Tag Archives: Nnenna Okore

OSI AUDU at SUNY New Paltz’s Dorsky Museum

18 Jan

ART BEAT: Exhibition of work by African artists opens Jan. 24 at SUNY New Paltz’s Dorsky museum

“Rooted” by Nenna Okore.
“Rooted” by Nenna Okore. 

This exhibition shows how contemporary African artists are using abstraction to create works that are thematically or conceptually connected to the continent, and as a way of engaging in a broader conversation about art. Curated by Osi Audu, an artist and independent curator, “Abstract-Minded” will be on view in the museum’s Alice and Horace Chandler Gallery and North Gallery.

The exhibition does more than look for the African in African art; it asks questions about what contemporary African art is, and what it does, in an increasingly global socio-cultural landscape. The artits whose works are featured are Osi Adu, Nicholas Hlobo, Serge Alian Nitegeka, Odili Donald Odita. Nnenna Okore and Elias Simé. For the artists, all born and/or raised in countries in Africa, aesthetic engagement with form is as important as their works’ symbolic, historical, political or conceptual significance.

Audu’s work, described by R.C. Baker as “shape-shifting … space-warping geometric abstraction,” examines complex issues of self-identity and the relationship between the dual aspects of the self (the tangible and intangible), by referencing the Yoruba thought that the human head has both a spiritual dimension (the “inner Head”) and a physical one (the “outer head”).

Hlobo uses stitching and color on paper and other materials, producing abstract forms that could be interpreted as an unconscious attempt to stitch together his divided South Africa. His repetitive process of “suturing” appears to seek the healing of deep wounds; a portrait of a nation at once frightening and beautiful.

Nitegeka, born in Burundi, is inspired by his love of the industrial infrastructure he finds in his home city of Johannesburg, South Africa. His work describes “the long and broad highways, complex flyovers, elaborate use of cast concrete on roads and skyscrapers, and the grid layout of the city centre.”

Odita uses color and pattern to produce visually captivating paintings as a metaphor for his personal experiences and travels, expressing a “desire to speak positively about Africa, and its rich culture.”

Okore’s creative process, informed by the technical practices (weaving, rolling, waxing, twisting, dyeing and sewing) she learned from villagers in her native Nigeria, repurposes discarded materials to create entrancing webs of lines and colors that critique the culture of consumption she observes in her homeland.

Elias Simé draws inspiration from the Addis Mercato, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, widely considered the largest and most vibrant open-air marketplace in Africa. He uses discarded electrical equipment and detritus to produce a patchwork of images and experiences described by Quinn Latimer as “the feverish fusion of a multivalent society.”

“Abstract-Minded” runs through Sunday, April 15. An opening reception will take place Saturday, Feb. 10.

Gallery hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesdays through Sundays, It is closed Mondays, Tuesdays, holidays and intersessions.

Call (845) 257-3844 or visit newpaltz.edu/museum for more information.

Click HERE to view the article in full.

VIEW AVAILABLE ARTWORK BY OSI AUDU.

Or contact Morton Fine Art, 1781 Florida Ave NW, Washington, DC 20009 for artwork by internationally renowned Nigerian artist, OSI AUDU. (202) 628-2787, mortonfineart@gmail.com, http://www.mortonfineart.com

“Abstract Minded” Curator Soiree with OSI AUDU & LAURIE ANN FARRELL at N’Namdi Center for Contemporary Art

14 Nov
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Next Saturday, November 18th join us at a special reception for Abstract Minded.
 Abstract Minded Curator Talk 2-full

Abstract Minded Curator Soiree
with Osi Audu, exhibition curator &
Laurie Ann Farrell, 
curator of contemporary art at the DIA 
Date:  Saturday, November 18, 2017
Time: 2:00pm – 5:00pm
Location: Detroit, MI – The N’Namdi Center for Contemporary Art, 52 E. Forest Ave.

Abstract Minded curator and artist Osi Audu and the Detroit Institute of Arts’ curator and department head of contemporary art, Laurie Ann Farrell discuss the artists, exhibition, and influence of the African Diaspora on contemporary art at this intimate afternoon event.

Refreshments will be served.

Abstract Minded: Works by Six Contemporary African Artists” showcases explorative works by Osi Audu, Nicholas Hlobo, Serge Alain Nitegeka, Odili Donald Odita, Nnenna Okore, and Elias Sime that thematically or conceptually connect to the continent of Africa by pursuing the use of abstraction as a way of engaging the broader conversation about art. The exhibition will be on display through January 6, 2018.

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Osi Audu
Osi Audu is a Nigerian born artist whose work explores the intersections of scientific, cultural and philosophical ideas about the nature of consciousness. His work, which has been shown in numerous international exhibitions including the Kwangju Biennale in Korea, the Africa Africa exhibition in Japan, and the Museum of the Mind exhibition at the British Museum in London; has also been collected by a number of public institutions such as the Newark Museum in New Jersey, The National Museum of African Art in Washington DC, the British Museum, and the Horniman Museum in London. He has presented papers and talks about his work at several international conferences such as the 16th ACASA International Triennial Symposium on African Art at the Brooklyn Museum, New York; The Human Image conference at the British Museum in London, Conversations with a Continent: FIVE AFRICAN ARTISTS at Columbia University in New York; and Next Wave Nigeria: Artists Dialogue at the Newark Museum. His article –Yoruba Concept of the Mind was published in the 2nd edition of The Oxford Companion to The Mind, edited by Richard Gregory. He was a lecturer in Painting and Drawing at the University of Benin for 9 years, and the Head of Art and Design at Sir Joseph Williamson’s Mathematical School in the UK for 11 years. He received an MFA degree in Painting and Drawing from the University of Georgia in Athens, Georgia.  He lives and works in New York.

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Laurie Ann Farrell
Farrell came to the DIA in 2016 in from the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) where she was executive director of exhibitions initiatives. She directed exhibition programming for the SCAD Museum of Art and SCAD FASH, its museum of fashion and film, as well as the university’s galleries in Atlanta, Hong Kong and Lacoste, France. Farrell is currently an art consultant for the new Mercedes-Benz Stadium Art Collection in Atlanta and curator of the first Rolls-Royce art program in North America.
Farrell has curated exhibitions of work by a diverse group of prominent contemporary artists, among them Marina Abramovic, Doug Aitken, Carrie Mae Weems, Yinka Shonibare, Alfredo Jaar, Michael Joo, Sigalit Landau, Stephen Antonakos, Cao Fei, Kader Attia and Yeondoo Jung.
Farrell was curator of contemporary art at the Museum for African Art in New York City from 1998 to 2007, where she curated the exhibitions “Personal Affects: Power and Poetics in Contemporary South African Art” and “Looking Both Ways: Art of the Contemporary African Diaspora.”
In 2006, Farrell organized American participation at Angola’s inaugural Trienal de Luanda with support and funding from the U.S. Department of State. Farrell received the Abraaj Capital Art Prize with artist Kader Attia in 2010, the ArtTable New Leadership award in 2011 and the Southeast Museum Conference 2015 Museum Leadership Award. Farrell is widely published in art journals and has lectured throughout the Americas, Africa and Europe. She earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in art history from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and a Master of Fine Arts in art history and theory from the University of Arizona.



Osi Audu’s curatorial abstract: 

“Abstraction is as indigenous to African visual culture as it is to other parts of the world. The exploration of purely formal elements is not only readily evidenced in the rich traditions of textile designs and other decorative practices from the continent, but is also present in the stylizations of much figurative work from Africa. The six artists in this exhibition, all born and, or raised in countries in Africa, produce work thematically or conceptually connected to the continent by pursuing the use of abstraction as a way of engaging in a broader conversation about art. In our increasingly global existence of the 21st century the world is becoming less and less exotic, and is being experienced more as a sphere of commonalities of being, dreams, fears and aspirations.

Cultural ideas once thought as discrete are now being understood as archetypical, having resonances across the wider world. Aesthetic engagement with form is as important a part of the content of these artists’ works as is their symbolic, historical, socio-political, or conceptual significance.

Among the many questions raised by this exhibition, the overarching one must be the dialectical question:

what is contemporary African art?

Abstract Minded: Works by Six Contemporary African Artists is not simply about looking for the African in African art, it is also about taking a look at what some African artists are doing today in order to get a fuller sense of the current ‘state of things’ in contemporary African art.”  –


Don’t miss the Curator Soiree happening next Saturday, beginning at 2:00pm at the N’Namdi Center!


The N’Namdi Center for Contemporary Art presents diverse, multi-disciplinary and engaging art experiences. It serves to promote and perpetuate the cultural legacy of African-American and African diasporic art, along with art from diverse cultures. Since its conception in 2010, the N’Namdi Center has contributed to the Detroit arts scene by presenting art exhibitions by nationally and internationally renowned artists as well as local and emerging talent.

The N’Namdi Center’s work is based on two core beliefs: that the arts can play an integral role in the revitalization of Detroit, and that a thriving creative community depends upon the participation of a diverse group of artists, organizations and individuals. The N’Namdi Center builds on these beliefs by acting as a catalyst in the development of Detroit’s creative ecosystem, with a continuing focus on African American art and community engagement through the arts.

NNENNA OKORE in “The Contemporaries” at the Wheatbaker in London

21 Oct

 

The Nation logo Nigeria

Contemporaries holds at Wheatbaker

Contemporaries holds at Wheatbaker

As the global art world gathers in London next week for Frieze, tagged one of the “blingiest” art fairs in the world, The Contemporaries, an exhibition showcasing works by eleven cutting edge Nigerian contemporary artists, attracted much interest when it opened at the Wheatbaker boutique hotel, penultimate Monday. It will run till November 13 and is supported by Veuve Cliquot.

The exhibition of 21 paintings, sculptures, drawings, and mixed media works is a timely reflection of current trends in Nigeria and makes stirring and sometimes, tongue-in-cheek, comments about a nation expectant of change. The Wheatbaker’s fall exhibition The Contemporaries, showcases leading and emerging artists including Nnenna Okore, Duke Asidere, Uchay Joel Chima, Gerald Chukwuma, Raoul Olawale da Silva, Anthea Epelle,  Taiye Idahor , Chika Idu , Adeyinka Akingbade, Tony Nsofor,  and Onyeama Offoedu-Okeke.

A kaleidoscope of art that offers fresh perspectives on environment and development issues, feminism, unity, identity, history & tradition, and freedom of expression, draw on the artists’ unique heritage and perspectives. The exhibition is a robust exchange of ideas challenging its audience not to merely “think outside the box”, but to literally “stand on the box” and use it as platform to behold new vistas.

Sculptor and environmental activist, Uchay Joel Chima, whose skillfully crafted charcoal and paper relief addresses rampant environmental degradation and security challenges is juxtaposed  against the masterly paintings of children swimming under-water created by Chika Idu, who tried to escape the nightmare of traffic gridlocked streets by relying on water transportation, only to be confronted with the daily struggles of coastal communities affected by dredging, pollution, flooding and all forms of urban pressure.

Artist, historian and architect Onyema Offoedu-Okeke, presents Obstacles to Paradise on the theme of global migration showing the desperate fragmented surge of humanity across geometric paths of color and symbol, while master sculptor Gerald Chukwuma’s ironic multi-media work,CHOP, created out of an intricate pattern of plastic spoons on wooden slats, makes a strong comment on the social cancer of corruption and the growing gap between Africa’s well heeled elite and the increasingly disadvantaged poor; in the artist’s own words, there is “plenty food, plenty spoons and empty plates”.

“Art reflects society within a constantly evolving socio-political reality,” explains exhibition curator Sandra Mbanefo Obiago, who started documenting the impact of contemporary Nigerian art in 2011 in a five part documentary series, Red Hot Nigerian Creativity, she produced and co-directed. “Its exciting to see how the contemporary art scene is making a positive impact on our international identity and confidence as Nigerians, as Lagos fast becomes one of the most-talked-about emerging global art cities.”

The Contemporaries is offering visitors works which exhibit inspirational bold abstract human forms created by painters Raoul Olawale da Silva and Tony Nsofor, alongside the unusual biomorphic sculptures and installations created by internationally celebrated Nnenna Okore, in which twine, burlap,  and discarded newspapers touch on recycling, transformation and regeneration inspired by natural and man-made conditions within semi rural dwellings.

NNENNA OKORE featured in Blouin Art + Auction

27 Jan

NNENNA OKORE featured in Blouin Art + Auction as “Wise Buys : 50 Women Artists Worth Watching”.

NNENNA OKORE b. 1975 NIGERIA

Nigerian-born, Chicago-based Okore produces tactile works that explore the manner in which abject materials are intertwined in our daily lives. Working with organic media such as burlap, clay, and wax as well as discarded rope and newspaper, Okore weaves, twists, sews and rolls elements to create pieces that are regenerative in nature and evocative of textures found in the natural world. For “Earthbound”, 2011, a trip of earth-toned wall works, Okore wove myriad ceramic beads and cubes onto a burlap ground that was then folded and formed.  For “No Condition is Permanent”, 2013, the artist used newsprint and acrylic to create a transformative work reminiscent of a butterfly emerging from a cocoon. “I am astounded by natural phenomenon that cause things to become weathered, dilapidated, and lifeless,” she has said, “events subtly captured in the fluid and delicate nature of life.”  At auction, her works have commanded in excess of $20,000, a figure in line with her primary market prices, which range from $8,000 to $30,000. Okore’s installations have a highly tactile and sensual quality as well as a powerful presence.

Blouin Art and Auction web

Blouin Okore 2014

NNENNA OKORE in the Wall Street Journal

20 Jan
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Paintings of a Caricaturist, Plus Two Sculptors

David Levine, Nnenna Okore and Juan Muñoz in Fine Art

Nnenna Okore: Twist and Turns

David Krut Projects

526 W. 26th St., (212) 255-3094

Through Jan. 17

‘Transitions’ (2013) by Nnenna Okore.
‘Transitions’ (2013) by Nnenna Okore. NNENNA OKORE/DAVID KRUT PROJECTS, NEW YORK

To Western art-world eyes, a lot of work made by contemporary artists with non-Western backgrounds is technically impressive but aesthetically a little suspicious. That is, we sense it looks good mostly because considerable labor and careful craft have gone into it. Because it often contains exotic or folkish materials, it has a kind of guaranteed visual floor under it. Whatever else happens, it won’t look outrightly bad.

In the hurly-burly of today’s big-city gallery scenes (especially New York’s), this can be a disadvantage. But it is one that the Nigerian-American sculptor, Nnenna Okore (b. 1975) overcomes. Not that Ms. Okore—who is an art professor in Chicago—avoids the problem; she actually doubles down on it.

Having spent an apprentice year under the internationally successful Ghanaian artist El Anatsui (whose fabriclike wall pieces, made of bits of refuse metal in his studio in Nigeria, grace a plethora of modern art museums), Ms. Okore has worked with sewing, dyeing, weaving and other unconventional processes.

For this exhibition, the artist has pared down the materials in her complex, weblike relief sculptures. The three-part, 10-foot-wide “Transitions” (2013), for example, consists of newspaper stiffened and colored with acrylic paint. Ms. Okore’s palette tends toward muted, organic greens and reds and, in some works, black. Although her art’s initial impact is that of the easy good looks that come with craft and applied African traditions, the emotional intensity in this exhibition lifts Ms. Okore’s work to a higher level.

Morton Fine Art at Aqua Art Miami 2014

30 Oct

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Morton Fine Art invites you to attend Aqua Art Miami. For the third consecutive year, MFA will be located in booth #216 at Aqua Art Miami international fine art fair.  

Show Hours

Wednesday, December 3 | 3pm-10pm | VIP Opening Preview Party (for VIP pass holders)

Regular Fair Hours
Thursday, December 4 : 12pm – 9pm
Friday, December 5 : 11am – 9pm
Saturday, December 6 : 11am – 9pm
Sunday, December 7 : 11am – 6pm

Location

Aqua Art Miami – Aqua Hotel, 1539 Collins Ave, Miami Beach, FL 33139

Aqua is located on Collins Ave, a short walk south of Art Basel Miami Beach, across from the Loews Hotel.

Morton Fine Art will be located in Suite 216.

Featured Artists

Maya Freelon Asante (North Carolina, b. USA)

Osi Audu (NYC, b. Nigeria)

Kesha Bruce (France, b. USA)

Ethan Diehl (Iowa, b. USA)

Victor Ekpuk (Washington, DC, b. Nigeria)

GA Gardner (Trinidad, b. Trinidad)

Katherine Hattam (Melbourne, b. Australia)

Choichun Leung (NYC, b. Wales)

William Mackinnon (Melbourne, b. Australia)

Nnenna Okore (Illinois, b. Nigeria)

Andrei Petrov (NYC, b. USA)

Stephon Senegal (Washington, DC, b. USA)

Vonn Sumner (Los Angeles, b. USA)

Charles Williams (North Carolina, b. USA)

Preview the work on the Morton Fine Art website: www.mortonfineart.com

mortonfineart@gmail.com, (202) 628-2787

NNENNA OKORE in Artists of Nigeria – an anthology of Nigerian art by Onyema Offoedu-Okeke

11 Sep

 

 

Artists of Nigeria Cover web

Okore Artists of Nigeria p1 web

Okore Artists of Nigeria p2 web

Okore Artists of Nigeria p3 web

Okore Artists of Nigeria p4 web

 

Visit http://www.mortonfineart.com to view sculptures by internationally renowned NNENNA OKORE.