rosenfeld porcini, London: 9 June – 15 July 2017
Private view: Thursday 8 June, 6:30-8:30pm
rosenfeld porcini is proud to announce Ndidi Emefiele’s (*1987 – Abuja, Nigeria) first solo show in London. Over the last nine months, the artist has been working on a new compelling body of mixed media works on canvas that will be for the occasion unveiled across the gallery two-floors. The exhibition will also feature two large-scale paintings that testify to her increasing ambition.
Drawing on cultural, gendered and personal references, Ndidi Emefiele creates layered figurative compositions that obsessively address female identity within contemporary Nigerian society. Yet her narrative has a far wider relevance. Emefiele’s vivid canvases embrace a vision of women as strong, self-reliant characters who exist in relation to each other in a universe where the male is only noticed by his total absence. The women who inhabit her works are in total command of whatever environment they are placed in. Their supremely confident postures are never related to an attempt to obtain any form of male consensus.
The strength of her narrative is given added force by her incorporation of textiles and traditional materials
within the paintings. Through the integration of a plethora of witty visual references in the form of cut-outs
and collaged elements, Emefiele braids together motifs of popular and personal symbolism. The recurring use of extravagant glasses, metal clock dials or CD’s covering the eyes of many of her characters, represents, for the artist, the sole defense women have as protection from the world.
As collage cleverly weaves in and out of painting, Emefiele’s vibrant compositions have the capacity to communicate at a visceral level. The dynamic brush strokes and bold juxtaposition of color illustrate a very personal expressionistic language. In the ‘Pool’ series, the glistening water enables the artist to give full reign to her painterly ability whilst the models are left resting somewhere in between light minded relax and lascivious guise. Works like ‘Light bulb on a string’ and ‘Sizzling Susan’ signal a further departure from the artist’s initial close-up portraiture, with the figures here being caught in intimate yet standing poses. In the ‘Armrest’ series, where the settee is cleverly cast as central leitmotif, Emefiele evokes the discreet comfort of a domestic universe. ‘Apostolic Transmogrification’ and ‘Loungers’, both major in scale, display formal inventiveness as well as her unique ability in orchestrating a symphonic repertoire of characters.
Ndidi Emefiele has exhibited widely both internationally and in the UK including solo/group presentations in Miami, New York, London, Chicago, Los Angeles, Lagos, Johannesburg and Abuja. Earlier this year she had a solo exhibition at the 1:54 African Art Fair in New York. Emefiele forms part of private collections such as The Deighton Collection and The Jimenez-Colon Collection. Public collections include; The Nigerian Stock Exchange, Lagos, Nigeria and The University Of South Africa, Cape Town. Importantly, she was awarded with the prestigious ‘The Olive Prize 2016’ (Excellence In Painting, The Slade School Of Fine Art). Emefiele was among the nominees of The Future Awards Africa 2016 for Arts & Culture.