Nina Chanel Abney (New Jersey, USA)


Assisted by Jonathan Horowitz and Mark Hartman

The role of politics, race, power, and sexuality are at the heart of much of Abney’s work. Her figures reflect the stories of Black and Brown bodies in public space. They address police brutality and the #Blacklivesmatter movement. Her work pulls from contemporary politics and culture, and responds with absurdly exaggerated forms and anti-realism, harkening to an aesthetic rooted in pop art.

The artist: Nina Chanel Abney

Nina Chanel Abney is a painter based in Jersey City, NJ who is currently working in Newark. As of late, Abney has been exploring collage, layering words, arrows, and faces in a bright mix of references. Of her work she says, “At first I felt this obligation to talk about race, now [it’s]more reflective of what I deal with. Not that I don’t deal with racism, but that’s not my whole life.”
Abney received her BFA from Augustana College, Rock Island, IL, and her MFA from Parsons School of Design New York, NY. Abney’s work has been exhibited at: Charles H. Wright Museum of African American Art (Detroit, MI); KK Outlet (London, UK); Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts (San Francisco, CA); Studio Museum (New York, NY); Corcoran Gallery of Art (Washington, D.C); and North Carolina Museum of Art (Raleigh, NC) — among others. Her work can be found in the collections of the Brooklyn Museum, Corcoran Gallery of Art, Girls’ Club, and The Rubell Family Collection.