From April 2018 to February 2019, a billboard featuring an artwork by Njideka Akunyili Crosby is exhibited on the side of Queen Elizabeth Hall, opposite Hayward Gallery.
Akunyili Crosby combines painting, drawing, fabric and found imagery to create dense and complex works on paper. In Dwell: Aso Ebi (2017) – reproduced here as a digital print on vinyl – the artist explores ‘transcultural’ identity and the experience of living between two places.
Deeply engaged with the history of painting, Akunyili Crosby is also concerned with making work that ‘speaks to now’, and to her own experience.
The result is a sophisticated form of sampling that sees the artist ‘nodding and winking’ to the traditions she’s steeped in, while simultaneously subverting or adapting them for her own purposes.
‘In much the same way that inhabitants of formerly colonised countries select and invent from cultural features transmitted to them by the dominant or metropolitan colonisers,’ she explains, ‘I extrapolate from my training in Western painting to invent a new visual language’.
The Hayward Gallery Billboard, featuring Dwell: Aso Ebi (2017) by Njideka Akunyili Crosby, is part of Hayward Gallery’s 50th Anniversary celebrations.
Njideka Akunyili Crosby (born 1983, Enugu, Nigeria) lives and works in Los Angeles, California. In 2017, she was awarded the MacArthur Fellowship Genius Grant and was shortlisted for the Future Generation Art Prize. Recent solo exhibitions include Obodo (Country/City/Town/Ancestral Village), MOCA Mural, Los Angeles, USA (2018) and Front Room: Njideka Akunyili Crosby|Counterparts, The Baltimore Museum of Art, Baltimore, USA (2017).
Art on the Underground will present a new work by Akunyili Crosby at Brixton Underground station in September 2018.