ruby onyinyechi amanze (b. 1982 in Port Harcourt, Nigeria; lives and works in Philadelphia) composes drawings that defy the two-dimensional bounds of paper. Her objects float across the pages, untethered by indicators of gravity, space or time. Seven recurring shapes, including motorcycles, architecture, “adathe swimmer dancer who is frequently in intimate exchanges with audre the leopard, paper, birds, and pools of water, are collaged together in endless renditions directed toward sensations of feeling and sense, rather than conveying a narrative. 


All the forms are free from the restrictions of land; all sense of directionality is lost and they are light and unbounded. The minimalism of amanze’s work is juxtaposed by a sense of limitlessness and depth; the universes in amanze’s drawings are nameless, the only elements that place the shapes in a recognizable world come from photography. amanze uses the element of water through photographic transfer, diluting inks, and leaving traces of drip marks or stains on the bright pale paper, which create marks of movement that shimmer off the page, and reflect into space.  


amanze was the recipient of a Fulbright Scholars Award in Drawing to the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, an Open Sessions participant at the Drawing Center and an artist-in-residence at the Queens Museum. She has exhibited her work globally including at the California African American Museum, the Drawing Center, and the Studio Museum in Harlem. In 2019, amanze was named the Deutsche Bank Featured Artist at Frieze New York. Her work is collected by the Deutsche Museum, Jewish Museum, Studio Museum in Harlem and most recently, the CCS Bard College Hessel Museum of Art. 

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