Back to EXHIBITIONS

AND SHE WAS LOVE

PAINTINGS BY AKINDELE JOHN

This exhibition is facilitated in partnership with Genre: Urban Arts, with special thanks to Genre’s Creative Director and Owner Nakeysha Roberts Washington, a Woodland Pattern board member.

Akindele-John_Installation_edited_225
Akindele-John_Installation_edited_223
Akindele-John_Installation_edited_222
Akindele-John_Installation_edited_219
And She Was Love

Akindele John, born in 1995 in Ogun State, Nigeria, and currently living in Lagos, focuses his work on women from Africa and the African diaspora. He portrays them in contemplation, draping them in vibrant colors ranging from jewel tones to neon brights.

Akindele began his practice by experimenting with charcoal and liquid acrylic, media which helped him realize that figurative paintings lead us to a better understanding of ourselves as creative, interactive beings. The figures in his works gaze vividly back at us and also engage back-and-forth with one another in nonverbal negotiations.

Akindele’s paintings are distinctive in their use of loose, playful lines and the softness of his brush’s effects. His works pay particular homage to his African-Nigerian identity, with a strong focus on his gratitude for Black feminine expression and identity in African society. One striking feature of his work, for example, is how he captures nappturality, the hairstyles of Black women who have chosen to exclusively wear their hair in a natural, afro-textured state.

Over the past few years, Akindele has developed into a full-time studio artist working across a range of techniques and mediums. His mastery of figurative art brings forth the movement and moods of his subjects, and leaves viewers inspired and mesmerized.

Akindele-John_Installation_edited_238
Beautiful Comforter
Akindele-John_Installation_edited_234
Girl and Rose
Akindele-John_Installation_edited_233
Heart of Love
Akindele-John_Installation_edited_232
To A Skylark
Akindele-John_Installation_edited_231
She’s Love
Akindele-John_Installation_edited_230
The White Cup
Akindele-John_Installation_edited_237
The Blue Story
Akindele-John_Installation_edited_228
We Are Here And Now

For purchase inquiries, please contact Art Director Marla Sanvick at the button below.

We acknowledge that in Milwaukee we live and work on traditional Potawatomi, Ho-Chunk, and Menominee homelands along the southwest shores of Michigami, part of North America’s largest system of freshwater lakes, where the Milwaukee, Menominee, and Kinnickinnic rivers meet and the people of Wisconsin’s sovereign Anishinaabe, Ho-Chunk, Menominee, Oneida, and Mohican nations remain present. 

We further acknowledge the grave evil colonialism introduced to these lands ​through genocide as well as slavery, and also via racist and xenophobic ​beliefs, laws​, and practices that continue to inflict harm upon Black, brown, and Indigenous lives. We honor those who have lived—and do live, now—at these intersections of identity and experience, and are committed to the active dismantling of white supremacy.

Read our statement on racial justice

720 E. Locust Street
Milwaukee, WI 53212
Phone: 414 263 5001

Hours: Tues–Sun | 12-7 pm

Closed Mon

Contactless pick-up: Wed–Fri | 2–6 pm, Sat | 2–5 pm


Building Accessibility: Despite the age of our physical location, and attendant limitations to access, Woodland Pattern is committed to making its programs and facilities available for as many as possible. Please call for more information.

Events Accessibility: Woodland Pattern is able to offer captioning services for its online events and with advanced notice can provide ASL interpretation for live events. Please contact us with accommodation requests and questions.

© Woodland Pattern 2022