ruby onyinyechi amanze (born in 1982 in Port-Harcourt, Nigeria, lives and works in Philadelphia, USA) focuses her practice on paper to explore the vast 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. Recurring beings and inanimate objects have the same function; flat forms interact [play] in endless configurations suggest movement through space and architecture.
Indicators of geography, time and place have been removed to unify the objects as a collective, while maintaining a sense of ambiguity. 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. To remain minimal, yet achieve a spatially complex and poetic essence, is the challenge in her drawings.
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.