ruby onyinyechi amanze (B. 1982)
ruby onyinyechi amanze (B. 1982)
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ruby onyinyechi amanze (B. 1982)

one day in the living room, a spirit came upon her and filled her body with a dance she'd never known [channel] or ADA + ARCHITECTURE

ruby onyinyechi amanze (B. 1982)
one day in the living room, a spirit came upon her and filled her body with a dance she'd never known [channel] or ADA + ARCHITECTURE
acrylic, graphite, ink and photo transfers on paper
71 x 57 ½in. (180.3 x 146cm.)
Executed in 2022
Donated by the artist to MOWAA, courtesy of Goodman Gallery, Johannesburg/Cape Town/London/New York.
London, Goodman Gallery, ruby onyinyechi amanze / DUETS, 2022.

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Anna Touzin
Anna Touzin Senior Specialist, Head of Evening Sale

Lot Essay

‘I feel that my life is enriched by these multiple homes. I meet people from all over the world who have had similar transcontinental experiences, and I know I’m part of a borderless, expansive “country”. We don’t have a landmass. But the space is a legitimate one. A lot of this informs my spatial decisions in the drawings.’

– ruby onyinyechi amanze

Christie’s and the Museum of West African Art (MOWAA) in Nigeria are collaborating to raise funds for MOWAA and its initiatives to create a cultural ecosystem in Benin City, based on the art of the past, present and future. A number of artists have generously agreed to donate original works of art to the auction, including Tunji Adeniyi-Jones, Lakwena Maciver and Victor Ehikhamenor. Proceeds from the sale of the works will go towards MOWAA initiatives including the presentation of the Nigeria Pavilion at La Biennale di Venezia, 2024—commissioned by the Governor of Edo State and also curated by Aindrea Emelife—and the 20-acre Creative Campus, including the Rainforest Gallery. Designed by the Dakar-based architecture firm Worofila, the Rainforest Gallery will be dedicated to showcasing Modern and Contemporary art, as well as historic exhibitions.

ruby onyinyechi amanze is a Brooklyn-based artist of Nigerian descent and British upbringing. Currently based between Philadelphia and Brooklyn, she considers multiple places home. amanze’s works are both literary and materially conscious. Her practice centers around the unique qualities of paper: she tests the weightlessness of the medium, experimenting with how to maintain its lightness whilst still building onto its surface, adding colour, geometric shapes, and figurative elements. She takes this challenge in hand by using mixed media and by negotiating varied artforms upon the paper—dance, architecture and design—asking how paper can support each of these enterprises. Her inventive manipulation of materials allegorises alternative approaches to identity and geography. This plays into amanze’s construction of narrative: her works also navigate fictional and conflating worlds. She introduces a cohort of aliens, hybrids and ghosts onto the page, which play effortlessly and invoke a sense of magic in the face of mundanity. Otherworldly characters, windows and birds, populate amanze’s drawings, creating an expansive universe.

amanze recently completed two year-long residencies at the Queens Museum in New York, as part of the Drawing Center’s Open Sessions Program. She has exhibited her work internationally in Lagos, London, Johannesburg and Paris, and at the California African American Museum, the Drawing Center and the Studio Museum of Harlem, New York. She presented the solo exhibition How To Be Enough at Collezione Maramotti, Italy, in 2021, and held DUETS, her debut solo show with Goodman Gallery in London, the following year. amanze’s pasting of figures, shocking colours and unique manipulations of paper are symbolic and multifaceted: her innovative process gives the works an unavoidable pull.

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