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Biography of Okwui ENWEZOR

Nigeria > Arts : Okwui ENWEZOR

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Born on 23/10/1963 (format : day/month/year)

Biography :

Okwui Enwezor is a Nigerian teacher, writer and curator specializing in Art history.Nigerian-born poet, art critic, art historian,  who helped bring global attention to African art.
At various exhibits, Enwezor noticed the absence of artists from Africa and started critiquing the shows. He began writing widely for art magazines and even launched one of his own—Nka: Journal of contemporary art.

Okwui Enwezor was born in oct 23 1963 in Kalaba, (Nigeria), a small city on the border of Cameroon. In 1983 he moved to New York to study political science at Jersey City State College.
Okwui Enwezor is Dean of Academic Affairs and Senior Vice President at San Francisco Art Institute. He has held positions as Visiting Professor in Art History at University of Pittsburgh; Columbia University, New York; University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign; and University of Umea, Sweden. Enwezor was Artistic Director of Documenta 11, Kassel, Germany (1998–2002) and the 2nd Johannesburg Biennale (1996–1997). He has curated numerous exhibitions in some of the most distinguished museums around the world, including The Short Century: Independence and Liberation Movements in Africa, 1945–1994, Museum Villa Stuck, Munich, Gropius Bau, Berlin, Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, and P.S.1 and Museum of Modern Art, New York; Century City, Tate Modern, London; Mirror’s Edge, Bildmuseet, Umea, Vancouver Art Gallery, Vancouver, Tramway, Glasgow, Castello di Rivoli, Torino; In/Sight: African Photographers, 1940–Present, Guggenheim Museum; Global Conceptualism, Queens Museum, New York, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, Henry Art Gallery, Seattle, List Gallery at MIT, Cambridge; David Goldblatt: Fifty One Years, Museum of Contemporary Art, Barcelona, AXA Gallery, New York, Palais des Beaux Art, Brussels, Lenbach Haus, Munich, Johannesburg Art Gallery, Johannesburg, Witte de With, Rotterdam; co-curator of Echigo-Tsumari Sculpture Biennale in Japan; co-curator of Cinco Continente: Biennale of Painting, Mexico City; Stan Douglas: Le Detroit, Art Institute of Chicago.

As a writer, critic, and editor, Enwezor has been a regular contributor to numerous exhibition catalogues, anthologies, and journals. He is founder and editor of the critical art journal Nka: Journal of Contemporary African Art published by the Africana Study Center, Cornell University. His writings have appeared in numerous journals, catalogues, books, and magazines including: Third Text, Documents, Texte zur Kunst, Grand Street, Parkett, Artforum, Frieze, Art Journal, Research in African Literatures, Index on Censorship, Engage, and Atlantica. Among his books are Reading the Contemporary: African Art, from Theory to the Marketplace (MIT Press, Cambridge and INIVA, London) and Mega Exhibitions: Antinomies of a Transnational Global Form (Wilhelm Fink Verlag, Munich) and the four volume publication of Documenta 11 Platforms: Democracy Unrealized; Experiments with Truth: Transitional Justice and the Processes of Truth and Reconciliation; Creolité and Creolization; Under Seige: Four African Cities, Freetown, Johanneburg, Kinshasa, Lagos (Hatje Cantz, Verlag, Stuttgart), which Enwezor edited.

He has served on numerous juries, advisory bodies, and curatorial teams including: the advisory team of Carnegie International in 1999; Venice Biennale; Hugo Boss Prize, Guggenheim Museum; Foto Press, Barcelona; Carnegie Prize; International Center for Photography Infinity Awards; Young Palestinian Artist Award, Ramallah; and the Cairo, Istanbul, Sharjah, and Shanghai Biennales.

Enwezor is a recipient of awards and grants from Prince Claus Fund for Culture and Development, Ford Foundation, Rockefeller Foundation, International Art Critics Association, and Peter Norton Curatorial Award.

Enwezor is the Artistic Director of Bienal Internacional de Arte Contemporaneo de Sevilla, in Seville, Spain. He lives ibetweenNew York and Munich

Last update : 06/28/2015

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