Zak Ové

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Zak Ové
Ové at 2018 Art Dubai
Born1966 (age 52–53)
London, UK
EducationSt. Martin's School of Art

Zak Ové (born 1966) is a British visual artist who works between sculpture, film and photography, living in London, UK, and Trinidad. His themes reflect "his documentation of and anthropological interest in diasporic and African history, specifically that which is explored through Trinidadian carnival."[1] In work that is "filtered through his own personal and cultural upbringing, with a black Trinidadian father and white Irish mother", he has exhibited widely in Europe, the United States and Africa,[2] participating in international museum shows in London, Dakar, Paris, Dubai, Prague, Berlin, Johannesburg, Bamako and New York City. His father is the filmmaker Horace Ové and his sister is the actress Indra Ové.


Black and Blue: The Invisible Man and the Masque of Blackness, Yorkshire Sculpture Park

Born in London, UK, Zak Ové throughout his teens assisted his father Horace Ové on numerous film shoots, before earning a BA in Film as Fine Art from St. Martin's School of Art (1984–87).[3][4] Ové provided the video for the segment "Begin the Beguine" performed by Salif Keita on Red Hot + Blue (1990, a compilation featuring contemporary pop performers reinterpreting songs of Cole Porter).[5]

In July 2015, Ové's "Moko Jumbie" sculptures, commissioned to tie in with the Notting Hill Carnival and inspired by aspects of African Masquerade, were installed in the Great Court at the British Museum as part of the Celebrating Africa exhibition there,[6] before ultimately being moved to the Africa Galleries, with Ové as the first Caribbean artist to enter the museum’s permanent collection.[7] In March 2017 Ové's Moko Jumbie figures were installed at the British Museum as part of the Sainsbury African Galleries,[8] the first time in the museum's history that work the work of a Caribbean sculptor has been on permanent display in the African collection.[9]

In October 2016 his installation Black and Blue: The Invisible Man and the Masque of Blackness, comprising an "army" of 40 two-metre-high graphite statues, was assembled in the courtyard of Somerset House, where the 1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair was taking place.[10][11] The journal Art Radar described Ové's work as "one of the standouts of the fair",[12] and the Financial Times reported that it had quickly found a buyer: "Modern Forms, a contemporary art platform founded by Hussam Otaibi, managing partner of the investment group Floreat, and Nick Hackworth, the curator who previously ran London’s Paradise Row gallery, bought one of three editions of the 40 identical, life-size sculptures of Nubian masked men, priced at £300,000, through London’s Vigo gallery. The plan is for Ové's installation to be part of a sculpture park that Modern Forms is creating at a property in Berkshire."[13] Ové's Black and Blue: The Invisible Man and the Masque of Blackness is part of a series of new open-air displays celebrating the 40th anniversary of the Yorkshire Sculpture Park.[14]

Ové curated the major exhibition Get Up, Stand Up Now; Generaations of Black Creative Pioneers mounted at Somerset House from 12 June to 15 September 2019, celebrating "the past 50 years of Black creativity in Britain and beyond ... spanning art, film, photography, music, literature, design and fashion".[15] Described by Ové as "a review and a celebration of our Caribbean and African culture that has permeated and contributed to British society", and taking its starting point as the radical work of his father Horace Ové, the exhibition showcased interdisciplinary contributions from 100 Black creatives, including Armet Francis, Black Audio Film Collective, Charlie Phillips, Dennis Bovell, Ebony G. Patterson, Gaika, Glenn Ligon, Hank Willis Thomas, Hassan Hajjaj, Jenn Nkiru, Larry Achiampong, Margaret Busby, Ronan McKenzie, Vanley Burke, Yinka Shonibare, Denzil Forrester, Martine Rose, Grace Wales Bonner, Steve McQueen, Betye Saar, Zadie Smith, among others.[15][16]

Solo exhibitions[edit]

  • 2014: Arms Around The Child, No1 Mayfair, London
  • 2013–14: Speaker, Vigo Gallery, London
  • 2010: Twice Is Too Much, The Freies Museum, Berlin
  • 2010: Past Future, Fine Art Society, London
  • 2009: Blue Devils, Real Art Ways Museum, Connecticut
  • 2008: Black & White Nudes, Carte Blanche Gallery, London

Group exhibitions[edit]

  • 2016: Untitled Art Fair, Miami
  • 2016: 1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair, Somerset House, London
  • 2015: d’Assemblages” Dapper Museum, Paris
  • 2014: ART14, London (February – March)
  • 2014: House of Barnabas, London (March)
  • 2013–14: Chaos Into Clarity: Re-Possessing a Funktioning Utopia, Sharjah Art Foundation, Dubai
  • 2013: 1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair, Somerset House, London
  • 2013: Glasstress: White Light / White Heat, Venice Biennale, Venice
  • 2012: Vigo Gallery, London Art Fair, London
  • 2012; Ululation, Vigo Gallery, London, UK
  • 2012: London Twelve, City of Prague Museum, Czech Republic
  • 2012: New Re-Visions, House of The Nobleman, London, UK
  • 2012: The Future Can Wait – Charlie Smith, London, UK
  • 2012: British, Vigo Gallery, London
  • 2012: Vigo Gallery, London Art Fair, London
  • 2012: Voices of Home, Jenkins Johnson Gallery, New York
  • 2011: The Return Of The House Of The Nobleman, The House of the Nobleman, London
  • 2011: Karen Jenkins Johnson Gallery, Texas contemporary fair, Houston
  • 2011: LA Platform, Karen Jenkins Johnson Gallery, Los Angeles
  • 2011: Sculpture today – New Forces New Forms, Frederik Meijer Sculpture Park, Michigan
  • 2011: Carnaval and Masquerade, Musee Dapper, Paris
  • 2011: The Minotaur, Lazarides Gallery, Old Vic Tunnels, London
  • 2011: Go Tell it To The Mountain, 3D Sculpture Park, Verbier, Switzerland
  • 2011: Africa See You See me, Li – Space, Beijing
  • 2011: Stephen Burks | Are You A Hybrid, Museum of Art and Design, New York
  • 2011: Encounters of Bamako, Fundacao Calouste Gulbenkian, Lisbon
  • 2011: Fine Arts Society, Volta NY, New York
  • 2011: Fine Art Society, London Art Fair, London
  • 2011: Africa: See You, See Me, Fondazione Studio Maragoni, Florence
  • 2011: Africa: See You, See Me, Officine Fotografiche, Rome
  • 2010: Fesman 2010: World Festival of Black Arts, Dakar, Senegal
  • 2010: Encounters Of Bamako, B-Gallery European centre for contemporary Art, Brussels
  • 2010: Hell’s Half Acre, Lazarides Gallery, London
  • 2010: Encounters of Bamako, Johannesburg Art Gallery, Johannesburg
  • 2010: We Are Not Witches, The Saatchi Gallery, London
  • 2010: Encounters of Bamako, South African National Gallery, Cape Town
  • 2010: Africa: See You, See Me, Museu da Cidade, Lisbon
  • 2010: Tough Love, Plataforma Revólver, Lisbon
  • 2010: Encounters of Bamako, Panafrican Exhibition tour, Foto Museum, Antwerp
  • 2009: Rockstone and Bootheel, Real Art Ways, Connecticut
  • 2009: Encounters of Bamako, Panafrican Exhibition, National Museum, Bamako, Mali
  • 2009: Encomium, Fine Art Society, London
  • 2019: Get Up, Stand Up Now; Generaations of Black Creative Pioneers, Somerset House, London

See also[edit]


External links[edit]