Okwui Enwezor, Noted Curator and Promoter of African Art, Dies at 55

HeadlineMar 20, 2019

And renowned Nigerian art curator Okwui Enwezor has died at age 55 after a battle with cancer. Enwezor was the director of the Haus der Kunst museum in Munich, Germany, until last year. He was also an art critic, educator, editor and writer. He worked to put African art and artists center stage, as well as women artists. In 1994, he founded Nka, a magazine for contemporary African art. His exhibit “The Short Century,” celebrating African art and independence movements, was hailed as a landmark exhibition. Enwezor was the first African-born chief curator of the Venice Biennale and was widely credited for bringing political art back to the prestigious festival. Democracy Now! spoke to Okwui Enwezor in Venice in 2015.

Okwui Enwezor: “Art matters in many, many different ways, and I think it’s both in the large and small ways, that one can begin to see the utility of art not as something to be appropriated as propaganda or for ideological purposes, but the utility of art as a learning tool, as a teaching tool, but also as a way for the public to learn how to kind of expand their view of the world.”

That was Okwui Enwezor, who died Friday at the age of 55 in Munich, Germany. Click here to see our whole interview with him at the Venice Biennale.

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