Miami -- At UNTITLED Miami Beach, TAFETA will present four artists of Nigerian descent: Nkechi Ebubedike, Victor Ekpuk, Babajide Olatunji & Niyi Olagunju – Booth B18
(November 20, 2019) ---- TAFETA is pleased to announce an exhibition at UNTITLED Miami Beach featuring multi-media artwork by four artists of Nigerian descent; Nkechi Ebubedike, Victor Ekpuk, Babajide Olatunji & Niyi Olagunju
Each of these artists addresses contemporary issues, such as the canon’s propensity to minify black creative output and the commodification of the sacred, by drawing inspiration from artistic lineages rooted in traditional African art. As a visual spectacle Ebubedike’s perspex cut-outs in bright colours alongside Olagunju’s highly reflective sculptures contrast dramatically with Olatunji’s drawings in their traditionally hyper-realistic style and Victor Ekpuk’s more grounded abstracted sculptures.
New-York based Nkechi Ebubedike presents new works from her ongoing series Pan African Avatar that explores the idea of masking, veiling and taboos. The colourful Perspex cut-outs introduce a new character, a form chosen female with white hair and blue skin, whose mask is less of a tool to veil and more a platform to observe which in the artist’s view, was more akin to the classical African position.
Victor Ekpuk presents works from his sculpture series inspired by the Nsibidi writing systems from the south-eastern part of Nigeria.The most established of our artists taking inspiration from historicized material, Ekpuk's artworks are in several prestigious permanent collections including the Smithsonian Institute's National Museum of African Art, Newark Museum, and the Krannert Art Museum.
Niyi Olagunju’s contemporary appropriation of traditional Baga Nimba shoulder masks of Guinea continues his exploration of global trade in classical African art and what he describes as the "commoditization of everything.” Having created, bronze, aluminium and resin versions of the sculptures, Olagunju’s glazed versions in silver-nitrate coated brass (with its aesthetic kinship with Jeff Koon’s stainless-steel sculptures) are a natural progression for a series that questions a value system based on ever more impressive prices achieved in the secondary market. Especially when these values are based nearly exclusively on Western ideas around provenance and rarity.
Babajide Olatunji's long-standing series Tribal Marks is supported in our presentation by his still life drawings from the Aroko series. Continuing on the theme for TAFETA’s presentation at Untitled Miami, these drawings are visual interpretations of an ancient cryptic messaging system still in use by the Yoruba people of Nigeria, today.
The 2019 edition of UNTITLED, Miami Beach takes place on the beach at Ocean Drive from December 4th through December 8th.