The 6 Best Works at Frieze New York, From a $12,000 Mermaid Stuck in a Washing Machine to a Depiction of Black Gymnasts

Pac Pobric, Artnet, May 3, 2019

Thenjiwe Niki Nkosi, Practice (2019)

Mariane Ibrahim Gallery, Chicago

"The New York-born, Johannesburg-based artist Thenjiwe Niki Nkosi is debuting new pictures at Frieze that depict black gymnasts at work. The clean, minimal paintings, full of figures with no discernible features, are focused on line, color, and visual clarity, and each emphasizes the gymnasts’ specific poses and movements. But the paintings are not without deeper commentary. “It’s partly about the black body in white space and under scrutiny,” says Mariane Ibrahim, the gallery’s founder, noting that two panels depict groups of judges, all of whom are also black. “It’s about who decides what’s in good taste, and it’s a metaphor for the high degree of exposure that reaching excellence demands.”

 

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