ruby onyinyechi amanze’s (b. 1982, Port-Harcourt, Nigeria; based in Philadelphia) works on paper explore the vast and magical potential of space and the balance between magnitude and weightlessness. Incorporating a working vocabulary of just seven elements, amanze plays with the possibilities of spatial relationships, both within the page and beyond its borders utilizing custom mounts.
Recurring beings and inanimate objects have the same function; flat forms that interact [play] in endless configurations to suggest movement through space. Indicators of geography, time and place have been removed to unify the objects as a collective, while maintaining a sense of ambiguity.
Her research is rooted in various three dimensional expressions, including architecture, design, geometry and movement/dance languages such as Gaga. amanze is interested in the inherent ability of a work on paper to appear flat within its perimeter, while also conveying depth and infinite expansion. Exploring form, amanze incorporates custom-built mounting systems, non traditional frames and manipulates the paper’s surface texture with layers of medium and acrylic. To remain minimal, yet achieve a spatially complex and poetic essence is the challenge in amanze’s drawings.
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.