Accra, Ghana – On view from April 20, 2024, Paris-based Ghanaian multidisciplinary artist, Maku Azu presents The World Within, an intimate body of work at the Olivolo (one of the most refined and intrepid exhibition venues) at the 2024 La Biennale in Venice, Italy. The exhibition will be co-curated by British-Ghanaian artist and director of the Noldor Artist Residency, Joseph Awuah-Darko and American artist, Talia Kirsh.
The World Within is deeply rooted in Azu’s relationship with the idea of a sense of self and how the constant changes of life impact that self to create various versions of “you”. As an artist who paints and creates sculpture, she connects the two practices through her innate need to express the emotions of otherness, displacement, and our collective relationship with the past in multiple media.
The World Within will open as a Collateral Event – a solo exhibition with a public sculptural installation organized in the city of Venice and concurrent with the 60th International Art Exhibition.
The exhibition will be on view till November 24, 2024.
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About Maku Azu
Maku Azu [b.1986] is a Ghanaian artist currently based between Accra and Paris. She is best known for her deeply emotive, abstract and jarring nude figurative portraits painted in oil often featuring multiple selves; there are no boundaries.
In her additive sculptural practice, she explores how humans, usually females, contract and expand to adapt to their surroundings. Here, we also see the fluidity and viscosity of her brush strokes take on much more literal forms in her sculptural allusions. In her oil paintings, the visceral urgency of psychedelic emotional release can be felt through her strokes that blend blues, amber, marigold, and amethysts, but also keeps the colours distinct from each other. Perfectly encapsulating the congruent sentiment of seemingly fitting in, but not quite. Maku’s practice presents an important dialogue on existentialism, identity, womanhood and is an exercise in radical vulnerability.
With use of her foundry in Thailand where she lived for over a decade before moving to Paris, Maku as a multidisciplinary artist is additionally a sculptor. She enjoys creating sculptural self-portraits incorporating sensually engaging, organic, semi abstracted forms within the bodies in resin and bronze.
With many international exhibitions in London, Berlin and Paris, her work has been placed in many renowned private and institutional collections including the Saudi Royal Family collection, World Bank, Collection Sainte-Anne and Africa Women’s Development Fund. She was a Senior Fellow at the Noldor Artist Residency (Accra) in 2022.
About Noldor Artist Residency
Founded in November 2020, the Noldor Artist Residency is Ghana’s first independent artist residency and fellowship program for contemporary African artists on the continent and in the diaspora. The fellowship programs invite emerging artists to explore their creativity.