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Ameh Egwuh: Life After Life
April 10 - May 8Free
Rele Gallery, Los Angeles is pleased to present Life After Life, the debut solo exhibition by emerging contemporary Nigerian artist Ameh Egwuh, running from April 10 to May 8, 2021. Drawing its title from psychiatrist Raymond Moody’s 1975 book Life After Life, the exhibition explores the idea of human mortality and the afterlife, presenting death as a liminal and transmutative process of movement between worlds, a performative threshold between disparate but closely connected ways of being.
As a series, the nine paintings in Life After Life share similar monochromatic, geometric backgrounds. The works are brightly colored, dream-like spaces populated with balloons, birds, and clocks, almost dancing around the human body as its primary subject. As composite images with different arrangements of symbols that suggest ascension, rebirth, and the passage of time, the exhibition investigates the complex entanglement of life, death, and the indeterminate chasm that separates them. Perhaps most striking in Life After Life are the varying arrangements of the human figures, demonstrating the impossibility of trapping the experience of the afterlife into a singular moment or process.
Presented as a two-part meditation on death and the afterlife over the course of two exhibitions across different cultures, the works featured in this exhibition explore the inevitable and transcultural reality of an ‘end’ to the passage of life. Challenging images of death as cold, skeletal, frightening forms often met with foreboding, the artist offers a different reality through his paintings. The abyssal unknown, here, becomes generative, meditative, and calm. In Life After Life, Egwuh invites the viewer into intimate dialogue on mortality and transcendence as a way to understand and to improve current realities faced by humans throughout the world.
About Rele Gallery
Rele Gallery is one of Africa’s leading contemporary art galleries with two locations in Lagos, Nigeria and one space in Los Angeles, CA. The gallery represents and exhibits prominent emerging and established visual artists from Nigeria, with a strong emphasis on facilitating appreciation, followership, accessibility and engagement of the region’s art to both a local and global audience. Represented artists have been featured in art fairs, exhibitions and biennials at Art Basel in Miami Beach, Miami Beach, Florida; Art Dubai, Dubai, UAE; Carnegie Gallery, Columbus, Ohio; FNB Art Joburg, Johannesburg, South Africa; National Museum, Lagos, Nigeria, in addition to completing a variety of notable international residency programs.
About Ameh Egwuh
Ameh Egwuh (b. 1996, Nigeria) is a visual artist whose practice is characterized by his fascination with lines. Drawing inspiration from the scarification techniques of ancient Ife art, Adinkra and Nsibidi art signs and symbols, Egwu’s paintings invite the viewer into an expansive, multi- layered world populated with dynamic figures in intimate and casual scenes of family and everyday life.
Exploring concepts of home and familial responsibilities, solitude, and identity, Egwu utilizes multiple modes of representation from expressionistic painting techniques to his use of lines and geometric patterns–drawn from textile designs from his hometown, Idoma in Benue state–in representing skin and backgrounds. His eclectic visual vocabulary conveys varying textures of lives lived and spaces occupied.
Egwuh studied Fine and Applied Art at the Delta State University, Abraka, Delta State and has been part of different exhibitions, competitions and trainings such as the ACOEDE International School competition, Afriuture Painting Competition by Ramati Art Africa in 2018 and Generation Y exhibition organized by Retro Africa. In 2019 he participated in the inaugural edition of Rele Arts Foundation’s Young Contemporaries Bootcamp and was selected in 2020 as part of Rele Arts Foundation Young Contemporaries. Egwu lives and works in Lagos.