169 BOWERY | NEW YORK
May 12 – June 17, 2023
Friday, May 12
By Taylor Michael
June 10, 2023
Wura-Natasha Ogunji, I found myself inside myself, 2023, Thread, ink, graphite on tracing paper, 24 x 24"
Fridman Gallery is honored to present Cake, Wura-Natasha Ogunji’s first solo exhibition in New York.
Ogunji works in drawing, painting, performance, and video. The exhibition includes new drawings and a site-specific thread installation, accompanied by a selection of the artist's early video works.
In many of her drawings Ogunji explores water as architecture – lagoons rendered in ink, stitched lines of a river, or the empty space of the paper itself (an imagined expanse of sea). The work also often develops around language. As the artist creates, titles emerge and become the structure determining the form of the pieces.
Stitching the gallery space floor-to-ceiling, the thread installation turns the space itself into a drawing that viewers can enter, a container for collective experience.
Ogunji’s early performance videos investigate concepts of migration, border crossing, homeland, and longing. The artist crawls across the hard earth with water bottles tied to her ankles, jumps over water, levitates above outer-space or seafloor landscapes, leaves marks in parched soil with hands and feet wrapped in stones and thread.
Wura-Natasha Ogunji (holds a B.A. in anthropology from Stanford University and an M.F.A. in photography from San Jose State University. In 2012, she was awarded the Guggenheim Fellowship to create a series of performance videos about the presence of women in public space in Lagos. Ogunji's works are in the collections of the Smithsonian African Art Museum, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art in Denmark, University of Texas Austin, and Kadist Foundation. She participated in the 2022 Sydney Biennial, the 2020 Stellenbosch Triennale, the 2018 São Paulo Biennial, and the 2017 Kochi-Muziris Biennale, and has exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art Paris, Palais de Tokyo, Seattle Art Museum, Brooklyn Museum, Dallas Museum of Art, and other institutions. Ogunji's durational performance video 'Will I still carry water when I am a dead woman?' will be on view in the exhibition A World in Common: Contemporary African Photography opening on July 6, 2023 at Tate Modern in London. She is currently an artist in residence at the Cité internationale des arts in Paris.
Wura-Natasha Ogunji, The one where we're all together , 2023, thread, ink, graphite on tracing paper, 24 x 24"
Wura-Natasha Ogunji, A Normal Day of Love and Brutality , 2023, thread, ink, graphite on tracing paper, 24 x 24"