ruby onyinyechi amanze / there are even moonbeams we can unfold / 2018

About

Goodman Gallery Cape Town
19 May – 16 June 2018

there are even moonbeams we can unfold builds on ruby onyinyechi amanze’s first exhibition with Goodman Gallery, SALT WATER.  Intended as an exhibition trilogy, this second iteration of the body of work adapts its title from a poem by André Breton that speaks to the poetic fluidity of space. The exhibition largely consists of new work, as well as several works on paper produced during a 2016/17 residency at The Drawing Centre in New York.

In her drawings, amanze invites viewers into her ongoing construction of an expansive and timeless alternate world inhabited by a cohort of beings who move through it freely. These beings exist rather than perform, embracing the mundane, the non-specific and the fluid as ultimate freedoms. In narratives typically prescribed to non-European artists, the appearance of human or pseudo-human forms leans heavily on identity as its raison d’être. amanze instead advocates for the imagined construct of space and the nuance of characters that can be read primarily as form and shape. amanze’s characters – ada, audre, merman and others – relate intimately to one another in that regard: shapes that, despite appearing flat, are somehow activated to move, dive and swim in their stillness.

amanze’s interest in magic, play, architecture and design fold together in a way of working that relies on calculation and spontaneity. With a commitment to working with paper and drawing as her medium, amanze transforms the two-dimensional static of paper into a limitless plane of possibility filled with depth, intersection, collision and overlap. This is achieved through various processes, such as a plaster backing on paper, structural armatures and custom frames that serve as three-dimensional translations of the shifting planes visible in the work. Each drawing is a sliver of a whole; an out-of-sequence piece to a narrative with no beginning or seeming end.

When all space is malleable, all space is a suggestion. At their core, this is what amanze’s drawings hold to be true. It is this moveable freedom that guides the placement of each line, each being that appears, each plane of color that has temporarily landed in the drawn world. In a playful shuffle, these parts coexist to create a space that suggests more than it reveals. It is a space whose governing laws are of invention and poetic imbalance – a space where even moonbeams can unfold.

ruby onyinyechi amanze (b. 1982, Port-Harcourt, Nigeria) is a visual artist whose practice is primarily centered around drawing and works on paper. In a non-linear and fluid narrative, her large scaled drawings explore space, play, magic and hybridity. amanze was born in Nigeria in 1982. She immediately relocated to the United Kingdom, where she spent the next thirteen years, prior to moving to the United States. amanze earned her B.F.A., Summa Cum Laude, from Tyler School of Art, Temple University, and her M.F.A. from Cranbrook Academy of Art.

In 2012—2013, amanze was a Fulbright Scholar at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. In 2016, she was selected as a finalist for the prestigious Prix Canson drawing prize. She has exhibited internationally in Lagos, London, Johannesburg and Paris, and in the U.S. at the California African American Museum, the Drawing Center and the Studio Museum in Harlem. She currently resides in New York where she is an artist-in-residence at the Queens Museum and in the Drawing Center’s Open Sessions Program.

  • Swimming in pink gave birth to the moon [when the heart's prisms were beyond enuf]

    ruby onyinyechi amanze

    Swimming in pink gave birth to the moon [when the heart's prisms were beyond enuf], 2016

    Ink, graphite, colored pencils, metallic e...

  • there is abundance

    ruby onyinyechi amanze

    there is abundance, 2016

    Ink, graphite, photo transfers and coloured pencils on paper

    Work: 183 x 260 cm

  • The Gap [and the beams of sun, special ordered on our behalf]

    ruby onyinyechi amanze

    The Gap [and the beams of sun, special ordered on our behalf], 2017

    Graphite, ink, photo transfer, metallic pigment, acrylic on pap...

  • Holding Patterns [for when invisibility fails]

    ruby onyinyechi amanze

    Holding Patterns [for when invisibility fails], 2018

    Graphite, ink, photo transfers, coloured pencils and metallic enamel on paper<...

  • Skies in Odd Places

    ruby onyinyechi amanze

    Skies in Odd Places, 2018

    Graphite, ink, photo transfers and coloured pencils on paper

    Work: 105.4 x 128.3 cm

  • Canopies, Lungs and Effervescence

    ruby onyinyechi amanze

    Canopies, Lungs and Effervescence, 2018

    Graphite, photo transfers, coloured pencils and metallic enamel on paper

    Work: 139 x...

  • Starfish

    ruby onyinyechi amanze

    Starfish, 2016

    ink, graphite, fluorescent acrylic, photo transfers on paper on wood

    Work: 96.5 x 125.7 x 7.62 cm

  • Don't Stay - Diptych Left A
I was never really here  Diptych Right B

    ruby onyinyechi amanze

    Don't Stay - Diptych Left A I was never really here Diptych Right B, 2018

    Diptych Graphite, ink, paper, photo transfers on plaste...

  • The one that feels like air and laces cakes with edible gold

    ruby onyinyechi amanze

    The one that feels like air and laces cakes with edible gold, 2018

    Graphite, ink, paper, photo transfers, colour pencils

    Wor...

  • It's gravity that keeps the grass from flying

    ruby onyinyechi amanze

    It's gravity that keeps the grass from flying, 2018

    Ink, paper and astroturf

    Work: 17.8 x 17.8 cm

  • the secret things that happen in water

    ruby onyinyechi amanze

    the secret things that happen in water, 2018

    Dual-channel video

    Edition of 3

  • bird dance #1 (structural)

    ruby onyinyechi amanze

    bird dance #1 (structural), 2018

    Mounted Inkjet Print on Semi Matte Photo Paper

    Work: 96 x 183 x 23 cm

  • Installation picture [ruby onyinyechi amanze / there are even moonbeams we can unfold / 2018]