New York’s Tilton Gallery did such swift business at Art Basel that it sold out the entire booth — five large-scale collage, Xerox transfer, acrylic, and pencil pieces by Nigerian-born, U.S. based, and current Studio Museum in Harlem artist in residence Njideka Akunyili — in just half an hour.
When ARTINFO ran into Jack and Connie Rogers Tilton at the fair on Wednesday, the couple explained that Akunyili’s work — which was featured in Basel’s solo booths section “Art Statements” — was all bought within the first 20-30 minutes of Tuesday’s VIP preview.
The booth marks Akunyili’s first show with the Upper East Side gallery, though judging by its success it will certainly not be her last. The artist, who was born in Nigeria in 1983 but has been based in the U.S. since 2000, explained in the exhibition’s press release: “My art serves as a vehicle through which I explore my conflicted allegiance to two separate cultures.”
— Bill Fine, Benjamin Sutton
(Images courtesy the artist, Tilton Gallery, New York; Top image: “5 Umezebi Street, New Haven,” 2012)