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Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, Netherlands

Esiri Erheriene-Essi, The Inheritance (or Familiar Strangers)

Curated by Claire van Els
19 October 2019 – 22 March 2020

The Inheritance (or Familiar Strangers) is a new series of paintings developed by Esiri Erheriene-Essi for her nomination for the Prix de Rome 2019. The paintings were first presented in the group exhibition for the award nominees at the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam. Esiri Erheriene-Essi deals mainly with colorful, figurative works that depict everyday life and that center people from the African diaspora. The figures in this particular series of paintings come from her collection of family photos that date from the 1950s through the 1980s. Though these photos are of people who are not related to the artist, she considers them “familiar strangers” who constitute an important visual element of her personal archive and her work. The Prix de Rome is the oldest and most prestigious award in the Netherlands for visual artists below the age of 40. The Stedelijk Museum was founded in 1874 and is widely considered to be at the forefront of contemporary art institutions in Europe.

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