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Okwui Enwezor

Born, 1963 in Nigeria. Died, 2019

Okwui Enwezor was the Artistic Director of Documenta 11, in Kassel Germany, 2002. The authour of numerous texts, he contributed the essay: The Black Box, p.42 - 56 to the Documenta 11_Platform 5 Catalogue. For the Transforming the Crown catalogue (1997), he contributed the essay ‘A Question of Place: Revisions, Reassessments, Diaspora’. A quote from another text by Enwezor, on Chris Ofili,  was used in the gallery guide accompanying Ofili’s mid-career retrospective at Tate Britain, 27 January - 16 May 2010. That particular text was Okwui Enwezor, Vexations and the Pleasure of Colour: Chris Ofili’s Afromuses and the Dialectic of Painting, in Chris Ofili exhibition catalogue, Tate Britain, 2010.

From the San Francisco Art Institute: www.sfai.edu/People/Person.aspx?id=1190

”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.

He is currently completing two books, The Postcolonial Constellation: Contemporary Art in a State of Permanent Transitions and Archaeology of the Present: The Postcolonial Archive, Photography and African Modernity; and two exhibition projects, Snap Judgments: Recent Positions in Contemporary African Photography and On Governmentality: Techniques and Technologies of Critique, Dissent, Resistance and Solidarity in Contemporary Art. In 2004 he co-convened a major international conference: Modernity and Contemporaneity: Antinomies of Art and Culture after 20th Century at the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Museum.

Enwezor is the Artistic Director of Bienal Internacional de Arte Contemporaneo de Sevilla, in Seville, Spain. He lives in New York and San Francisco.”

Related items + view all 8

click to show details of Documenta 11- Frieze Review 1

»  Documenta 11- Frieze Review 1

Review relating to an exhibition, 2002

click to show details of Documenta 11_Platform 5 : Exhibition / Catalogue

»  Documenta 11_Platform 5 : Exhibition / Catalogue

Catalogue relating to an exhibition, 2002

click to show details of In the heart of the black box

»  In the heart of the black box

Article relating to an exhibition, 2002

click to show details of The show that maps out art’s future

»  The show that maps out art’s future

Review relating to an exhibition, 2002

click to show details of Transforming the Crown

»  Transforming the Crown

Catalogue relating to an exhibition, 1997

Related exhibitions

Related venues

»  Documenta Halle

Kassel, Germany