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(Of) Lines and Lives: Drawings by Victor Ekpuk

October 27 - December 12, 2009

ekpuk drawing

Conversation in Red and Blue, 2009,
pastel on paper, 25 x 19 inches


The central theme of my work is the exploration of the relationships, challenges and responses to changes that characterize the human condition.

Of particular interest to my project is nsibidi, an indigenous African system of writing that employs graphic signs and codes to convey concepts.

Inspired by this ancient writing, forms in my works are reduced to basic essence, resulting in new symbols or codes in script-like drawings that are used to express contemporary experiences.

When combined with nsibidi signs, these scripts also provide the background narrative to my compositions. Most often, these narratives are better perceived when they are felt rather than read literally.


Victor Ekpuk was born in Nigeria in 1964 and received a B.A. in fine arts from the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife in 1988. Most recently, he has exhibited work in Inscribing Meanings at the National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC, and in Unbound: New Art for a New Century, at the Newark Museum, New Jersey. He was an artist-in-residence in Amsterdam during 2007 through a grant from the Thami Mnyele Foundation.