Wura-Natasha Ogunji, a leading figure in contemporary African art, is set to captivate art lovers with her inaugural solo exhibition entitled “Cake” at New York’s prestigious Fridman Gallery. From May 12 to June 17, 2023, visitors will have the privilege of witnessing the artistic mastery of Wura-Natasha Ogunji, whose chosen mediums include drawing, video, painting and performance. The exhibition promises to feature a selection of the artist’s early video works, new drawings and a site-specific wire installation.
Originally from St. Louis, USA, Wura-Natasha Ogunji’s drawings primarily explore water as an architectural element, deftly capturing its essence in various forms: from meticulously stitched lines symbolizing a river, to lagoons rendered in ink, to the empty expanse of the paper itself, reminiscent of an imaginary sea. Moreover, her creative process extends to the realm of language, as she adorns her works with evocative titles that serve as a backbone, shaping the very essence of her artistic work.
The gallery space has been transformed, meticulously woven from floor to ceiling, providing a remarkable canvas for the installation of threads, redefining the very fabric of the space into an immersive design that invites viewers inside. This carefully designed environment serves as an ideal backdrop for a collective artistic experience, inviting visitors to become active participants in the exhibition.
Wura-Natasha Ogunji’s early video performances explore profound themes of migration, homeland, border crossing and nostalgia. As a visual artist and performer, she fearlessly navigates diverse landscapes, whether crawling over rugged terrain with water bottles strapped to her ankles, gracefully leaping over bodies of water or defying gravity over celestial landscapes or expansive oceans. Her presence leaves an indelible mark on the parched earth as she carves her hands and feet adorned with stones and threads.
Currently in residence at the renowned Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris, Wura-Natasha Ogunji’s artistic prowess will also be showcased at the forthcoming exhibition “A World in Common: Contemporary African Photography“, to be held at London’s prestigious Tate Modern on July 6, 2023. This event promises to consolidate Wura-Natasha Ogunji’s status as a pioneer in the world of contemporary African art.
With her evocative, multidisciplinary approach, Wura-Natasha Ogunji continues to push boundaries and challenge conventional notions, weaving a tapestry of artistic expression that resonates deeply with audiences worldwide. By seamlessly blending mediums and exploring poignant themes, she invites viewers to embark on a profound introspective journey, where the beauty of her art lies not only in its aesthetic appeal, but also in its ability to provoke contemplation and ignite a sense of shared humanity.