A public garden & cultural center

Onyedika Chuke

the untitled
Sunroom Project Space | September 15 – October 20, 2013        
Van Lier Visual Artist Fellow

 the untitled, 2013plaster, wood, metal, dimensions variable. Courtesy of the artist. Photo: Ken Goebel.

Onyedika Chuke addresses the human condition by creating sculptures and installations that are the result of continuous historical inquiry. His practice is currently focused on his ongoing project, “The Forever Museum” (2011–), in which the artist analyzes the historiography of museum objects and presents three-dimensional models (sculptures) that highlight the disjuncture among architecture, its politics and the human body. In this investigation, Chuke examines cultural artifacts through writing, photography, drawing, printmaking and sculpture.

Chuke’s concept for his installation in the Sun Porch was developed during Wave Hill’s 2013 Winter Workspace Program. This project, the untitled, consists of sculptures that are concerned with the need for shelter, using building materials such as plaster and salvaged wood. Chuke says, “Dwelling construction calls for one to relate body directly to material, conjuring up issues pertaining to scale.” When the sculpture exceeds a certain size, the building process must employ many of the techniques and machinery needed to build a house. Chuke also finds a correlation between construction implements and the human body’s own tools, like muscles, joints and limbs. In each of the project’s components, the artist has altered the sculptures by making subtle or drastic interventions, by, for instance, making an insertion or slicing. The forms all allude to figurative sculpture— from classical to modernist—as well as to representations of the human physique in relation to architecture and space.

Chuke is a recipient of Wave Hill’s 2013 Van Lier Visual Artist Fellowship, which offers emerging artists of diverse backgrounds professional development, career mentorship and workspace and exhibition opportunities.



 the untitled, 2013plaster, wood, metal, dimensions variable. Courtesy of the artist. Photo: Ken Goebel.

Artist website

The Arts at Wave Hill are supported by the Lily Auchincloss Foundation, Inc.; Michael J. Shannon; Milton and Sally Avery Arts Foundation; the National Endowment for the Arts; New York City Department of Cultural Affairs; New York Community Trust Edward and Sally Van Lier Fund; New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature; The Pollock-Krasner Foundation; The Shelley & Donald Rubin Foundation; and by the Cathy and Stephen Weinroth Commissioning Fund for the Arts.