Rele Gallery: the first Nigerian gallery to inaugurate a space in Los Angeles

February 22, 2021

Located in a former vitamin shop, the newly opened Los Angeles branch of Lagos-based Rele Gallery inaugurated its space with the group show “Orita Meta – Crossroads.”

Founded by Adenrele Sonariwo in 2015 with the purpose of focusing on young contemporary Nigerian artists – mostly unknown to the public – Rele Gallery is the first African gallery to open a location in Los Angeles. By joining the city’s dynamic artistic scene, Sonariwo aims to provide a more global platform to the artists she represents, offering them a wider recognition by both international collectors and dealers. A collaboration with Marianne Boesky, who has previously featured Rele Gallery’s Chidinma Nnoli in a group show, is already in the works.

“Orita Meta – Crossroads,” the gallery’s debut exhibition, is a nod to Peju Alastise’s book Orita Meta, whose title can be loosely translated as a junction where three roads meet.” Making an effort to center the voice of female artists, the show features works by Marcellina Akpojotor, Tonia Nneji and Chidinma Nnoli who, drawing inspiration from their life experiences as young women in Nigeria, deal with issues of purity culture, sexual autonomy, identity and trauma, offering their unique perspective on themes of gender and female empowerment in contemporary society.

“Orita Meta – Crossroads” will be on view at Rele Gallery, Los Angeles until March 28.

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