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Exhibition at Skoto Gallery brings together the works of thirteen artists
Osi Audu, Head-Egungun, 2001, pastel, wool, paper. 45 x 55 inches.

NEW YORK, NY.- Skoto Gallery is presenting a Group Show of paintings, drawings, sculpture and mixed media work.

This exhibition brings together the works of thirteen artists including Jelili Atiku. Osi Audu. Nanette Carter. Wadsworth Jarrell. Aime Mpane. Trokon Nagbe. Afi Nayo. Chriss Nwobu. David Rich. Katherine Taylor. Pefura. Juliana Zevallos.

Despite their varied experiences working across different time periods each of these artists represents a resonant voice that achieves its own distinction and clarity amidst fluxional experiences. Their creative voices are simultaneously reclamatory, instrumental, reconstructive if not interrogative and in some cases seek to retrieve both individual and collective memory.

Osi Audu’s work has consistently maintained a persistent focus on the dynamic relationship between shape, form and color while remaining firmly rooted in the Yoruba philosophical concept that the human head encompasses a duality of spirit and matter, mind and body. The notion of the subconscious is a powerful one and can be very much seen in his work’s high originality.

Nanette Carter’s recent work continues her long-standing commitment to the exploration of a completely personal and original style of abstraction whose true significance lies not merely in formal arrangement but in spiritual meaning that fuels the intangible ideas around human nature while simultaneously meditating on the current state of affairs in society. A leading member of her generation whose work attempt to reconcile contradictory human imperatives, she strives to forge a new vocabulary in abstraction and collage that speaks eloquently to the universal human experience. Her work was included in the 2017 landmark exhibition Magnetic Fields: Expanding American Abstraction, 1960 to Today: a survey exhibition of African-American female artists who create abstract works, organized by the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, Kansas City, Missouri and travelled to Washington DC and St. Petersburg, Florida.

Aimé Mpané’s is a warrior-artist whose work embodies the pain and grace of human conflict instigated by colonial legacies in his homeland – DR Congo. He utilizes the extreme gesture and emotionality of his medium by slashing, chipping and chopping with the adze – a traditional wood carving tool - on wood panel, illuminating the various faces of war in their raw, awkward and blunt forms evocative of the diverse states of the human condition from the political to the metaphysical - a fit metaphor for the violence and dire conditions that have befallen the country throughout most of its modern history.

Trokon Nagbe’s work draws on themes of memory, migration, history and the passage of time through the filter of personal experience. Firmly rooted in a framework of references that reflect his African heritage, he strives to push the bounds of his aesthetic while exploring intricate, and often paradoxical, relationship between the material and the spiritual, collective and the individual identity as well as the interior and the exterior. The visual resonance in his work is undeniable attesting to his ability to seamlessly fuse ancient and modern concepts and aesthetic on new and innovative modes of representation while still contesting the meanings of the post-modern encounter between tradition and modernity.

Afi Nayo’s work reflects a longstanding commitment to extracting textured patterns with mosaic-like delicacy and cosmopolitan refinement from a complex language of symbols and signs drawn from the unconscious to obtain a poetic amalgam of abstraction and reality, revealing a reality behind the visible things around us. Symbols become patterns and then symbols again as the imagery vacillates between seen and unseen, between the remembered and the disassociated, revealing minute treasures for those who linger long enough to see them revealed.

Chriss Aghana Nwobu is an award-winning Nigerian visual artist and photographer. He is an experimental artist whose work is mainly lens-based but he extensively explores the use of different objects within his environment as props or installations. A founding member of Invisible Borders Trans-Africa Photography Project, his work has been exhibited in museums and galleries across Europe, USA and Africa. He won the Best Photo Story award category at the 2012 ‘Intimate Lens’ Ethnographic Film and Photography Festival in Caserta, Italy and he is also a nominee for the prestigious Prix-Pictet Award in Switzerland.

Over the past four decades David Rich has demonstrated a remarkable ability to explore texture, color, structure and the process of making art in endlessly inventive ways. Arising from a particular intersection of abstraction, neighborhood interactions and lived experience, his work reflects a decidedly impure and vernacular approach to painting. The focus is not on literal description but rather on attitude and presence, evincing a lyrical beauty and an aura of spontaneity that belies its surprising seamlessness between the spiritual and physical worlds. His work advances creative dialogue with an abiding confidence that visual images can still communicate powerful emotional and spiritual values in addition to formal aesthetics.

Born 1967 in Paris of Cameroonian parents, Pefura is an architect by training and an artist by profession whose primary focus over the last two decades are painting and conceptual installation. His recent work continues to expand on the relationship between the body and the nature of spaces, the contrast between large collective spaces and individual compartmentalized spaces as well as notions of space as a set of destinations in which people moved between, more or less continuously.

Juliana Zevallos uses a wide range of media including her background as a versatile printmaker to create complex and poetic works layered with meaning and surface texture where some overlapping forms are fully present while other forms are partially obscured. They are simple, serene and as matured as thought. Closely viewed, her work is an invitation for contemplation that strives to reconcile intelligence and sensibility, knowledge and intuition as well as matter and spirit.

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