Mariane Ibrahim presents a solo exhibition in Paris of new work by ruby onyinyechi amanze entitled The Poetics of Space. The show will be on view from September 1st to October 7th, 2023 and marks the gallery’s second exhibition with the artist. On behalf of her first solo exhibition in Paris, ruby onyinyechi amanze investigates space and ways of presentation and display. She has designed the frames and plinths, in desire to further emulate her interest in an architectural dimension, beyond the paper and plane.
There is a mathematical term for all possible options, or the collection of all possible outcomes of an experiment. It’s called sample space. And it mirrors the title of the show, The Poetics of Space, taken from the book by Gaston Bachelard. To exist with all possible option feels like a poetic suggestion, but also one that reflects this balance amanze is searching for between the objective and the subjective, how they loop back into each other (reminiscent of the Ouroboros, that ancient symbol of a snake eating its own tale, a narrative of cyclicality, renewal, change).
The artist engages with seven recurring elements in her drawings: birds, bikes, architecture, ada (an alien), audre (a hybrid leopard), swimming pools (also an architecture) and the paper itself. This cohort defines the work, and every drawing becomes a group of interactions: this one will involve audre, a swimming pool and birds. In another, ada takes front and centre, the birds are background. When drawing, amanze moves these figures, or some of them, around, exploring the relationships between them, real or perceived space and forms of proximity between things.
ruby onyinyechi amanze’s process is oriented by movement and by the artist’s relationship to the paper, placed on the floor in amanze’s Philadelphia studio, with the artist moving along its side, edges, corners shifting its direction, reconfiguring. She looks for balance, but also for something that would break it, an offness she enjoys. With this way of working, the focus, amanze says, is mapped out for her. Why these seven elements? They hint at myth and legend, at presence and representation, at the history of art and a sense of place that isn’t specific but is still very well defined. The world amanze makes is populated. The question is how it moves.