Njideka Akunyili Crosby
(b. 1983, Nigeria)
Njideka Akunyili Crosby lives in Los Angeles. Drawing on art historical, political and personal references, Njideka Akunyili Crosby creates densely layered figurative compositions that, precise in style, nonetheless conjure the complexity of contemporary experience. In 1999 she moved to the United States, where she now lives. Her cultural identity combines strong attachments to the country of her birth and to her adopted home, a hybrid identity that is reflected in her work. She was awarded Foreign Policy's Leading 100 Global Thinkers of 2015 alongside the Next Generation Prize, New Museum of Contemporary Art, 2015. Recent solo exhibitions include I Refuse to be Invisible, Norton Museum of Art, West Palm Beach (2016) and The Beautiful Ones, Art + Practice, Los Angeles (2015), staged concurrently with a solo presentation at the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles (2015). Her work is in the collections of major museums including Yale University Art Gallery, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, The Studio Museum in Harlem, The Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University, Tate, The Norton Museum of Art, Zeitz MOCAA, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, MOMA, and the Whitney Museum of American Art.
In her large-scale drawings and collages Njideka Akunyli Crosby re-imagines and transforms her Nigerian experience through that of her adopted country – the USA. Interested in the moments at which two cultures collide, she combines a range of motifs from family albums, popular magazines, custom portrait fabrics and architectural and natural environments in order to narrate the concept of the dual home of those living in diaspora. Formally borrowing from a variety of traditions, intimate in their spirit, the works reference colonial history and its impact on the recognition of the self.
Njideka Akunyili Crosby. Harmattan Haze, 2014. Acrylic, color pencils, charcoal, transfers on paper. Private Collection
Profiles of 21 Artists Shortlisted for the Future Generation Art Prize 2017