• Olalekan Jeyifous: Even in Arcadia...
    Julia van den Hout
    Art Omi, Ghent
    Mar 16, 2024 to Jun 02, 2024
    Art Omi

Olalekan Jeyifous, “Street Marsh,” 2023. Digital collage. Courtesy the artist

This exhibition presents the work of Olalekan Jeyifous, a visual artist and architect whose work explores visions of the future and alternate timelines as a critique of contemporary social structures. In speculative architectural worldscapes, Jeyifous reimagines social spaces that explore the relationships between architecture, community, and the environment. He presents imagined realities that often examine urban issues, politics, art, and popular culture as expressions of the Black diaspora and the disappearing urban ephemera of places like Brooklyn, New York, where his practice is based. Through the presentation of large-scale installations, public artwork, sculptural assembles, videos, and digital collages, this exhibition at Art Omi considers the expanded contexts presented in Jeyifous’s work—both urban and exurban, natural, and artificial—to allow visitors to be immersed the interiority of this imagined reality and its inhabitants.

Olalekan Jeyifous received an undergraduate degree in architecture from Cornell University and is a Brooklyn-based artist whose work reimagines social spaces that examine the relationships between architecture, community, and the environment. He has exhibited at venues such as the Studio Museum in Harlem; The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), New York; the Vitra Design Museum, Rhein, Germany; and the Guggenheim in Bilbao, Spain. In addition to an extensive exhibition history, he has spent over a decade creating large-scale installations for a variety of public spaces and was recently co-commissioned to create a monument dedicated to congresswoman Shirley Chisholm as part of the City of New York’s “She Built NYC” initiative. Olalekan has been a Wilder Green Fellow at the MacDowell Colony and has completed artist residencies with the Drawing Center’s Open Sessions program and the Rockefeller Foundation’s Bellagio Center. He has won numerous awards for his artistic practice, including most recently the Silver Lion for a promising young participant at the 2023 Venice Architecture Biennale, and he is the recipient of a 2021 Fellowship by the United States Artists.

Julia van den Hout is an architecture and design curator, writer, and editor. She is the architecture curator and program director at Art Omi, and founder of editorial and communications studio Original Copy. She was previously the press director at Steven Holl Architects, and a founding editor of CLOG. Originally from Amsterdam, the Netherlands, Julia has an MFA from the School of Visual Arts and a bachelor of arts from New York University. She teaches at Pratt Institute Graduate School of Architecture and is a member of the exhibitions committee at the Center for Architecture/American Institute of Architects New York. In 2014, van den Hout received a Graham Foundation grant for her research on Wallace K. Harrison, entitled “The Egg and the Extrusion.”

Art Omi believes that exposure to internationally diverse creative voices fosters tolerance and respect, raises awareness, inspires innovation, and ignites change. By forming community with creative expression as its common denominator, Art Omi creates a sanctuary for the artistic community and the public to affirm the transformative quality of art. Art Omi is a nonprofit arts center with a 120-acre sculpture and architecture park and gallery, arts education programs, and residency programs for international artists, writers, translators, musicians, architects, and dancers.