• You will wonder if we would have been friends
    Temitayo Ogunbiyi
    Dakin Hart
    The Isamu Noguchi Foundation and Garden Museum, Long Island City
    Jun to Sep 2023
    Temitayo Ogunbiyi

Temitayo Ogunbiyi "You will wonder if we would have been friends," 2022. Pen on paper. 7.5 x 9.75 inches. Courtesy the artist

This exhibition delves into play, an interest shared between Temitayo Ogunbiyi and Isamu Noguchi (1904–1988). Ogunbiyi presents a new, interactive playground within The Isamu Noguchi Foundation and Garden Museum, within the space Noguchi designed. The installation includes a biography of Noguchi, incorporating casts of his belongings and the museum’s architecture, and lines that trace significant paths in Noguchi’s architectural diagrams or other paths travelled during his lifetime. Each of Ogunbiyi’s playgrounds use common building materials, such as metal bars and concrete, to create innovative design. She aims to push how these architectural materials can function. This installation also considers how the built environment can exist in conversation with nature, another focal area of both artists’ practices. Her first playground in the United States, where Ogunbiyi was born, this project follows ambitious installations in Lagos, Nigeria and Naples, Italy.

Temitayo Ogunbiyi’s art practice moves between drawing, painting, sculpture, and architecture, responding to and forging dialogues between global current events, anthropological histories, design and botanical cultures. Systems that capture, mediate, and direct the movement of people, information and matter are recurring subjects in her Nigeria-based practice. Ogunbiyi is the recipient of a Digital Earth Fellowship (2020–21), a Smithsonian Artist in Research Fellowship (2018), a Ford Foundation Fellowship (2014), and a Foundation of Contemporary Art Emergency Grant (2011). Her artwork has been exhibited at the Madre Museum, Naples, Italy; the Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts, St. Louis; the Centre for Contemporary Art Lagos; the Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts, New York; the Caribbean Cultural Centre, New York; and the 2nd Lagos Biennial of Contemporary Art. Ogunbiyi earned a bachelor’s from Princeton University and a master’s from Columbia University.