Njideka Akunyili Crosby

Njideka Akunyili Crosby, a young artist based in Los Angeles, is currently [2016] the talk of the art world. Dozens of wealthy collectors want to buy her latest works, yet none is for sale—at least, not to private individuals.

Ms Crosby’s first European solo show will open at the Victoria Miro Gallery in London on October 4, the week that Frieze Art Fair starts. Now 33, she moved from Nigeria to America at the age of 16. Her “Afropolitan” identity has forged a highly distinctive visual style. She works mostly on paper, creating large-scale interiors that combine serene human figures with dense areas of collage and image-transfer that subversively evoke her Nigerian heritage. “Her paintings have a distinct vocabulary,” says Glenn Scott Wright, a director at Victoria Miro, which represents Ms Crosby. “You can go around an art fair with 10,000 works and you would know hers immediately.”

...She is of Igbo descent.

At 16, she left home with her sister and moved to the US. She spent a year studying for her SATs and taking American history classes before returning to Nigeria to serve a year of National Service. After she completed her service, she returned to the US to study in Philadelphia. She studied art and biology at Swarthmore College, where she was a Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellow. After graduating in 2004, she spent 4 years at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, earning a post-baccalaureate certificate....

Njideka Akunyili Crosby (born 1983 ); Nigerian-born visual artist working in LA, CA. Akunyili Crosby's art "negotiates the cultural terrain between her adopted home in America and her native Nigeria, creating collage and photo transfer-based paintings that expose the challenges of occupying these two worlds".

In 2017, Akunyili Crosby was awarded a "Genius Grant" from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.
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First Collected by

Blair Beusman


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