A new Los Angeles gallery opens its doors in the midst of social upheaval and a worldwide pandemic. Rele Gallery, one of Africa’s foremost galleries of contemporary art based in Lagos, Nigeria, opens its first international space in Los Angeles, CA on February 1, 2021. The inaugural group exhibition, “Orita Meta – Crossroads,” features the work of three female contemporary Nigerian artists Marcellina Akpojotor, Tonia Nneji and Chidinma Nnoli.
The exhibition takes its name from the book and painting by the prominent Nigerian artist Peju Alastise titled Orita Meta, a Yoruba phrase loosely translated as “a junction where three roads meet.” The exhibition collectively explores the intersecting dialogues between gender, femininity and a desire for self-authorship against the hegemonic forces at play in both Nigerian and international society.
Founded by Adenrele Sonariwo in Lagos in 2015, Rele Gallery has specialized in representing a roster of established and emerging Nigerian artists whose work speaks to themes surrounding critical issues in today’s society. Named after the Yoruba word ‘rele’ for ‘coming home’, the gallery’s program focuses on topics including gender equity, self-expression and social and economic justice, and works with a number of emerging and established Nigerian artists to both exhibit and develop their artistic output. The gallery works alongside the Rele Arts Foundation that helps to facilitate the production and reception of contemporary art in Nigeria while exploring art’s role as a tool for social change and positive impact.
The inaugural exhibition “Orita Meta – Crossroads” is curated from the standpoint of the large gender imbalance in artistic representation from contemporary Nigerian artists. In a moment where female artists have gained greater recognition worldwide, the exhibition particularly illustrates how three Nigerian female artists have taken ownership of their own narrative both in their conceptual focus and stylistic treatment of form and material. These narratives are portrayed beyond the reductive, unidirectional and often eroticized representations of women in contemporary art.
On View: February 1 – March 28 2021; CLICK HERE to make an appointment to view the exhibition;
What: “Orita Meta – Crossroads”
Where: Rele Gallery, 8215 Melrose Ave., LA, 90046
When: By appointment – contact gallery