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Okwui Enwezor

Brief biographical data of the curator of The Short Century (published 2001, updated)

© Photo: Haupt & Binder, Universes in Universe

Okwui Enwezor at the exhibition The Short Century in Berlin, 17 May 2001. © Photo: Haupt & Binder, Universes in Universe

Born in Kalaba, Nigeria, a small city on the border to Cameroon. Raised in Enugu, in eastern Nigeria.

Moved to New York. Began studying political science at Jersey City State College

From October 2011 on, Director of Haus der Kunst in Munich, Germany.
More about...

Died at the age of 55 in Munich, Germany
In Memoriam

Special Golden Lion of the Venice Biennale, posthumously awarded to Maurizio Calvesi, Germano Celant, Okwui Enwezor and Vittorio Gregotti

Tags: Okwui Enwezor in UiU

Projects / Curatorial Activities (selection)

In/sight: African Photographers, 1940 - Present, Guggenheim Museum, New York, May - September 1996. Co-Curator and Editor of the publication.

2nd Johannesburg Biennale , South Africa, October 12, 1997 - January 18, 1998. Artistic Director.
(see the interview by Universes in Universe)

Cinco Continentes y una Ciudad (Five Continents and a City), international painting-exhibition in Mexico-City, November 26, 1998 - February 28, 1999. Curator of the African selection.

1998 - 2002
Artistic Director of Documenta 11 in Kassel, Germany

Adjunct Curator of Contemporary Art at the Art Institute of Chicago

Mirror's Edge, BildMuseet in Umeå, Sweden, November 21, 1999 - February 20, 2000. Also in Vancouver, Turin, Glasgow, Kopenhagen. Curator

Global Conceptualism: Points of Origin, 1950s-1980s, Queens Museum of Art, New York, April 28 - August 29, 1999. Walker Art Center, December 19, 1999 - March 5, 2000. Co-Curator for Africa.

David Goldblatt, South African Photographer, Equitable Gallery, New York. Curator

Meeting Points 6. Artistic Director.
(see the interview by Universes in Universe)

56th International Art Exhibition, La Biennale di Venezia. Artistic Director.

Further exhibitions:
Modern Life, Aljira Centre for Contemporary Art in conjunction with the Newark Museum.
New Visions: Six Contemporary African Artists, Zora Neale Hurston National Art Museum, Eatonville, Florida.

Publications (selection)

Enwezor has written extensively on contemporary African art and artists, as well as on American and international art.

Founding Publisher and Coeditor of Nka: Journal of Contemporary African Art, a critical art journal co-published with the Africana Studies Centre at Cornell University, New York, founded in 1994.

Correspondent for Flash Art und aRude; consulting editor for Atlantica; writes regularly for Frieze, International Review of African-American Art, Third Text, Index on Censorship, Glendora Review, Africa World Review, African Profiles International, SIKSI.

Reading the Contemporary: African Art from Theory to the Marketplace.
Edited by Olu Oguibe and Okwui Enwezor. Institute for International Visual Arts: INIVA, London, and MIT Press, 1999.


Okwui Enwezor has lectured extensively in Museums and Universities in the US, Mexico, Europe, and Africa, for example at "100 days - 100 guests", during documenta X (Kassel), Ecole des Beaux Arts Superieur (Paris), Royal College of Art (London), Moderna Museet (Stockholm), Haus der Kulturen der Welt (Berlin), National Arts Academy (Oslo), Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College (Annandale on Hudson, New York), New York University (New York) and Temple University (Philadelphia).

Further professional activities

Member of numerous juries and committees, among others:

International Advisory Committee of Carnegie International

Jury for the Hugo Boss Prize at the Guggenheim Museum, New York

Enwezor is the recipient of the 1998 Peter Norton Family Foundation Curator's Grant.

The Short Century

A project of Museum Villa Stuck, Munich, in co-operation with House of World Cultures, Berlin. Presented in Munich, Berlin, Chicago, New York, 2001-2002.

Curator: Okwui Enwezor

Co-Curators: Rory Bester, Lauri Firstenberg, Chika Okeke-Agulu, Mark Nash

60 participants

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