ruby onyinyechi amanze
Gallery News for ruby onyinyechi amanze
ruby onyinyechi amanze nominated for drawing prize
ruby onyinyechi amanze was one of 5 finalists shortlisted for the 2016 Prix Canson drawing prize, and her work, along with that of the other finalists, was exhibited through the month of June at the Drawing Center in New York.
Until 31 December amanze’s work is included in the group exhibition L’Autre Continent: Artistes, Femmes, Africaines at the Museum du Havre in France. She also participates in the group show The Ease of Fiction at the California African American Museum, from 19 October to 19 February 2017.
Goodman Gallery Johannesburg
19 November – 19 December 2015
An odd combination of two essential elements, SALT WATER symbolizes the diffuse and mysterious realm inhabited by ruby onyinyechi amanze’s cohort of hybrid forms. In her first solo show at the Goodman Gallery, amanze’s large-scale drawings foreground her concern with metamorphosis and imagination as a lense through which multiple and often, disparate layers of meaning, histories, and forms can be simultaneously read.
The world within the drawings, alludes to a non- specific, boundaryless place and time. Instead, there is a sense of exemption, as detached characters float in a vast timeless expanse. Existing somewhere between constructed reality, fantasy, memory and imagination, these distinct beings find authenticity, wholeness and freedom in their ability to equally belong nowhere and everywhere.
With a background in textiles, photography and printmaking, amanze’s current practice is deeply centered in her first love, drawing. There is an ephemeral quality to her drawing and she delights in the materiality of her medium (mainly, paper, graphite ink and photo transfers). Seen in the gallery, her organic forms, hybrid anatomies, and graphic patterns coalesce in capricious narratives that no digital reproduction can match.
For amanze the work is “as much about beauty and make-believe, as it is a commentary on cultural hybridity” and it “isn’t social science, it’s magic-realism and the power of drawing to invent worlds for ourselves.” SALT WATER offers a metaphor through which to understand the oddity, absurdity, subtlety and power of elements that naturally co-exist in the world.
amanze is a Nigerian-born artist, who spent her formative years in Britain before relocating to the United States. She currently lives and works in Brooklyn, New York City. amanze graduated with a Masters of Fine Art from the Cranbrook Academy of Art (Michigan) in 2006 and in 2012/2013, was a Fulbright Scholar Recipient in Art at the University of Nigeria. amanze has been included in numerous exhibitions in Nigeria, US, the UK, and the Netherlands.
Goodman Gallery Johannesburg
Johannesburg Art Gallery
17 November 2016 – 17 December 2017
ruby onyinyechi amanze / Ghada Amer / Kajahl / Stan Douglas / Brendan Fernandes / Theaster Gates / Eric
Gottesman / Lyle Ashton Harris / Alfredo Jaar / Ayana V Jackson / Rashid Johnson / Julie Mehretu / Wangechi Mutu / Paulo Nazareth / Odili Donald Odita / Dawit L. Petros / Valerie Piraino / Daapo Reo / Tabita Rezaire / Mikhael Subotzky / Carrie Mae Weems / Kehinde Wiley
As part of its ongoing In Context series, Goodman Gallery is pleased to announce the forthcoming exhibition Africans in America and the concurrent academic conference Black Portraiture[s] III: Reinventions: Strains of Histories and Cultures, along with a series of events happening throughout Johannesburg. The citywide initiative will take place from November 2016 through January 2017.
In 2010, Goodman Gallery director Liza Essers launched In Context, an innovative curatorial platform to bring together a diverse group of international artists who share a rigorous commitment to the dynamics and tensions of place in reference to the African continent. A signature programme within the gallery, In Context activates the city of Johannesburg as a locus of contemporary art practice, ideas and discourses. In Context takes place in Johannesburg in the absence of an officially funded citywide biennial. Goodman Gallery takes great pleasure in facilitating the exhibition Africans in America and spearheading the Black Portraiture[s] III conference. These events play a vital part in addressing gaps in art history, rewriting it from diverse perspectives, a central pursuit within the In Context series.
Conceptualised and curated by artist Hank Willis Thomas and Liza Essers, Africans in America aims to speak to the flows, exchanges and continuities between the continent of Africa and the United States. The exhibition will take place across two spaces in the city, Goodman Gallery in Parkwood and the Johannesburg Art Gallery. Artists featured include Ghada Amer, Theaster Gates, Alfredo Jaar, Julie Mehretu, Wangechi Mutu, Odili Donald Odita and Kehinde Wiley, amongst others.
The exhibition is aligned to the important Black Portraiture[s] III initiative convened by Deborah Willis (New York University), Henry Louis Gates III (Harvard University) and Brett Pyper (University of Witwatersrand). The seventh in a series of conversations about imaging the black body, the 2016 edition is the first to be held on the African continent. The conference, which has attracted an impressive list of international panelists, opens up a forum for artists, activists and scholars from around the world to share ideas on a range of subjects, from historical topics to current research on South African art and activism and related themes affecting the global African diaspora.
Hank Willis Thomas has been represented by Goodman Gallery South Africa since 2008. Africans in America is the second exhibition he has curated for the gallery. He has become recognised for challenging constructions of race and gender in the United States and South Africa. His art has consistently extended dialogues on African and diaspora identities into significant international arenas, and his important work in South Africa has keyed into local history while driving new visions in the post-apartheid context.
In Context 2016 is a partnership between Goodman Gallery; The Department of Photography & Imaging at the Tisch School of the Arts, New York University; Hutchins Center for African and African American Research at Harvard University; Wits School of Arts at University of the Witwatersrand; United States Mission to South Africa; La Pietra Dialogues/ New York University; New York University Vice Provost for Faculty, Arts, Humanities and Diversity; and Hank Willis Thomas Studio, in association with Phillips; Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts; Studio Museum in Harlem; Wiser Institute; Center for African American Studies/ Princeton University; Johannesburg Art Gallery; Contemporary And, and Art Africa.
Goodman Gallery Johannesburg
4 June – 6 August 2016
In 2016, Goodman Gallery celebrates its 50th anniversary – five decades of forging change through artistic production and dialogue, shaping contemporary art within and beyond the continent. From early June, we will host major exhibitions between our Johannesburg and Cape Town galleries featuring significant work, installations, interventions, performances, a video and talks programmes.
Titled New Revolutions, our programme will include prominent international and African artists – each part of the Goodman Gallery’s history, present and future – engaging with the idea of perpetual change, alternative independent movements and the reinvigorating of ideology based upon mutable historical realities. The project as a whole will consider Goodman Gallery’s history as an inclusive space, as well as its approach to showing contemporary art that shifts perspectives and engenders social transformation.
New Revolutions recalls the fulcrum of activity into which the gallery was borne 50 years ago: revolutionary fervour, the gradual decolonisation of African countries and radical responses to the status quo. Locally, the gallery maintained a responsibility to show work by South African artists as museums served the agenda of the discriminatory government. By transcending its role as a commercial space Goodman Gallery rose to prominence as a progressive institution. And, while South Africa was deep in the throes of a draconian era, figures within the fight for African independence trail-blazed the struggle against apartheid. This exhibition reflects on how the events in Africa then, still play a part in the conceptual thinking of artists now. And, beyond that, how artists have responded to new forms of economic colonisation, migrancy, as well as radicalised reactions to economic inequality and lingering institutional racism.
By considering how the roles of artists cross into the realm of activism and socially transformative endeavours, New Revolutions explores historical and contemporary tensions and movements that are unfolding in Africa and around the world, through the panorama of contemporary art.
The 2016 anniversary programme highlights Goodman Gallery’s ongoing affiliation with artists who explore the power of dissent and the importance of alternative factions and cross-disciplinary collaborations in order to engender change and encourage dialogue. A non-chronological, intergenerational but conceptually linked collection of artworks from the 1960s to the present will focus on the spirit of protest, resistance, and revolution, and the way in which South Africa, and Goodman Gallery in particular, has offered an important platform from which to explore such approaches.
On the occasion of its 50th anniversary Goodman Gallery takes pleasure in announcing new partnerships with some of the world’s most significant artists – Sonia Gomes (Brazil), Kiluanji Kia Henda (Angola), Shirin Neshat (Iran) – revealing new directions in the gallery’s programme. Locally, we announce the representation by Goodman Gallery of Tabita Rezaire and The Brother Moves On. In addition, the exhibition will include work by international artists Kapwani Kiwanga (US) and Jacolby Satterwhite (US).
New Revolutions will provide an opportunity to exhibit those who have worked with the gallery for decades including William Kentridge, David Koloane, Sam Nhlengethwa, David Goldblatt and Tracey Rose, and some of the most influential younger voices in contemporary art including Kudzanai Chiurai, Hasan and Husain Essop, Mikhael Subotzky, Gerald Machona and Haroon Gunn-Salie. The show will also include artists who have been integral in the gallery’s transformation over the past decade, including Ghada Amer, Candice Breitz, Alfredo Jaar, Adam Broomberg and Oliver Chanarin, and Hank Willis Thomas. Performances will be presented by local innovators, Nelisiwe Xaba and The Brother Moves On.
Beyond this, the iconic significance of the gallery, and the historical moment necessitates that certain artists whose ideas and actions impacted on society, and on the course of art history, be included. Artists like Walter Wahl Battis, Cecil Skotnes, Ezrom Legae, Leonard Matsotso and Sydney Khumalo are exhibited as part of our endeavour to show how the regeneration of ideas – and the gallery as a repository of change – is not confined to epochs.
With New Revolutions we invite you to celebrate with Goodman Gallery as we pay homage to artists who have shaped the landscape of contemporary art in Southern Africa. These include artists based on the continent, those of the Diaspora, our northern counterparts who have been distanced from sub-Saharan Africa and those from outside of Africa whose work explores territory such as unequal power structures and socio-political constructs.
New Revolutions is curated by Liza Essers and will take place throughout the month of June at our Johannesburg and Cape Town galleries, and with a special selection of works for Art Basel from 16 June to 19 June.
Goodman Gallery Cape Town
23 May – 18 July 2015
ruby onyinyechi amanze, Ghada Amer, Candice Breitz, Virginia Chihota, Ivy Chemutai Ng’ok, Otobong Nkanga, Nkiru Oparah, Tracey Rose, Adejoke Tugbiyele, Mickalene Thomas, Kara Walker, Arlene Wandera, Ellen Gallagher
Speaking Back seeks to reveal deeply significant dimensions of culture and subjectivity, history and struggle, by bringing women together as diverse artists to find out what each in her artistically signified yet gendered/racial/sexual/cultural singularity is offering to the world, to us all. It seeks to attain a more complete knowledge of that world, as it is lived, from multiple positions over time and space.
We have a tendency in exhibitions of work by women to generalise the artists as merely exemplars of a gendered collective: women, a sexualising nomination by which they are, as a category lumped together, their singularity annulled. While the exhibition makes space – conceptually and physically – for women artists, it embraces the potential of aesthetic practice to bring forward the singularity of each person and the variations in her specific symbolic capacities. If there are any generalisations to be made, it could be said that Speaking Back, prioritises narration – the use of particularly chosen aesthetic practices to convey a story to an audience. Not just as storytelling, but as speaking authentically, with vulnerability and strength, about who we are, and about the power of narration and its endless possibilities for reinvention.
Presented for the first time in South Africa, Ellen Gallagher is an acclaimed artist who, starting in the mid-1990s, has united various media with a range of subject matter to explore the place, and places, of African Americans. In Odalisque (2005), one of the artworks in the exhibition, Gallagher takes a photograph by Man Ray of Matisse, substitutes Freud’s head for that of Matisse’s and gives the model who is being drawn (and whose dress suggests that she is from that most sexualised and most sexually unequal context, the harem) the artists own face. Like the artist staring back at him from a reclining body, we confront the image of a great narrator of the universal psychic world attempting – it would appear with some awkwardness – to draw, and hence represent, an individual reality. Odalisque prompts us to consider what we can and cannot represent about others and ourselves.
In another instance, Virginia Chihota’s stunning screen prints urge us to reconsider not only the lives and strategies of individual artists but also the circumstances in which African diasporic female identity, visibility, and history have been produced and transformed. Her obsessive re-exploration of themes, such as, marriage and motherhood is transformed into a body of works that is striking in its symbolic resonance, and rife with allusions to everyday life, and religious and folkloric symbolism. In the series, root of the flower we do not know (mudzi weruva ratisingazive, 2014) our encounter with Chihota is dominated by the black female figure she insistently imagines, demonstrating a method of representing the self differently while exercising her right and desire to confirm and consolidate her identity as artist and her experience as female.
Adejoke Tugbiyele’s multimedia aesthetic practice offers a different take on sexual identity and political freedom –an issue all too familiar to South African audiences through the work of local artists and political activists. Tugbiyele is an emerging Nigerian-American artist and activist who spent her formative years growing up in Lagos, Nigeria. Her series of drawings, inspired by the journalistic fervour in Lagos during the passing of Nigeria’s anti-gay laws in 2014, draws attention to the self-righteous moralising inherent in contemporary media narratives surrounding the bill and her conceptual sculpture, Unpray the Flesh (2013) investigates religious complicity in the persecution of marginalised groups through the conjoining of religious symbolism with phallocentric worship. In AfroOdyssey V: Demons Contained, a performative video piece, Tugbiyele delves into her own sexual identifications and the narrative ramifications of ‘coming out,’ for familial and cultural histories.
New York-based artist Mickalene Thomas is best known for her elaborate paintings composed of rhinestones, acrylic and enamel which articulate complex visions of what it means to be a woman and expands stereotypical definitions of beauty. Her film about her mother, former fashion model Sandra Bush, demonstrates her ongoing engagement with portraiture as a key to personal and cultural identity. In the process of this extraordinary film, Thomas reveals the complex role of the mother-daughter bond for each woman’s sense of self. Internationally renowned, Otobong Nkanga employs traces of memory and human activity as the sounding board for narration and ‘the performative’ in her work that negotiate the cycle of art between the aesthetic realm of display and a strategies of de-sublimation that push the status of the artwork as contingency. In her artist book, No Be One Story O! (2010) Nkanga makes a radical artistic departure into the realm of literature itself. Based on a series of earlier drawings, Filtered Memories that represent select childhood and adolescent memories of the artist, the book explores the consequences of memory and, simultaneously, the defamiliarisation of the art object.
Speaking Back suggests and invites an encounter with expanded methods of cultural inquiry and the heterogeneity and creativity of contemporary art in the work of the above-mentioned artists as well as that of Ruby Onyinyechi Amanze, Ghada Amer, Candice Breitz, Tracy Rose, Ivy Chemutai Ng’ok, Nkiru Oparah, Kara Walker, and Arlene Wandera.
ruby onyinyechi amanze (b. 1982 in Port-Harcourt, Nigeria) is a Brooklyn-based artist of Nigerian descent and British upbringing whose creative practices and processes focus on producing mixed media, paper-based drawings and works. Her art draws inspiration from photography, textiles, architecture and print-making. For amanze, ‘[paper as a] medium is classic. It’s universal. It’s as old as time, older even than written language. But at the same time, it’s constantly reinventing itself and doing away with former parameters of what it could or could not be’ (amanze, r., Artsy, n.d.), this allows her works to be intricately and beautifully crafted whilst simultaneously permitting her to explore space as a flexible, non-static construct. The malleability of paper facilitates the artistic freedom to redefine and inform existing and new artistic paradigms and investigate the cross-cultural communicative powers of drawing. In her approach to art, amanze’s body of work establishes an introspective dialogue and personal quest in an attempt to materialise her experience of displacement and dislocation. The motifs and symbols of amanze’s works create non-linear narratives which articulate and delve into ideas surrounding free play as an act of revolution and post-colonial, non-nationalism as an accepted norm in western societies.
Nigerian-born, and raised in the United Kingdom, amanze relocated to the United States to study a Bachelor of Fine Art degree at the Tyler School of Art at Temple University in Philadelphia. She graduated summa cum laude and continued her academic career obtaining a Masters degree in Fine Art from the respected Cranbrook Academy of Art in Michigan. Recognised for her academic excellence, in 2012-2013, amanze was the recipient of the prestigious Fulbright Scholars award and was hosted by the University of Nigeria, Nsukka.
Currently, amanze resides in Brooklyn and is the artist-in-residence at the Queens Museum in New York. She regularly exhibits her artworks both nationally and internationally at galleries in New York, London, Johannesburg and Lagos.
2016 Title TBD, Napoleon Gallery, Philadelphia, PA, USA
2015 SALT WATER, Goodman Gallery, Johannesburg, South Africa
2015 astroturf rooftop picnics, Morgan Lehman Gallery, NY, USA
2015 a story. in parts., Tiwani Contemporary, London, UK
2015 Magic, Omenka Gallery, Victoria Island, Lagos, Nigeria
2014 Telling Truths, Speaking Secrets, Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, Ohio, USA
2014 merge, Nomad Gallery, Belgium, Washington D.C., USA
2012 Waiting for the Queen, Dyker Gallery, Brooklyn Academy of Music, Brooklyn, NY, USA
2006 All the Things I Never Said, Forum Gallery, Cranbrook Academy of Art, MI, USA
2016 In Context: Africans In America, Goodman Gallery, Johannesburg, South Africa
2016 The Ease of Fiction, California African American Museum, California, United States of America
2016 The Other Hemisphere, Artists, Women, Africans, Natural History Museum of Le Havre, France
2016 New Revolutions: Goodman Gallery at 50, Goodman Gallery, Johannesburg, South Africa
2016 The Ease of Fiction, Contemporary Art Museum, Raleigh, NC, USA
2016 KIN, Hanger, Lisbon, Portugal
2015 Speaking Back, Goodman Gallery, Cape Town, South Africa
2015 No Such Place, Edward Tyler Nahem Gallery, NY, USA
2014 In Sheep’s Clothing, Gallery 220, Brooklyn, NY, USA
2014 BRIC Biennial, Volume I, Bric Arts Gallery, Brooklyn, NY, USA
2014 Mutations, Tiwani Contemporary Gallery, London, UK
2014 I See You; The Politics of Being, Harvey B. Gantt Center, Charlotte, NC, USA
2014 Drawn Truly, Corridor Gallery, Brooklyn, NY, USA
2013 Select Fair – Art Basel, Rush Arts Gallery [New York], Miami, FL, USA
2013 Six Draughtsmen, Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts, Brooklyn, NY, USA
2013 no one belongs here more than you, Centre for Contemporary Art, Lagos, Nigeria
2013 Crossing The Line; Contemporary Drawing, Mixed Greens Gallery, New York, NY, USA
2013 Department of Fine and Applied Arts Faculty Exhibition, UNN, Nigeria
2012 Neither Here, Nor There, Brooklyn Public Library Flatbush, Brooklyn, USA
2011 Part II, Causey Contemporary Gallery, Brooklyn, NY, USA
2011 The Salon, Greenpoint Gallery, Brooklyn, NY, USA
2010 Paint&Print; a Portfolio Project, Amsterdams Grafisch Atelier, The Netherlands
2010 Exchange VI: Contemporary Prints; West Gallery, Purdue University, IN, USA
2010 Multiplicities of Syntax; Cora Stafford Gallery, University of North Texas, USA
2010 Transforming Technology; SGC Philagrafika 2010 Print Conference, University of the Arts, Philadelphia, PA, USA
2009 One Night Stand; Main Line Art Center, Haverford, PA, USA
2008 From Taboo to Icon; Ice Box Gallery; Crane Arts, Philadelphia, PA, USA
2008 Works on Paper, Philadelphia Sketch Club, Philadelphia, USA
2007 Works on Paper, Muse Gallery, Philadelphia, PA, USA
2007 Works on Paper, South Shore Art Center, Cohasset, MA, USA
2006 M.F.A. Graduate Thesis Exhibition. Cranbrook Art Museum, MI, USA
2006 All About Me, Open End Gallery, Chicago, IL, USA
2005 Self Location, Third Generation. Forum Gallery, Cranbrook Academy, USA
2004 Cranbrook /Wayne State Graduate Exchange, Community Arts Gallery, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI, USA
2015-Present Visiting Assistant Professor [Drawing], Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, NY
2011-2014 Adjunct Faculty, Essex County College Art Department, Newark, NJ
2012-2013 Fulbright Lecturer [Drawing] University of Nigeria, Nsukka
2011-2013 Drawing Instructor, Long Island University, Brooklyn, NY
2008-2010 Teaching Artist, The Fabric Workshop and Museum, Philadelphia
2009 Visiting Lecturer of Photography, Ursinus College, Collegeville, PA
2008-2009 Teaching Artist, Berman Art Museum, Ursinus College
2007-2008 Drawing Instructor, Tyler School of Art, Temple University
2008 Instructor, Art in Continuing Education, Montgomery County Community College, Blue Bell, PA
2007-09 Adjunct Faculty, Department of Art and Art History, Drexel University Philadelphia, PA.
Workshops and Presentations
2015 The Commoditization of Art, presented at the African Economic Forum, Columbia University, New York, NY
2015 Panelist, Africa Salon- Contemporary African Arts & Culture Festival, Yale University, New Haven, CT
2014 Artist Talk at Tiwani Contemporary, London
2013 This is Us: Process and Practice, Montclair Art Museum, Montclair, NJ
2013 Artist’s Professional Development Workshop, Centre for Contemporary Art, Lagos, Nigeria
2013 Contemporary Directions in Drawing [workshop], Centre for Contemporary Art, Lagos, Nigeria
2013 Contemporary Directions in Drawing, Yaba College of Technology, Lagos, Nigeria
2012 Artist Lecture, University of Nigeria, Nsukka
2011 Making Art Relevant [presentation], Hosted by the New York Alliance of Black School Educators
2010 Contemporary Art of the African Diaspora, [presentation], Hosted by the Adelaide L.Sanford Institute for Research, Development and the Education of Students of African Descent
2004-2006 MFA, Cranbrook Academy of Art, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan
2000-2004 BFA, Summa Cum Laude, Tyler School of Art, Temple University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Awards and Residencies
2016 Shortlisted for 2016 Prix Canson Drawing Prize, The Drawing Centre, New York, United States of America
2015-2016 Artist-in-Residence, Queens Museum, Flushings, New York
2015 Fountainhead Residency, Miami, Florida, United States of America
2014 Workspace Artist-in-Residence, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, New York, United States of America
2014 Artist-in-Residence, Bric Visual Arts Residency, Brooklyn, New York, United States of America
2012-2013 Faculty Fulbright Scholar, University of Nigeria, Nsukka [UNN]
2012 Artist-in-Residence, Gallery Aferro, Newark, New Jersey, United States of America
2011 Artist-in-Residence, Cooper Union, New York, United States of America
2011 Artist-in-Residence, Better Arts Residency, Redwood, New York, United States of America
2014 BRIC Biennial Volume I, exhibition catalogue
2013 Short story: I charge you to leave this body, Manifesta Journal 17: Etude
2013 Article: The Forgotten Art of Drawing, Africa.com
2013 Article: ‘The Underdog; an Ode to Drawing’, HYCIDE journal
2013 Featured artist interview: African Style Daily
2009 Featured artist interview: ‘Visions Fine Art: Spring Edition’
2008 Featured artist interview: Art Journal, University of the Arts, Philadelphia
Press for ruby onyinyechi amanze
ruby onyinyechi amanze / Artsy / December 2015A Nigerian-born artist mediates on displacement and longing in Salt Water by Bridget Gleeson (2.8 MB)