Skoto Gallery, New York, United States
26 Sep 2013 - 02 Nov 2013
Transmogrification shows recent mixed media sculpture by the Nigerian-born artist Ifeoma Anyaeji. This will be her first solo show at the gallery.
Ifeoma Anyaeji’s recent sculpture employs a virtuosic ability to create elegant forms drawn from architecture and domestic furniture design through the reconstruction of found objects such as the ubiquitous plastic bags and bottles. She utilizes a process that is physically and conceptually steeped in memory, history and the passage of time to create work that radically put into question conventional notions of what sculpture is. Using hair plaiting technique known as Threading from her homeland, she threads and braids discarded plastic bags into plasto-yarns which she combines with strong compositional organization to create complex yet lyrical assemblages of everyday objects that reflect subtle understanding of context and awareness of the relationship between function and experimentation. There is an abiding urge in her work to highlight the relevance of social responsibility to the environment in today’s hyper-consumer society as she engages with the cyclical nature of production, accumulation and regeneration in the creative process, and as stated by the artist “My concept of material reuse through the transformation of an object’s physical state, is to echo the environmental implication of accumulation and the extensiveness of a politicized archeology of modernity’s consumptive system”..
By imbuing mundane materials, marks and processes with surprising significance and intricate design, her work is transformed into extraordinary visual poetry with textures of vibrations and pulsations that allow the viewer a freedom of imagination, interpretation and emotional response. Her use of obsessive repetition shows affinities with the concerns of African traditional textile weaving and hair braiding techniques, and seeks to resurrect gender-categorized craft and decorative art as viable means of artistic expression, as well as ts political and subversive potential. Included in this exhibition is Oche Onodu (Couch), 2012, a joyous mixed-media installation that meanders and infiltrates the architecture of spaces, as it implores us to question our everyday experiences in both a physical and mental sense. She inventively combines her materials to form bold abstract composition that evinces persistent experimentation and a mastery of technique that goes beyond accepted boundaries of the medium. Allusions and metaphors abound as she weaves together personal and collective memories with reflections on universal experiences that celebrates openness to the world and to diversity. Although its visual impact is greatest from far away, a closer look offers a rewarding experience and palpable sensations evocative of the expansive possibilities of life and art.
The artist will be present at the reception on Thursday, September 26th, 6-8pm.
Ifeoma Anyaeji was born 1981 in Benin City, and hails from Anambra State in the south eastern part of Nigeria. She obtained an undergraduate degree, with honors from the University of Benin, Benin City, Nigeria in 2005 before traveling to the US in 2010 as a Ford Foundation International Fellow where she obtained her MFA in 2012 at the Sam Fox School of Design and Visual Arts, Washington University, St Louis, Missouri. She has participated in several solo and group exhibitions both at home and abroad, including ‘Reclamation’, University of Missouri, Columbia in 2012. She was the Washington University in St Louis Nominee for the 2012 International Sculpture Center Outstanding Student Achievement Award. Her work is in several collections in Africa, Europe and the US. She currently teaches at the University of Benin, Nigeria.