SEP 14 - OCT 20 , 2019

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ODD ARK • LA is pleased to present Toothache, the first solo exhibition by ceramicist Narumi Nekpenekpen. The show will open September 14th, 2019 and will remain on view through October 20th, 2019. An opening reception will take place on Saturday, September 14th. 2019 from 4-8 pm.

In the work of Nekpenekpen, slab porcelain clay is pushed and pulled by hand into an assembled tableaux of personal allegory. Plump figures with “cutesy” wandering eyes, luscious lips, sparkling stars and hearts coexist with funky, weighty abstractions and interlocking figures wearing bulky heavy boots (similar to the Dr. Martens worn by the artist.)

Patchworks of woven clay and clunky hand-modeled chains evoke and negotiate complexities of human history, the ontology of trauma and of self-introspection.

The sculpted relief of text becomes emblematic; like a physical graffiti embodying states of consciousness, while sgraffito notations on the hand-painted and glazed surfaces narrate from loose personal archives - championing the composited figures into tangible wholes.

Nekpenekpen refers to her protagonists as “bb’s,” a shorthand nickname for ‘Babies;’ a term of endearment that underscores the deep and personal relationship the artist has to her work. It is also a reminder that the nature of bisque clay as a raw material is inherently fragile, yet, when nurtured correctly - surprisingly resilient.

Born in 1998 to a Japanese mother and a Nigerian father, Narumi Nekpenekpen was raised in both Kashiwa, Japan and Los Angeles, California. Nekpenekpen has exhibited in various group exhibitions including "INSIGHTS" at the University Art Museum, Long Beach, and is the recipient of the Olsen Ceramic scholarship. She is currently studying ceramics at California State University Long Beach under an impressive roster of contemporary ceramicists such as Jennie Jieun Lee, Tony Marsh, Christopher Miles and Ruby Neri. Nekpenekpen currently lives and works in Los Angeles.

Gallery Hours: Friday 2pm-6pm, Saturday and Sunday 12pm-5pm *Also by appointment

For inquiries, please contact:

7101 North Figueroa Street Unit E, Los Angeles, CA 90042 (323) 600-5768