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50 GOLBORNE | 1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair, 2019 | Booth B21

3rd - 5th May, 2019

London-based 50 Golborne gallery is delighted to be present at 1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair New York. The gallery will introduce new works by: Ranti Bam, Jakob Dwight, Safaa Erruas, Marie-Claire Messouma Manlanbien and Wura-Natasha Ogunji.

Ranti Bam (born 1982) lives and works between London (UK), Dakar (Senegal) and Lagos (Nigeria). Her work explores the potential of ceramic to express a love of words and metaphor. Her process involves working with clay in its natural unreinforced state, using slip to embellish the surface with colours, patterns, texts and textures. With inspiration drawn from wood, metal and fabric, she combines hand building and throwing, continually deconstructing and abstracting her pieces, creating form through collage. Often an African sensibility of ease, simplicity and light-heartedness pervades her work. Bam received her MA from The Cass Faculty of Art, Architecture and Design. In 2018, she has exhibited at Collect, Saatchi London, art X Lagos and Dakar Biennale OFF, Dakar curated by Bisi Silva and was a resident at CTG(R) in Harare (Zimbabwe) and Moly-Sabata in Sablons (France).

With his abstracted animations, Jakob Dwight seeks the transformative potential of light and space by employing multiple media including painting, digital photography and collage. The American artist was born in 1977. Trained as a painter, he was later drawn to digital software as an opportunity to explore the transformative impact of digital media on painting and the painterly perspective. Inspired by the opiated, meditative quality of the screen-based televisual space, Dwight sees the illuminated image as significant to contemporary sensory culture. Based in New York, Washington and Atlanta, Dwight’s work has been exhibited internationally, including in Amsterdam, Los Angeles, Berlin, Atlanta, Vienna, and New York. He was commissioned by the Seattle Art Museum to create new work for the Disguise: Masks and Global African Art exhibition at UCLA's Fowler Museum, which travelled to the Brooklyn Museum, New York in April 2016. In 2018, he featured in the group exhibition Out of the Whirlwind’s Radiance at 50 Golborne.

Safaa Erruas was born in 1976 in Tetouan, Morocco and graduated from the Institute of Fine Arts in Tetouan in 1998, where she also lives and works. Her work explores ideas of the body and borders through the meditative abstraction of visceral objects. In order to navigate notions of visibility and multiplicity through materiality, the artist often contrasts distinct sensibilities, materials, and textures. Senses of fragility and softness (cotton, paper, skin) can be found in tension with moments of resistance and sharpness (needles,wire, glass). She works generally on large sizes and designs white themed installation leaving light to underline the spaces.

Born in 1990, Marie-Claire Messouma Manlanbien has lived in Paris since leaving Côte d’Ivoire in 2004 during the civil war. In her work, she seeks to juxtapose diverse cultural elements, bringing them together to form new, syncretic pieces with additional layers of meaning. Interested in the complex relationships between notions of a universal popular culture, everyday life, and traditional handmade construction processes, Manlanbien creates physical encounters between industrial and artisanal materials. She is inspired greatly by the traditional practices of the matriarchal Akan society in Côte d’Ivoire, who historically crafted weights in order to value gold. The artist speaks of her intention to create ephemeral, poetic narrations which are in perpetual renewal, resulting in tangible pieces which both ‘witness' and ‘trace’ past diverse cultural histories. She sees her practice as an ongoing development and an exploration into the intersectional positionalities of women, which she represents in part through an experimental approach to the configurations of her works from one exhibition to the next. With each installation she strives to create poetic spaces, each piece manifesting a separate plural identity, representing their myriad cultural influences. Manlanbien defines herself as simultaneously a storyteller of poems and maker of forms.

Nigerian-American artist Wura-Natasha Ogunji (born 1970) is interested by the relationship between the geographical, architectural and filmic spaces that she also explores in performance and videos and drawings. These former display delicately hand-stitched motifs with loose ink and pencil marks on architectural trace paper. They allude to the sites of disjunctions epitomised by the city of Lagos (Nigeria) - between past and future, the natural and the urban, the caring and the ruthless, Africa and America, grace and chaos, male and female. Ogunji was educated at Stanford University and San Jose State University and has been living in Lagos in the past five years. She is one of the artist-curators selected by Gabriel Pérez-Barreiro Curator of the 2018 Sao Paulo Biennale. Her work was presented in Institutions such as Brooklyn Museum (USA); IFA Gallery, Berlin (Germany), the Kochi-Muziris Biennale, Kerala, India (2017), Spelman College Museum of Fine Art, Atlanta, (2016) Seattle Art Museum (2015), the Louisiana Museum, Denmark; CCA, Lagos, Nigeria (2015) and Mass Gallery, Austin (2014).

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