La Vie en Rose: Chicago

Exhibiting Artists:


Ruby onyinyechi amanze, Raphaël Barontini, Amoako Boafo, M. Florine Démosthène, Jerrell Gibbs, Maïmouna Guerresi, Mwangi Hutter, Yukimasa Ida, Ayana V. Jackson, Clotilde Jiménez, Shannon T. Lewis, Sergio Lucena, No Martins, Ian Mwesiga, Ferrari Sheppard, Zohra Opoku and Peter Uka.


Mariane Ibrahim announces La Vie en Rose, a celebratory group exhibition on behalf of the 10-year anniversary. The show will be on view in Chicago from February 5 – March 19, 2022.


In using flowers as a subject, the artists present each bespoke work as a congratulatory gesture while exploring historical meanings and personal relevance of the efflorescence. Of the many artistic, historical, and emotional meanings and symbols of flowers, La Vie en Rose contemplates the beauty of and the idea of coming back to life.


“In our 10th year, I envisioned flowers to present a resistance and a reclamation of beauty and joy in this new departure. They symbolize the purity and passion, the flowers from the artists are an offering, an antidote, a hopeful reminder of the fragility of life. The result is breathtaking, a collection of flower arrangements reflecting the artist own signature,” states Mariane Ibrahim.


The thematic exhibition is an invitation to celebrate the 10th anniversary, a gesture toward the difficulties of such an achievement. The title an homage to the song of popular French singer Édith Piaf, an anthem of love, "La Vie en Rose" ("Life in pink"'), alluding to seeing life through rose-colored glasses, to living life with an outlook of positivity, focusing on the beauty of every day.


Flowers and painters are symbolically and historically connected. European paintings have incorporated flowers with great challenge in the material form and the imaginary. Flowers have remained omnipresent in the artist practice and some of them obsessive, as Claude Monet stated, “I must have flowers, always, and always.” The composition depicts their signature but also represent a muse, as Monet considers.


Through flowers, impressionists found a way to explore technical elements such as lighting, perspective, and attention to detail. In the 21st century, the flower theme gradually lost its aesthetic relevance and crystalized as a decorative genre rather than a political statement. Flowers are used to convey an emotional mood, a secret message that only the viewer will uncover.


“I consider the flower as an extension or a stand-in for the figure. The absence of flowers in the work of Black artists of past and present in my opinion is synonymous with the omission of Black artist’s voice in art history. Black Artists have always been present, just omitted from the conversations. But now we have the power to revise the exclusion by giving ourselves our flowers,” Jerrell Gibbs emphasizes.


Collectively the artists hand the gallery a bouquet of flowers, with best wishes for the next 10 years. ruby onyinyechi amanze shares, “Unlike flowers, art can last forever (or close). So can a legacy. I am locking these flowers into the paper and presenting them to Mariane. May you be surrounded by beauty… always. And may what you've built continue to grow and blossom.”