THE ARMORY SHOW
When Monuments Fall
September 9-12, 2021
Location: Javits Center, New York City
Anna Zorina Gallery is pleased to feature Kambui Olujimi’s When Monuments Fall, a selection of paintings and sculptures that interrogate the precarious position of monumentality. This new body of work contests the ideological and the symbolic manifestations of colonialism and intersects with current international conversations around the recontextualization, revision, and removal of monuments.
In Olujimi’s large-scale watercolor paintings, monuments are in transition, broken or veiled. At their core, these paintings question how monuments participate in the construction and narratives of state power and supplant lived memories and histories. Olujimi’s work problematizes the inability of the heroic monument to move beyond reinforcing dominant powers. While the current undoing and the removal of these monuments mark an important shift in our understanding of oppression and nationhood, this reckoning does not undo the figures’ legacies of violence.
In his ceramic sculptures, Olujimi has reimagined municipal and royal stamps, incorporating teeth, hair and a humbler as a way to reintroduce the personal into a space that was once meant to obscure individual bodies. These seal matrices interrupt the symbolic with the corporeal, reminding us of a very real absence in the historic record.
Interdisciplinary artist KAMBUI OLUJIMI was born and raised in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn and received his MFA from Columbia University in New York City. Olujimi’s work has been exhibited at MoMA, Brooklyn Museum, MASSMoCA, and Yerba Buena. Internationally, his work has been featured at Museo Nacional Reina Sofia in Madrid, Kunsthal Rotterdam in the Netherlands, Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art in Finland and Para Site in Hong Kong, among others.
His work is currently on view at The Cleveland Art Museum and will be shown in Black American Portraits in conjunction with The Obama Portraits Tour at LACMA this November. His work is in multiple collections including the Studio Museum in Harlem, Birmingham Museum of Art, Brooklyn Museum of Art, Newark Museum, Orange County Museum of Art and Nasher Museum of Art.