Archive | January, 2013

New Work by Nigerian artist VICTOR EKPUK

30 Jan

Fresh off the easel of internationally renowned artist, VICTOR EKPUK!


(Washington, DC b. Nigeria)

“The central theme of my work is the exploration of the relationships, challenges and responses to changes that characterize the human condition. Of particular interest to my project is Nsibidi, an indigenous African system of writing that employs graphic signs, and codes to convey concepts. Inspired by this ancient writings, forms in my works are reduced to basic essence resulting in new symbols or codes in script-like drawings that are used to express contemporary experiences. When combined with Nsibidi signs, these “scripts” also provide the background narrative to my compositions. Most often these narratives are better perceived when they are felt rather than read literally.”            -Victor Ekpuk

Works in selected permanent collections

Smithsonian Institution Nation Museum of African Art, Washington DC

Newark Museum, New Jersey

The World Bank, Washington DC

University of Maryland University College Art Collection

Get to know Nigerian-born artist OSI AUDU

22 Jan
“The dualism of the tangible and intangible is an area of focus in my work…I find scientific, philosophical, and cultural concepts about the nature of consciousness, and the mind/body relation very fascinating. For example, the Yoruba people of Western Nigeria, believe that consciousness, referred to as the head, has both a physical dimension called the outer head, and a spiritual one, the inner head, and that it originates from a place referred to as eternity. It is the visual implications of some of these concepts that I explore in my work.

In my diptych paintings made with acrylic, wool, and graphite on canvas, I use abstract geometric forms that evoke the human head to present the sheer beauty of color and texture in a way that can be viscerally felt, as well as responded to psycho-physiologically by the eyes; and invite viewers to consider the process of visual perception:

If the viewer stares fixedly at the center of the painted panel on the left for about ten seconds, and then transfers gaze to the center of the drawn panel on the right, an after-image will appear in the complementary colors.

OSI AUDU, Figure I_Outer and Inner Self, Green and Blue, 2012, acrylic,wool and graphite on canvas, Diptych, each panel 24x24 ins

OSI AUDU, Figure I_Outer and Inner Self, Green and Blue, 2012, acrylic,wool and graphite on canvas, Diptych, each panel 24×24 ins


My graphite and black pastel drawings titled self-portrait and sequentially numbered, in which I explore the chromatic, light absorbing and reflecting qualities of both mediums, are more about the portrait of the self – that intangible essence of being, and the head as a container of memory, dreams, ideas, and aspirations. ”

-Osi Audu

 OSI AUDU, Self-Portrait I, 2012, graphite and pastel on paper, 23 x 30 ins

OSI AUDU, Self-Portrait I, 2012, graphite and pastel on paper, 23 x 30 ins


Newark Museum

The British Museum

The Horniman Museum

The National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC, USA

Wellcome Trust London

National Gallery, Lagos

Nigerian High Commission, London

Iwalewa-Haus, Universitat Bayreuth, Germany

Schmidtbank, Bayreuth, Germany

Addax and Oryx Group, Switzerland

Swiss Embassy, Lagos

MAYA FREELON ASANTE “Best of the City” in January 2013’s DC Magazine

17 Jan

maya_dc modern lux

Best of the City – January 2013 edition of DC Magazine

by Erin Hartigan, Tiffany Jow, Jennifer Sergent, Karen Sommer Shalett, Tobey Ward and Katie Wilmeth

Washington sails into 2013 boasting – and embracing – a bevy of bests. From beauty, health and style stars to arts, culture and dining headliners, here’s a peek at the scene.


Material Girl

Artist MAYA FREELON ASANTE discovered a stack of water-stained colored paper in her grandmother’s basement in 2005, and her fascination with bleeding paper was born. The 30-year old has since erected countless patchwork quilt-esque spectacles, including a stained-glass-like wonder called “Ubuntu” at the Corcoran and a three-story sculpture at the U.S. Embassy in Madagascar. Now, she’s collaborating on an evening-length theatrical production with her mother, six-time Grammy Award nominee Nneena Freelon, and her mother-in-law, Kariamu Welsh, called The Clothesline Muse and prepping a sitespecific installation for the U.S. Embassy in Jamaica. “Its a blessing to come from a family that’s so inspiring,” says Asante, the daughter of award-winning architect Philip Freelon and granddaughter of famed impressionist painter Allan Freelon.

Visit to view available work by artist  MAYA FREELON ASANTE.

Artist LAUREL HAUSLER and MFA collector KAREN CONWELL SMITH score a 2 page feature in DC Magazine’s “Art and Power” issue

15 Jan

DC Magazine Dec 2012_web Karen_web Laurel_web

Karen Conwell Smith & Laurel Hausler
by Tiffany Jow, December 2012 issue
photos by Greg Powers
“It’s not an exaggeration to say that in certain circumstances, art saves you,” says collector Karen Conwell Smith. While in the midst of a heart-breaking divorce, the Federation of American Hospitals lobbyist attended an opening at Morton Fine Art and was captivated by a painting of an injured WWII-era nurse. “She’s a woman of texture on canvas: a caregiver in her depleted feminine state, gorgeous in her emptiness- I saw her and I wasn’t alone” says Smith. When she confided in the artist, Laurel Hausler, the two discovered a shared understanding of the emotions captured in the aptly titled piece, “First Aid,” which now hangs in Smith’s bedroom. Every piece Smith owns evokes a memory from her past, a theme echoed by Charlottesville-based Hausler’s work. Filled with ghostly characters rendered more sad than scary, her paintings are permeated by everyday emotions in a conscious effort to better understand things broken and unknown. “I try to see the beuty in torment,” says 34-year-old Hausler, a Virginia native who began pursuing art after a stint in New Orleans, where she cultivated a love of folk art. “It was liberating to realize I didn’t have to have a fine-art degree to make beautiful things,” she explains. The layers of paint on her canvases feature lines, scratches, and rips – a symbol of the intense process that goes into each piece. Hausler credits Smith’s patronage with validating her work. “It’s a blessing to feel like your work is appreciated, loved and getting a good home.”

Nathaniel Donnett’s ZZZ’s reviewed

10 Jan
Photo credit: Nathaniel Donnett

Photo credit: Nathaniel Donnett

December 17th, 2012 – Carrie Marie Schneider

ZZzzzzzz by Nathaniel Donnett was the result of his one-week residency at Art League Houston as part of the group show/mini residency STACKS, curated by Robert Pruitt. On opening night for STACKS, the five participating artists—Phillip Pyle II, Nathaniel Donnett, Jamal Cyrus, M’kina Tapscott and Autumn Knight—were clad in gray hazmat suits while they inventoried, announced, axed and fed collected objects that their offerers felt represented “blackness” into a wood chipper. Each subsequent week one of these artists is invited to use the remnants in their own exhibition.

In a panel discussion for ZZzzzzzz, Pruitt framed STACKS as a way to make public and tangible the conversations he’d been having with his peers, as well as a way to defy the lack of expectation and exhibition of rigorous conceptual work and theory-based investigations by black artists, “to show that we talk about what they do not think we are thinking about.” When asked whether continuing to rehash and redefine “Black Art” only continues black artists’ confinement to an expected loop, Pruitt said it is the conversation that matters.

On that note, I’d like to point out that the talk for ZZzzzzzz was rare in two ways: 1. It was a participatory performance work that asked to hear about the participants’ experiences. 2. It was a panel discussion that actually included discussion.

Nathaniel Donnett was the second STACKS artist to have his go. His first choice of medium was time travel, but barring that, dreams were the next best thing.

Inspired by Carl Jung’s writing and his St. Elizabeth experiment (to determine if African Americans had a different consciousness than white Americans), Donnett led a week chock full of investigations around the idea of “Black Imagination.” It started with inviting four people, two artists and two collectors, to spend the night in the gallery space. They slept, attempted to sleep, or cursed Donnett for sleep deprivation to a soundtrack he created from lectures, found sounds and music. “Donnie Darko” also played.

Continue reading the article here

zz n6 donnett photo credit

zz n9 donnett photo credit