Universes in Universe - Worlds of Art

Documenta 11
8 June - 15 September 2002

Documenta / 2002



  Okwui Enwezor, © photo: G. Haupt

Okwui Enwezor



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


Director of Haus der Kunst in Munich, Germany.
More about...

2013 - 2015

Artistic Director 56th Venice Biennale
9 May - 22 November 2015




Projects / Curatorial Activities (selection - until 2002)

1998 - 2002

Artistic Director of Documenta 11, 8 June - 15 September 2002 in Kassel, Germany


Adjunct Curator of Contemporary Art at the Art Institute of Chicago

2001 - 2002

The Short Centrury, Independence and Liberation Movements in Africa 1945 - 1994. Munich, Berlin, Chicago, New York. Curator


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


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


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


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


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


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

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 Co-editor 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 given numerous lectures 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.


(Biography compiled by Universes in Universe, according to
information on the website of the Documenta 11 and other sources)



Documenta / 2002