Njideka Akunyili Crosby

James Dicke Contemporary Artist Prize — 2014

This is a mixed media image of a woman leaning against a wall.

Njideka Akunyili Crosby, “The Beautyful Ones” Series 1b, 2012–2013, acrylic, colored pencils, pastels and transfers on paper. Image courtesy of Jason Wyche. © Njideka Akunyili Crosby

Njideka Akunyili Crosby is the 2014 winner of the museum’s James Dicke Contemporary Artist Prize.

Akunyili Crosby was chosen by an independent panel of jurors, who said about her paintings: “Njideka Akunyili Crosby’s nuanced work reflects the increasingly transnational nature of the contemporary art world. Akunyili Crosby sensitively negotiates the cultural terrain between her adopted home in America and her native Nigeria, creating collage and photo transfer-based paintings that expose the challenges of occupying these two worlds. She has created a sophisticated visual language that pays homage to the history of Western painting while also referencing African cultural traditions. Akunyili Crosby has a striking ability to depict deeply personal imagery that transcends the specificity of individual experience and engages in a global dialogue about trenchant social and political issues. Her bold yet intimate paintings are among the most visually, conceptually, and technically exciting work being made today.”


Thelma Golden, director and chief curator of The Studio Museum

Byron Kim, artist

Harry Philbrick, The Edna S. Tuttleman Director of the Museum at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts

Walter Robinson, artist, critic, and founding editor of Artnet Magazine

Sheena Wagstaff, the Leonard A. Lauder Chairman of modern and contemporary art at The Metropolitan Museum of Art