Njideka Akunyili Crosby just won a "genius grant" and she'll be at The Tang this month

Njideka Akunyili Crosby "Mummy Mama Mamma"

"Mama, Mummy and Mamma" (Predecessors #2), by Njideka Akunyili Crosby, 2014. / photo by the New Church Museum, Cape Town, South Africa.

The MacArthur Foundation announced its 2017 class of fellows (the "genius grants") Wednesday and the list includes painter Njideka Akunyili Crosby -- who, as it happens, will be at Skidmore's Tang Museum October 21.

An exhibit of work by Akunyili Crosby -- Predecessors -- opens at The Tang this weekend and will be on display through the end of the year. Blurbage:

Njideka Akunyili Crosby's large-scale paintings have garnered international attention for their investigations into the confluences, contact zones, and third spaces of culture in her work. The paintings represent a fusion of her Nigerian upbringing, her immigration to America, and her subsequent marriage to a white Texan. Her artwork also plays with and subverts preconceived notions of Western art history by including portraits of her African family, material references to her Igbo tribe's customs, and images of Nigeria's British colonial past. Her subject matter focuses on quotidian aspects of domestic life, taking place in conventional, albeit subtly Nigerian, interiors.
Njideka Akunyili Crosby: Predecessors unites for the first time many works from the artist's Predecessors series. The series celebrates her family and Nigerian background through portraits of her late mother, an important political figure in Nigeria, her sister, and the artist herself, as well as re-imaginings of her grandmother's kitchen table with all of its pots and pans alongside the traditional Nigerian assortment of "tea things" (the artist's own phrase).

The October 21 event includes a talk by Akunyili Crosby and artist Julia Jacquette. It starts at 3 pm, with a reception at 4 pm. It's free and open to the public.

Below is a short MacArthur Foundation video in which Njideka Akunyili Crosby talks about her work.

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