Five works by Nigerian-born, Los Angeles–based artist Njideka Akunyili are spotlighted in the third and final exhibition in a series curated by the Pulitzer Prize–winning author and New Yorker magazine critic Hilton Als, in collaboration with the Yale Center for British Art (YCBA) and each artist.
For this exhibition (15 Feb–12 June 2023), Als and Akunyili Crosby selected collage-based paintings from “The Beautyful Ones”, the artist’s ongoing series of intimate portraits of Nigerian children, including members of her own family. The title references a classic 1968 novel, The Beautyful Ones Are Not Yet Born, by Ghanaian author Ayi Kwei Armah. Published in a year of worldwide social unrest, Armah’s book comments on the challenges of revolution, addresses the unfulfilled political promises of the postcolonial African nation-state, and looks ahead from a place of lost hope.
Image: Njideka Akunyili Crosby, "The Beautyful Ones" Series #8, 2018