Live via Zoom webinar.
On Tuesday, October 4, sculptor and multimedia and installation artist Ndidi Dike joined Perrin M. Lathrop, Assistant Curator of African Art at the Princeton University Art Museum. This Artist Spotlight explored Dike’s technique, journey as an artist, and her newest work, a collage installation titled The Politics of Selection featured in the upcoming AFA exhibition African Modernism in America.
African Modernism in America began its national tour fall 2023 when it opened at Fisk University Galleries, Nashville, TN on October 7, 2022. It will travel to three additional venues.
Ndidi Dike works as an artist in Lagos, Nigeria. Born and raised in London, Dike relocated to Nigeria and later trained as a painter at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. After graduation, she became a self-taught sculptor and earned acclaim for her work in an artistic domain historically reserved in Nigeria for men. Over the decades, her work has evolved into a multidimensional, multimedia practice defined by experimentation and social engagement. Her art investigates the economic, social, and political structures that govern how life is lived in the present and how the past is remembered.
Past projects have investigated histories of colonialism and postcolonialism, the legacy of enslaved peoples, memory, gender (in)equity, patriarchy, displacement, forced migration, the political dimensions of natural resource extraction, and the global circulation of natural resources and their consumption as commodities. Her artworks tell complex sociopolitical histories that implicate the viewer. In recent works, she has layered images and documents gathered from personal, historical, and digital archives with physical objects to reinforce the tangible, material, and enduring legacy of intertwined histories.
Dike has participated in numerous solo and group exhibitions in Nigeria and internationally and has been awarded many local and international artist residencies and commissions over the course of her career. Her participation in international exhibitions, including at Iwalewlahaus in Bayreuth, Germany (2017), the Jogja Biennale (2015), the Dakar Biennale (2018), Prince/sses of the City, Palais de Tokyo (Paris, 2019), and Sonsbeek International (2020–2024), among others, has been extensive. Many of her projects radically engage with place, either her home in Lagos or sites across the world. Whether working in Brazil, Indonesia, Tasmania, the United Kingdom, or Nashville, Tennessee, she seeks to uncover historical ties that return to Africa.
Perrin M. Lathrop, PhD, is the Assistant Curator of African Art at Princeton University Art Museum. She previously was the Warhol Foundation Curatorial Fellow at Fisk University Galleries (2018–19) and a Postdoctoral Fellow in Modern and Contemporary Art History at the University of Maryland-Phillips Collection (2021–22). She received her Ph.D. from Princeton University in the Department of Art & Archaeology with a Graduate Certificate in African American Studies in 2021. Her research and teaching explore the interlocking intellectual histories and networks of nationalism, Pan-Africanism and modernism that informed art produced under the strictures of colonialism in Africa. Perrin is co-curator of the traveling exhibition African Modernism in America with Fisk University Galleries and the American Federation of Arts.