Text by Sean O’Toole
Jake Aikman works intuitively with a limited color palette, scale, and repetition, Jake Aikman produces work that captures the enigma and liminality of an isolated moment, arrested in time. His restricted palette broadens through a vast range of subtle shifts and variations in tone and hue, allowing the eye to drift slowly, uninterrupted, across the canvas to meditate on the redemptive qualities of the artist’s viridescent spectrum.
Jake Aikman was born in London in 1978 and currently lives and works in Cape Town, South Africa. He obtained his Masters of Fine Arts (specializing in painting) in 2008 from the Michaelis School of Fine Art, University of Cape Town, after completing his Bachelor of Fine Arts in 2005. Aikman had his first solo exhibition, “This Must Be The Place”, in 2006 at Everard Read Gallery, Cape Town. Since then, he has presented six solo exhibitions including Echoes in 2009, Proximity in 2011, and “At the Quiet Limit” in 2013 at SMAC Gallery. His solo exhibition “Confini Velati/Veiled Boundaries” was presented in 2014 in Rome following a residency in Trevignano Romano in Italy, which was facilitated by the Centro Luigi Di Sarro. Aikman presented his sixth solo exhibition Haunt, at SMAC Gallery in Johannesburg, earlier in 2017.
In 2009 Aikman exhibited in “L’Anima Del Acqua: The Spirit of Water” an exhibition presented as part of the 53rd Venice Biennale. He was also an invited artist for the 4th Beijing International Art Biennale and exhibited in “Paralleli”, an official exhibition to the 2nd Sabbionetta Biennale in 2010, and the Olympic Fine Arts exhibition Creative Cities Collection that was held at the Barbican Centre in London in 2012.
Jake Aikman took part in the “ArtUnitedUs” urban art project, where he painted a striking three-story mural on the side of a building in Kiev, Ukraine. The art project collaborates with communities to raise public awareness of issues around war, aggression, and violence. In 2017 was included in SMAC Gallery’s presentation at the 1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair in London.
During May 2018 presented “Vestiges”, a solo show at Suburbia Contemporary, Granada, Spain; in 2020 participated at the group exhibition “Surrounding” at Suburbia Contemporary – Satellite, Florence and in 2021 was present at “Urban Environments and Imaginary Spaces” in Suburbia Contemporary, Barcelona.
With Suburbia Contemporary, Aikman participated at the following art fairs: The Others Art Fair – Turin 2018, Solo Show at ArteFiera Bologna 2019, Art Verona 2019, Investec Cape Town Art Fair 2020, Future Fair New York 2020, Investec Cape Town Art Fair Digital Event 2021, Swab Barcelona Art Fair 2021.
in 2021, Jake Aikman had a solo exhibition, Still the light reaches us, with a text by Matteo Innocenti, in Suburbia Contemporary, Barcelona. In 2022 he participated at the ICTAF Investec Cape Town Art Fair 2022, Future Fair New York 2022, Chelsea, NYC.