The Tate Americas Foundation is pleased to announce Remain, Thriving, 2018 by Njideka Akunyili Crosby has been gifted by Sukey and Michael Novogratz. Njideka Akunyili Crosby draws on historical, political and personal references to create densely layered figurative paintings. Characterized by their distinctive style, her works conjure the complexity of global African identity, as well as contemporary experiences of diaspora and cosmopolitanism.
Remain, Thriving, was the first in a series of new works commissioned by Art on the Underground for Brixton Station. Inspired by Brixton’s rich history of public murals, artists are invited to respond to the area’s diverse narratives, as well as the wider social and political history of mural making. In order to anchor her new work in Brixton, a heartland of London’s cosmopolitan diaspora, Akunyili Crosby spent time speaking to members of the local community, as well as archivists at the Black Cultural Archives and the Lambeth Archives. While making the painting, Akunyili Crosby considered the local constituents who travel through the station everyday, who may even recognize familiar people and places in the work. The collaged elements of the painting include archival images of local landmarks. The paintings hopeful title, Remain, Thriving, refers to the communities who, despite political and economic hardships, have remained vital to Brixton’s social fabric.
1 December 2020