ARTIST SPOTLIGHT


Otobong Nkanga

(b. 1974, BE/NG)

Otobong Nkanga winning the Young Belgian Art Prize at the Centre for Fine Arts, Brussels (BOZAR). / Photo: Flanders Today.


The artist Otobong Nkanga, born in 1974 in Nigeria, lives and works in Antwerp, Belgium. Nkanga is known for her drawings, installations, sculptures, photography and performances, in which she analyzes the social and topographical relationship with our everyday environment. Doing so, she provokes narratives and stories connected to land, environment, our memory and the postcolonial history of her home country, Nigeria.[1]


"Land" as a notion is a pivotal aspect of her oeuvre and often a starting point from which she builds up her works. Therefore, Nkanga succeeds in challenging complex topics such as politics, colonialist economies, geographies, material culture and the historical structure carrying these topics, physically as a place and metaphysically as an embedded idea, raising questions about cultural inheritance, use, appropriation and identity.[2]


Career facts


Since the new millennium, Otobong Nkanga has been exhibiting across the world. She has had exhibitions in Norway, the United Kingdom, the United States, Germany, Italy, Belgium, South Africa, Ireland, Denmark, France, Lebanon, The Netherlands, Republic of Congo, Morocco, Switzerland, Sweden and more.


Her work has been included in group exhibitions by major institutions such as the 58th Venice Biennale in 2019, the Sharjah Biennial 14 in 2019, the National Museum of Cardiff in 2018, the Musée d'Art Moderne et d'Art Contemporain (MAMAC), Nice in 2018, the Moscow Museum of Modern Art in 2018, Documenta 14 in Kassel in 2017, the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam in 2017, Pirelli Hangarbicoca Milan in 2017, The European Biennial of Contemporary Art, Amsterdam in 2018, the Centre Pompidou in Paris in 2016 or the 13th Biennale de Lyon in 2015.[3]


Works by Otobong Nkanga feature in major public and private collections such as Studio Museum Harlem, Kiasma - Museum of Contemporary Art, Nevada Museum of Art (NMA), Rabo Art Collection (Rabobank), Weltkulturen Museum, FRAC Lorraine, Queensland Art Gallery - Gallery of Modern Art, Kadist Art Foundation, Mu.ZEE Oostende, Museum Folkwang, AkzoNobel Collection, Société Genérale Art Collection, Centre National des Arts Plastiques - CNAP, Centre Pompidou Paris, FRAC Corse, Museum voor Hedendaagse Kunst Antwerpen (M HKA), Robeco Art Collection, Castello di Rivoli Museo d'Arte Contemporanea, Fondation Sindika Dokolo, Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, Stedelijk Museum Zwolle, Stedelijk Museum Arnhem, Stedelijk Van Abbemuseum, Tate Modern London and the Sharjah Art Foundation.[4]


Further, Nkanga is ranked in the top 100 globally by Artfacts as number eighty-six. As a result, Nkanga features in our article The Most Influential Artists Today.[5]


Otobong Nkanga books – selected bibliography


Recently, two monographic publications on Otobong Nkanga have been released in short succession. In 2017, the intense and breakthrough period for Nkanga from 2013 up to 2016 was rewarded and documented with her first ever monograph, titled Otobong Nkanga: Luster and Lucre. In 2018, Otobong Nkanga: To Dig a Hole that Collapses Again followed, celebrating her thought-provoking oeuvre.


Selected works – 2005-2019

(Video) Otobong Nkanga – Selected works 2005-2019.



Otobong Nkanga, May you live in interesting times, 58th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia, Venice, 2019. Courtesy of Mendes Wood DM.



Otobong Nkanga, To Dig a Hole That Collapses Again, MCA Chicago, Chicago, 2018. Courtesy of Mendes Wood DM.



Otobong Nkanga, To Dig a Hole That Collapses Again, MCA Chicago, Chicago, 2018. Courtesy of Mendes Wood MD.



Otobong Nkanga, Documenta 14 installation, Athens/Kassel, 2017. Courtesy of Mendes Wood MD.



Otobong Nkanga, Kolanut Tales - Dismembered, 2016. Woven Textile / Yarns, polyester, bio cotton, linen, acrylic – 81 1/2 × 67 7/10 × 4/5 in / 207 × 172 × 2 cm. Edition 2/4 + 1AP. Courtesy of Fabienne Leclerc.



Otobong Nkanga, Solid maneuvers, 2015. Various metals, Forex, acrylic, tar, salt, make-up, vermiculite — variable dimensions. Courtesy of the artist. / Photo: M HKA Ensembles.



Otobong Nkanga, Currency Affair: Okpoho and King Manilla, 2011-2016. Lambda print 47 × 62 × 4 cm / 18 1/2 × 24 2/5 × 1 3/5 in. Edition 4/5 + 1AP. Courtesy of In Situ - Fabienne Leclerc.



Otobong Nkanga, Alterscape Playground (E ) , 2005-2015. C -print on aluminium 50 × 67 cm / 19 7/10 × 26 2/5 in. Edition of 7 + 1AP. Courtesy of the artist and Lumen Travo, Amsterdam.





Published online by Contemporary Art Issue © 2020



Notes: [1] Artsy, Otobong Nkanga at https://www.artsy.net/artist/otobong-nkanga consulted 17/09/2020. [2] Otobong Nkanga, Otobong Nkanga at https://www.otobong-nkanga.com consulted 17/09/2020.

[3] Mendes Wood DM, Otobong Nkanga at https://mendeswooddm.com/en/artist/otobong-nkanga/about consulted 24/11/2020.

[4] Ibid. note 3.

[5] Artfacts, Otobong Nkanga at https://artfacts.net/artist/otobong-nkanga/26206 consulted 24/11/2020.


List of illustrations:

Otobong Nkanga, Kolanut Tales - Dismembered, 2016. Woven Textile / Yarns, polyester, bio cotton, linen, acrylic – 81 1/2 × 67 7/10 × 4/5 in / 207 × 172 × 2 cm. Edition 2/4 + 1AP. Courtesy of Fabienne Leclerc. Otobong Nkanga, May you live in interesting times, 58th International Art Exhibition - La Biennale di Venezia, Venice, 2019. Courtesy of Mendes Wood DM. Otobong Nkanga, To Dig a Hole That Collapses Again, MCA Chicago, Chicago, 2018. Courtesy of Mendes Wood DM. Otobong Nkanga, To Dig a Hole That Collapses Again, MCA Chicago, Chicago, 2018. Courtesy of Mendes Wood MD. Otobong Nkanga, Documenta 14 installation, Athens/Kassel, 2017. Courtesy of Mendes Wood DM. Otobong Nkanga, Solid maneuvers, 2015. Various metals, Forex, acrylic, tar, salt, make-up, vermiculite — variable dimensions. Courtesy of the artist. / Photo: M HKA Ensembles. Otobong Nkanga, Alterscape Playground (E ) , 2005-2015. C -print on aluminium 50 × 67 cm / 19 7/10 × 26 2/5 in. Edition of 7 + 1AP. Courtesy of the artist and Lumen Travo, Amsterdam. Otobong Nkanga, Currency Affair: Okpoho and King Manilla, 2011-2016. Lambda print 47 × 62 × 4 cm / 18 1/2 × 24 2/5 × 1 3/5 in. Edition 4/5 + 1AP. Courtesy of In Situ - Fabienne Leclerc.





All rights reserved. No part of this online publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the publisher, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical reviews and certain other noncommercial uses permitted by copyright law. For permission requests, please take up contact with the publisher.

 

Every effort has been made to trace copyright holders. However, if you feel you have inadvertently been overlooked, please write to info@contemporaryartissue.com.

 

Contemporary Art Issue is part of the Amazon Associates program and earns money by commission on directed sales on Amazon.

 

Of Course, We Can Be Friends.

Join our Mailing List and Stay in Touch on the Latests Issues by Contemporary Art Issue.

 

We respect your privacy. We do not share information or contact details to any third party website or entity.

Contemporary Art Issue

Platform & Publisher on Contemporary Art

CONTEMPORARY ART ISSUE

Periodical of collectible art books

Based in Belgium

info@contemporaryartissue.com

All rights reserved

© 2020-2021

Schouwburgplein 4 A000

8500 – Kortrijk, BELGIUM

VAT (BTW)

BE0748.553.849