ruby onyinyechi amanze
Chasing relentlessly after fading things - The Birth of BLACK, audre marries its indigenous self - Shadows validate existence (ada and Twin find ground)
ruby onyinyechi amanze
with the galaxy beneath her, she remembered the magic of soaring amidst coconut clouds
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.
ruby onyinyechi amanze (b. 1982, 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.
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.
Most recently, amanze completed two-year long residencies at the Queens Museum and as part of the Drawing Center’s Open Sessions Program, both in New York. She has exhibited her work internationally in Lagos, London, Johannesburg and Paris, and nationally at the California African American Museum, the Drawing Center and the Studio Museum of Harlem. In 2019, amanze was named the Deutsche Bank Featured Artist at Frieze New York.
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 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.
amanze currently resides between Philadelphia and Brooklyn, but calls multiple places home.