Ndidi Emefiele: Loud
From June 9 to 15, 2017, Rosenfeld Porcini will present Loud by leading contemporary artist Ndidi Emefiele. Over the last nine months, the artist has been working on a new compelling body of mixed media works on canvas that will be for the occasion unveiled across the gallery two-floors. The exhibition will also feature two large-scale paintings that testify to her increasing ambition.
Drawing on cultural, gendered and personal references, Ndidi Emefiele creates layered figurative compositions that obsessively address female identity within contemporary Nigerian society. Yet her narrative has a far wider relevance. Her vivid canvases embrace a vision of women as strong, self-reliant characters who exist in relation to each other in a universe where the male is only noticed by his total absence. The women who inhabit her works are in total command of whatever environment they are placed in. Their supremely confident postures display disdain for social norms and defiance for any behavioural patterns aimed at obtaining male consensus.
The strength of the artist’s narrative is given added force by her incorporation of textiles and traditional materials within the paintings. Through the integration of a plethora of witty visual references in the form of cut-outs and collaged elements, Emefiele braids together motifs of popular and personal symbolism. The recurring use of extravagant glasses, metal clock dials or CD’s covering the eyes of many of her characters, represents, for the artist, the sole defense women have as protection from the world.
As collage cleverly weaves in and out of painting, her vibrant compositions have the capacity to communicate at a visceral level. The dynamic brush strokes and bold juxtaposition of colour illustrate a very personal expressionistic language. In the ‘Pool’ series, the glistening water enables the artist to give full reign to her painterly ability whilst the models are left resting somewhere in between light minded relax and lascivious guise. Works like Light Bulb on a String and Sizzling Susan signal a further departure from the artist’s initial close-up portraiture, with the figures here being caught in intimate yet standing poses. In the ‘Armrest’ series, where the settee is cleverly cast as central leitmotif, Emefiele evokes the discreet comfort of a domestic universe. Apostolic Transmogrification and Loungers, both major in scale, display formal inventiveness as well as her unique ability in orchestrating a symphonic repertoire of characters.
Ndidi Emefiele was born in 1987 in Bournemouth, England. She holds a bachelors of arts degree in painting from Delta State University, Abraka, and a masters in fine art from Slade School of Art, University College, London. Emefiele has exhibited internationally including Iroko Arts and Lifestyle exhibition (Evolving Current), Abuja (2010); Culture and Tourism Exhibition, Abuja (2012); Living in Silence (Deafness awareness), Transcorp Hilton, Abuja (2013); Unmatched-Beauty, Abuja Transcorp Hilton, Abuja(2013); FNB Joburg Artfair, Sandton Convention Centre, Omenka Gallery booth Johanesburg (2014); Art Emerge Art Fair, Washington, D.C.(2014); Art15, Omenka Gallery booth, London (2015); and 1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair, Omenka Gallery booth, London (2015). She was awarded with the The Olive Prize 2016 (Excellence In Painting, The Slade School Of Fine Art).
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