ANNOUNCING: Abdulrazaq Awofeso

Abdulrazaq Awofeso joins Ed Cross

Ed Cross is pleased to announce the representation of UK-based Nigerian artist Abdulrazaq Awofeso (b. 1978, Lagos, Nigeria). Ed Cross will present a solo exhibition of new work by Awofeso at 19 Garrett Street, London, in spring 2023.


Widely known for his use of ‘forgotten materials’, Awofeso dismantles structures such as pallet boxes before using the timber to represent human figures. His installations and sculptures tell stories about different environments and the communities that live in them. Recently relocating from Lagos to Birmingham, Awofeso’s 2022 exhibition Out of Frame at Ikon Gallery, Birmingham, was loaded with connotations of human migration, as well as referring to the artist’s own frequent journeys through African and Europe.  


For more than a decade, Awofeso has produced stand-alone figures formed of geometric wooden blocks. Part of his ongoing project Boujee begun in 2009, his series Skhothane (2021-22) takes its title from the culture of the post-apartheid ‘born-free’ generation living in South Africa. Visiting friends in the townships, Awofeso enjoyed observing Skhothane dance battles, involving the destruction of personal possessions – such as money, mobile phones, designer and luxury clothes – as a demonstration of wealth.


Commissioned by Ikon Gallery, Avalanche of Calm (2021-22) is perhaps Awofeso’s most ambitious work to date. Comprising 3,000 individually carved figures, the installation signifies the modern city, where people from all walks of life come together. Suspended above the diminutive crowd are wooden clouds, their subdued hues recalling typical British weather; reminding viewers of the ephemerality of existence, Avalanche of Calm highlights our individual smallness in relation to the cosmos while inferring humanity’s collective strength.


Ed Cross, Director, said: “We are thrilled to be working with Abdulrazaq Awofeso. Like many great ideas, his merging of painting with sculpture, and his elevation and expansion of portraiture towards installation, are disarmingly simple — truly one of the African continent’s brightest young art stars.”


Abdulrazaq Awofeso (b. 1978, Lagos, Nigeria) is a sculptor and installation artist. He lives and works between Birmingham, UK, and Lagos, Nigeria. Recent exhibitions by Abdulrazaq Awofeso include Dakar Biennale (2016), STEVENSON, Cape Town (2016), Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil (2017–18), MAXXI, the National Museum of 21st Century Arts Rome (2018), Museum Arnhem (2020) and Ikon Gallery (2022). Forthcoming exhibitions include Museum Arnhem, Arnhem (2023) and Ed Cross (2023). Awofeso's work features in prestigious private and institutional collections including Benetton Imago Mundi, Laurent Perrier, Deborah Goldman and Yemi Odusanya. 

November 6, 2022