement of the future that concedes the interdependence of different moments, investigating the possibilities inherent in painting, photography and printing using archival materials to highlight personal stories against the background of social and political events which also engage time and memory.
His work “Colonial Indexticality” is part of the [Re:] Entanglements: Colonial Collections in Decolonial Times exhibition at the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, Cambridge. London, currently showing until 17 April 2022.
Kelani has been selected to present his work at the forthcoming 5th International Biennale Casablanca.
He has won several awards and prizes including First prize in painting of the Caterina De Medici/3rd Black Heritage Prize (2010).
Recent solo exhibitions include ‘IRANTI, 31 project, Paris, France, 2020’ ‘[Re:] Entanglements, Contemporary Art and Colonial Archives’, National Museum Lagos. 2019 ‘if I could save time’, Centre for Contemporary Art, Lagos. 2016, ‘Aso Igba’ Art Clip Africa, Lagos. 2016, ‘Asiko’ Centre for Contemporary Art, Lagos (2013); ‘Man and Machine’ Omenka Gallery, Lagos (2011) and ‘Paradigm Shift’ Mydrim Gallery, Lagos (2009).