LAGOS.- The National Museum, Lagos at Onikan is presenting Unknown Pleasures & Competing Tendencies, a solo exhibition by the Nigerian artist Ndidi Dike. Featuring a diverse range of materials, the exhibition includes a new large-scale installation and several new cycles of paintings that, created over the course of the past three years, signal new approaches in the technical and conceptual development of Dike's artistic practice. Oscillating between cultural, personal and political spaces, her new body of work effects a complex tableau of meaning wherin both the past and present are made visible through a rigourous engagement with process and materiality.
Through assemblage strategies that distort, complicate or rupture prevailing associations with discarded and synthetic materialssuch as industrial printing plates, marine wood, acrylic, and polyurethane, among othersDike's recent installations fabricate new narratives that foreground unexpected connections between disparate concepts such as textile traditions, abstraction, craft, industrial design and consumerism. Motivated by an experimental approach to art making, Unknown Pleasures & Competing Tendencies extends the artist's recent praxis of repurposing objets trouvés in ways that reconfigure their signifying logic and challenge their aesthetic limitations. The exhibition also includes a selection of heavily textured and deeply lyrical abstract acrylic on canvas paintings that take the story and elaborate process of their experimental making as the works' dominant narrative. In eschewing figuration and illustrative narratives, and blurring the media boundaries between collage, painting, installation and sculpture, Dike's new works disrupt the present terms upon which painting is conceived today, especially within the context of contemporary art practices in Nigeria. Exposing the parallels between process and mateiality, she explores the possibilities of locally-sourced materials, forcing into question their bearings on Nigerian visual culture and their embeddedness within the logic of global consumerism.
Born in London, Ndidi Dike studied painting at University of Nigeria, Nsukka, where she earned her degree in 1984. Since leaving Nsukka, Dike has established herself as one of Nigeria's leading contemporary artists. Her work has been featured in more than 60 solo and group exhibitions both in Nigeria and abroad. Recent solo exhibitions include Waka-Into-Bondage: The Last 3/4 Mile, Centre for Contemporary Art, Lagos (2008) and Tapestry of Life: New Beginnings, National Museum Lagos, Onikan (2008). Her work is represented in numerous public and private collections, both in Nigeria and Abroad. She currently lives and works in Lagos.