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Ruby Onyinyechi Amanze and Larry Ossei-Mensah



Jake Nussbaum interviews artist Ruby Onyinyechi Amanze and curator Larry Ossei-Mensah, in anticipation of the 2015 New York edition of the 1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair, from May 15-17 at Pioneer Works. They deconstruct the singular label of "African Art" and discuss how Amanze's visual style and mix of mediums, such as charcoal, graphite, chalk, enamel, and glitter, parallel the cultural intersections of her identity and heritage.

The 1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair seeks to increase international access and visibility of traditional and contemporary African art. Taking its name from the 54 countries on the continent, 1:54 showcases carefully selected galleries and aims to be a platform for artists, curators, art centers, and museums.

Ruby Onyinyechi Amanze is a Brooklyn based artist of Nigerian birth 
and British upbringing. Her drawings and works on paper have been influenced greatly by this cultural hybridity, as well as textile design, photography, print-making and architecture.
 Amanze graduated Summa Cum Laude from Tyler School of Art, Temple University in Philadelphia and earned a M.F.A at Cranbrook Academy of Art, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan.

 Amanze has exhibited her work in exhibitions in New York,
 London, Ghana, Lagos, Philadelphia and Amsterdam. She was
 awarded a 2012-13 Fulbright Scholars Award, to join the 
Department of Fine and Applied Arts at the University of Nigeria, 
Nsukka.

Larry Ossei-Mensah is an independent curator and cultural critic who has emerged as dynamic voice for the rising creative class. Ossei-Mensah is a modern day flâneur who documents cultural and contemporary art happenings for various publications such as Arise, Uptown, Whitewall Magazine, and his co-founded digital publication M Daily. His writings include profiles of Swizz Beatz, El Anatsui, Yinka Shonibare, Mickalene Thomas, Rashid Johnson, Derrick Adams, and Lorna Simpson.
 

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1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair

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The New York edition of the 1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair showcases 17 exhibitors, presenting over 60 African and African diasporan artists.

Recordings of 1:54's many programs, artists, and related partners may be found on this page. 1:54 was initiated by Touria El Glaoui in 2013 in LondonMay 2016 marks the second edition of 1:54 New York, while 1:54 London ran its fourth consecutive year from the 5-9th of October 2016 at Somerset House.

ABOUT

A reference to the fifty-four countries that constitute the African continent, the title of 1:54 establishes the parameters of the fair’s ethos: as a platform that strives to represent multiplicity and showcase the diversity of contemporary African art and cultural production on an international stage. The 2016 1:54 Art Fair is accompanied by an educational and artistic program curated by Koyo Kouoh and includes lectures, film screenings, and panel debates featuring leading international curators, artists, and art experts.


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