Olu Oguibe

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Olu Oguibe
Olu Oguibe.jpg
Olu Oguibe
Born (1964-10-14) 14 October 1964 (age 54)
Alma materUniversity of Nigeria, Nsukka
School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London
AwardsState of Connecticut Governor's Arts Award (2013); Arnold Bode Prize (2017)
Scientific career
FieldsConceptual art
InstitutionsUniversity of Connecticut
Doctoral advisorJohn Picton

Olu Oguibe (born 14 October 1964) is a Nigerian-born American artist and intellectual.[1] Professor of Art and African-American Studies at the University of Connecticut, Storrs, Oguibe is a senior fellow of the Vera List Center for Art and Politics at the New School, New York City, and the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC.[2] He is also an art historian, art curator, and leading contributor to post-colonial theory and new information technology studies.[citation needed]. Oguibe was honoured with the State of Connecticut Governor's Arts Award for excellence and lifetime achievement on 15 June 2013.[3]

Early life and education[edit]

Born on 14 October 1964 in Aba, Nigeria,[4] Oguibe was educated in Nigeria and England. In 1986, he earned a degree in Fine and Applied Arts from the University of Nigeria.[5] In 1992, he received a PhD in art history from the School of Oriental and African Studies University of London for his thesis "Uzo Egonu: An African Artist in the West" (also the title of his 1995 book).[6]

Art and teaching[edit]

Oguibe taught critical theory at Goldsmiths College before moving to the United States.[citation needed] To date his art has been shown in major museums and galleries around the world including the Whitney Museum of American Art; the Whitechapel Gallery and the Barbican Center in London; Migros Museum, Zurich; the Irish Museum of Modern Art, and Bonnefantenmuseum, Maastricht, among many others; as well as in the Havana, Busan, and Johannesburg biennials, and most recently at the 2007 Venice Biennial. His public art works may be found in Germany, Japan and Korea. Oguibe has previously taught in several colleges including the University of Illinois at Chicago and the University of South Florida where he held the Stuart Golding Endowed Chair in African Art.[7] His monumental public sculpture, Monument to Strangers and Refugees, was commissioned for Documenta 14 (2017). The concrete obelisk, inscribed in gold with a verse from Matthew 25:35, "I was a stranger and you took me in," in German, English, Arabic, and Turkish, was designed for Königsplatz (King’s Square) in Kassel. For the work, Oguibe was awarded the Arnold Bode Prize in July 2017.

International curator[edit]

He has also served as curator or co-curator for numerous exhibitions. These include the 2nd Biennale of Ceramics in Contemporary Art in Genoa and Albisola, Italy, in 2003; Vidarte 2002: International Video and Media Art Festival at the Palacio Postal, Mexico City, in 2002; Century City at the Tate Modern, London, in 2001; Authentic/Ex-centric: Africa in and out of Africa for the 49th Venice Biennale in 2001, and Five Continents and One City: 3rd International Salon of Painting at the Museo de la Ciudad, Mexico City, in 2000. He has served as advisor for the Dakar, Johannesburg, and Havana biennials and as critic-in-residence at the Art Omi International artists’ residency.[8]

Writer and critic[edit]

Oguibe’s critical and theoretical writings have appeared in several key volumes including The Dictionary of Art, Art History and its Methods, Art in Theory 1900-2000, The Visual Culture Reader, The Third Text Reader on Art and Culture, The Black British Culture and Society Reader, and Theory in Contemporary Art: From 1985 to the Present, as well as numerous serials such as Frieze, Flash Art International, Art Journal, Texte zur Kunst, Zum Thema, Third Text and Criterios. His most recent books include Reading the Contemporary: African Art from Theory to the Marketplace (MIT Press, 2000) and The Culture Game (University of Minnesota Press, 2004).


  1. ^ Olu Oguibe. Retrieved 29 June 2006.
  2. ^ "Past Smithsonian Institution Fellowship Program Awardees | Smithsonian Fellowships and Internships". www.smithsonianofi.com. Retrieved 2018-01-02.
  3. ^ "Three In Connecticut To Receive Governor's Arts Awards", Hartford Courant.
  4. ^ "The Poetics of Line". africa.si.edu. Retrieved 2018-01-02.
  5. ^ iniva: Olu Oguibe Archived 2009-07-25 at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ Olu Oguibe, Uzo Egonu: An African Artist in the West, Third Text Publications, 1995. ISBN 978-0947753085.
  7. ^ "Cross/ing | Exhibitions | USF CAM Contemporary Art Museum | Institute for Research in Art". www.graphicstudio.usf.edu. Retrieved 2018-01-02.
  8. ^ Art Omi.