Drawing on cultural, gendered and personal references, Ndidi Emefiele creates layered figurative compositions that, dynamic in brush stroke and in juxtaposition of colour, conjure the complexity of contemporary experience and female identity. Emerging out of the Nigerian panorama, the strength of her narrative becomes even more pronounced as she encompasses collage, textiles and traditional materials conveying a strong sense of cultural heritage and aesthetics inspired by her homeland.
Ndidi Emefiele’s incredibly vivid canvases embrace a vision of women as strong, vibrant, self-confident characters who exist in relation to each other in a universe where the male is only noticed by his total absence. Her assertive figures make no attempt to fulfill male expectations. The depiction of enlarged heads which are traditionally said to control and predict one’s destiny, and the use of extravagant glasses or CD’s, become a recurring element objectifying the need for a shield against the world.
Ndidi Emefiele (b.1987) lives and works in Abuja, Nigeria.
Emefiele has exhibited widely both internationally and in the UK including solo/group presentations in Miami, New York, London, Chicago, Los Angeles, Lagos, Johannesburg and Abuja. Earlier this year she had a solo exhibition at the 1:54 African Art Fair in New York. Emefiele forms part of private collections such as The Mint Museum, Valeria Napoleone XX Collection, the Beth DeWoody Collection, The Deighton Collection and The Jimenez - Colon Collection. Public collections include; The Nigerian Stock Exchange, Lagos, Nigeria and The University Of South Africa, Cape Town. Importantly, she was awarded with the prestigious ‘The Olive Prize 2016’ (Excellence In Painting, The Slade School Of Fine Art). Emefiele was among the nominees of The Future Awards Africa 2016 for Arts & Culture. In 2018 Emefiele presented her works at the Taubman Museum of Art, Roanoke, Virginia as part of the exhibition "Reclamation! Pan-African Works" from the Beth Rudin DeWoody collection. In 2020 Ndidi Emefiele's works were included in the exhibition 'Queen: From the Collection of CCH Pounder' at The Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, Detroit and 'The Cookout: Kinfolk and Other Intimacies' at the Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts (MoCADA) in New York.