KLOWDEN MANN is proud to present our first solo exhibition of work by international artist Grace Ndiritu. For the seventh edition of her A Quest For Meaning series and her first solo exhibition in Los Angeles, Ndiritu pushes the design of her new installation by incorporating fully-painted gallery walls, as well as her customary painted squares, which she calls ‘Bright Young Things’. These design elements become a backdrop through which Ndiritu discuss two subtexts in the show, firstly 'painting as a medium of photography', by creating a fully immersive, painted environment in which to view the photographs; and secondly the contemporary relationship between Europe and Africa seen through use of rephotographed archival images from the Rif War between Spain and Morocco in the early 20th century, which reflects a historic Orientalist viewpoint, which is the foundation for the current problematic relationship of mass migration from both Arab and Sub-Saharan Africa to Europe and the tensions this movement causes on both sides of the Mediterranean. A Quest for Meaning Vol. 7: Bright Young Things will be on view from April 9th through May 7th, 2016, with an opening reception for the artist on Saturday April 9th, from 6 to 8pm.
Ndiritu’s A Quest For Meaning (AQFM) series is a universal narrative, a creation story she tells from the beginning of Time. Told through photography, it tells ‘stories’ between similarly disparate objects and events from the Big Bang until now, by conjuring up and making new connections between them. Abstract photography allows Ndiritu to explore the formalism of the still life genre in such a way that what appears in the microcosm of the photograph is a reflection of what occurs in the macrocosm of the universe. Closely connected to her interests in the moving image, performance and shamanism, the various themes in AQFM perpetually expand to create photographic constellations. Previous iterations of AQFM were exhibited at locations including Glasgow School of Art (2015), Paris Photo Los Angeles (2015), L’apartment 22, Rabat, Morocco (2014), MAC, Belfast (2014) and La Ira de Dios, Buenos Aires (2014).
Alongside the exhibition, Ndiritu has created a periodical entitled AQFM Vol. 4, which will be available at the gallery during the run of the show. The newspaper features an essay entitled A Return to Normalcy—Curating Contemporary Art by Benedetta d’Ettorre, which was written on the occasion of Ndiritu's survey show at The Glasgow School of Art (GSA) in 2015. The exhibition and performance commission were the main component of the Turner Prize parallel program which was held in Glasgow last year.
Grace Ndiritu (Kenya/U.K.) studied Textile Art at Winchester School of Art in the UK, as well as at De Ateliers in Amsterdam, with guest tutors including Marlene Dumas, filmmaker Steve McQueen, Tacita Dean, and Stan Douglas. Her recent solo performances and screenings include the Museum of Modern Art, Warsaw (2014), Musee Chasse & Nature and Centre Pompidou, Paris (2013) and the ICA Artist Film Survey, London (2011). Ndiritu’s work has been commissioned by Glasgow School of Art (2015), MACBA Barcelona (2014), Bluecoat Gallery, Liverpool (2010) and Glynn Vivan Gallery, Whales (2006). Ndiritu participated in the 51st Venice Biennale (2005), as well as numerous international residencies, and her work is held in public collections such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, and the Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw, and in private collections including King Mohammed VI in Morocco and the Walther Collection in New York and Germany. She has been featured in Apollo Magazine 40 Under 40(2014) and Phaidon: the 21st Century Art Book (2014), and her experimental writing has been published by Animal Shelter Journal, Semiotext(e), MIT Press, Metropolis M art magazine, and Oxford University Press.