The Nigerian-American artist’s solo debut in the Middle East is an exhibition of painting and sculpture that continues his exploration of Nsibidi, an ancient Nigerian graphic communication system.
A tribute to the power of dialogue and collective human experiences, this new body of work – developed during a residency at NYUAD – sees the artist return to the use of wood, a medium that he employed regularly in the 1990s and 2000s while living in Lagos. Also on show: four new metal sculptures and two previously unseen works on canvas.
The pieces are painted with Ekpuk’s own unique language of abstraction, made up of intricate scripture, symbols and mark-making inspired by the pictograms of Nsibidi to confront the heritage and history of the African diaspora as a means of considering its present and its future.
It also provokes viewers to consider the wide-ranging nature of calligraphy, spiritual art and writings used within sacred spaces; and this exhibition forms part of the inaugural Dubai Calligraphy Biennale (1 – 31 October), of which Efie Gallery is a partner. Ekpuk also will be unveiling a specially commissioned public installation in d3 for the Calligraphy Biennale. Measuring 4m high and 6m wide, Ekpuk’s interactive aluminium installation is also covered in his Nsibidi-inspired symbolic script.
To 21 November.
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