Njideka Crosby

Exhibitions
A woman sitting in a chair holding a child, standing in a garden area surrounded by different dark green plants.
CONTEMPORARY PROJECT

Njideka Akunyili Crosby

OPENS
July 23, 2022
CLOSES
December 4, 2022
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About the Exhibit

Nigerian-born, Los Angeles-based artist Njideka Akunyili Crosby has described her motivations as an artist to “unapologetically center Black life, my experience as a Black woman, and the complexity of Black life—and to infuse every piece I make with love and joy, and this deep love I have for my Black experience.” 

This intimate exhibition presents four new works by Akunyili Crosby. Still You Bloom in this Land of No Gardens, the largest work in the show, depicts the artist holding her young child on the outdoor terrace of her home, enveloped by lush plants and vines. She decided to create this painting on paper to counter the relative absence of images of loving Black mothers, to make “the images I wish to see.”

The other three paintings in the exhibition are new works made during the pandemic and exhibited publicly for the first time here at the Blanton. All prominently feature Akunyili Crosby’s distinctive photo-transfer technique that use reproductions culled from a vast image bank of photos of her family in Nigeria; magazine spreads depicting notable Nigerian athletes, models, musicians; and Vlisco clothing catalogues she has amassed “as a way of staying connected to home.”

The teeming presence of plant life, such as plumeria, fruit trees, and rubber trees, is also notable in these recent works. Their abundance suggests the garden as a space of sanctuary, but also the artist’s nascent interest in “cosmopolitan plants” that thrive in her native country of Nigeria and hometown of Los Angeles. While departing from her past focus on domestic interiors, these lush paintings reflect a continued interest in creating hybrid spaces that combine aspects of Nigerian and American life: “When you are an immigrant, no matter where you are, the histories and the cultures of where you grew up are always with you.”

Organized by Veronica Roberts, Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art, Blanton Museum of Art

Credit

Njideka Akunyili Crosby is organized by the Blanton Museum of Art.  

Generous support for this exhibition is provided by the Kahng Foundation, with additional support provided by Suzanne Deal Booth and Ellen and David Berman.     

Feature Image Credit

Njideka Akunyili Crosby, Still You Bloom in This Land of No Gardens, 2021, acrylic, photographic transfers, colored pencil, and collage on paper, 96 x 108 in., © 2021 Njideka Akunyili Crosby, Courtesy the artist, Victoria Miro, and David Zwirner (photo: Jeff Mclane)

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