Goodman Gallery is pleased to present a new series of drawings by ruby onyinyechi amanze. This small online presentation represents a novel beginning for the artist, who after working for seven years with an ongoing host of characters and elements, has pared down and redefined her focus in the following ways.
Focus #1: Less is more.
Focus #2: Textured emptiness: an elevated attention to paper and surface. Expanding upon her affinity for paper and process, amanze continues to play with the question of how to make structural drawings, one element of which, is giving weight to paper while maintaining its inherent properties. This body of work continues that research by layering multiple sheets of paper to create a single drawing, as well as coating the paper's surface with a palette knife and a combination of mediums, acrylics and varnishes.
Focus #3: An edited cohort of characters. The world amanze creates is a complex spatial negotiation between the paper, surface and a newly edited cohort namely: ada, audre (formerly ada the Alien and audre the Leopard), Bird and the inanimate characters -Swimming Pool, Moped, Window and Other Architectural References. amanze considers the configurations they arrive at to be non-narrative, fueled instead by an interest in play, dance, magic and design.
According to amanze, 'for this show, i wanted to introduce all of the parts. in clean and direct ways. as in, here is a dancer. here is a pool. here is a swimmer. here are some bikes. there's no story. there never really was. now the importance of the space—the geometry, the poetry—can really be seen. my drawings have been about space for a long time now, but it feels like now they can breathe and not be fogged up by suggestions of narrative. my process is about moving things around. sampling, building, chopping, inventing, mashing together...'
(b. 1982, Port-Harcourt, Nigeria) is a visual artist who draws on paper.
amanze's practice builds around questions of how to create large-scaled drawings that maintain paper's essence of weightlessness while simultaneously holding a multi-dimensional form or structure.
Using a limited palette of visual elements, including ada the Alien, windows and birds, amanze's drawings are an illusion of an expansive world situated between nowhere and everywhere. Despite incorporating a recurring host of characters, amanze maintains a non-linear and non-narrative approach to representational drawing, insisting the primary antagonist is the space of the paper itself. The construction of this world is largely centered around an interest in the spatial negotiations found in the three dimensional practices of dance, architecture and design.
Most recently, amanze completed two-year long residencies at the Queens Museum and as part of the Drawing Center's Open Sessions Program, both in New York. She has exhibited her work internationally in Lagos, London, Johannesburg and Paris, and nationally at the California African American Museum, the Drawing Center and the Studio Museum of Harlem.
amanze earned her B.F.A., Summa Cum Laude, from Tyler School of Art, Temple University, and her M.F.A. from Cranbrook Academy of Art. In 2012-2013, amanze was a Fulbright Scholar at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka.
Today she resides between Philadelphia and Brooklyn, but calls multiple places home.
Press release courtesy Goodman Gallery.