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On International Women’s Day, the Fowler is pleased to welcome Adenrele Sonariwo, the founding director of L.A.’s first contemporary art gallery from Africa, and three Nigerian women artists—Marcellina Akpojotor, Tonia Nneji, and Chidinma Nnoli—who are featured in Rele Gallery’s inaugural exhibition, Orita Meta – Crossroads. Fowler Director Marla C. Berns will join Sonariwo in a conversation about her goals for her gallery and other venues showing contemporary African art in Los Angeles. The artists will discuss how their works address issues of concern to women in Nigeria, including purity and sexual autonomy, identity and trauma.
Adenrele Sonariwo is an award-winning gallerist, curator, and founder of Rele Gallery and Rele Art Foundation. She has curated and overseen high-profile art exhibitions in Lagos, Los Angeles, New York, and Venice, Italy, challenging the boundaries of art and engaging in provocative subjects and techniques. Sonariwo curated the first ever Nigerian Pavilion at the 2017 Venice Biennale.
Marcellina Akpojotor employs collage and traditional painting to produce richly textured and layered works that explore femininity, personal and societal identity, and women’s empowerment in contemporary society. Akpojotor had her first solo exhibition at Rele Gallery in 2018 and has participated in prominent art fairs across the world, including the FNB Art Joburg Fair 2019 (South Africa), Art Dubai 2020 (Dubai), and the 2020 edition of the LA Art Show (USA). She lives and works in Lagos.
Tonia Nneji is known for her work’s bold colors and intricate patterns, and for her exploration of the relationship between the female body and trauma. Nneji was recently among the artists selected for the Art Dubai Residency program. Her works are widely collected locally and internationally. She lives and works in Lagos.
Chidinma Nnoli’s practice draws on personal experiences to challenge stereotypes, psychology, and cultural conditioning of women, while exploring elements of identity, sexuality, and mental health. Her debut solo exhibition, To Wander Untamed, will open at Rele Gallery’s location in Lagos in March, 2021. Nnoli earned her Bachelor of Arts degree at the University of Benin. She currently lives and works in Lagos.
A Global Destination for Art: Artists from all over the world flock to work in Los Angeles, drawn by the energy of ingenuity and the space for experimental expression. Join us on Zoom as we visit with international artists exhibiting in our City of Angels.
Adenrele Sonariwo. Image courtesy Rele Gallery.