Photo: Chika Okeke-Agulu

Biography

Chika Okeke-Agulu is an artist, critic and art historian who specialises in indigenous, modern and contemporary African and African Diaspora art history and theory. He is Director of Program in African Studies as well as a professor in the departments of African American Studies and Art and Archaeology, Princeton University.

He co-organised (with Okwui Enwezor) the travelling survey El Anatsui: Triumphant Scale, Haus der Kunst, Munich (2019). Okeke-Agulu has co-organised numerous other art exhibitions, including Who Knows Tomorrow, Nationalgalerie, Berlin (2010); 5th Gwangju Biennale (2004); The Short Century: Independence and Liberation Movements in Africa, 1945–1994, Museum Villa Stuck, Munich (2001); Seven Stories About Modern Art in Africa, Whitechapel Art Gallery, London (1995) and the Nigerian section, 1st Johannesburg Biennale (1995).
His books include El Anatsui. The Reinvention of Sculpture (Damiani, 2022); African Artists: From 1882 to Now (Phaidon, 2021); Yusuf Grillo: Painting. Lagos. Life (Skira, 2020); Obiora Udechukwu: Line, Image, Text (Skira, 2016); Postcolonial Modernism: Art and Decolonization in Twentieth-Century Nigeria (Duke UP, 2015); and Contemporary African Art Since 1980 (Damiani, 2010). His writings have appeared in the New York Times, Artforum, The Guardian (Lagos), October, Huffington Post and South Atlantic Quarterly.

Okeke-Agulu serves on the advisory boards of the Hyundai Tate Research Centre, Tate Modern, London; The Africa Institute, Sharjah; and Bët-bi/Le Korsa Museum Project, Senegal. He is also on the advisory council of Mpala Research Center, Nanyuki, Kenya; and serves on the executive board of Princeton in Africa, and on the editorial board of Journal of Visual Culture.

His many awards include Honourable Mention, The Arnold Rubin Outstanding Publication Award, Arts Council of African Studies Association (2017); The Melville J. Herskovits Prize for the most important scholarly work in African Studies published in English during the preceding year (African Studies Association, 2016); and Frank Jewett Mather Award for Distinction in Art Criticism (College Art Association, 2016).

Born in Umuahia, Nigeria, Okeke-Agulu lives and works in Princeton, US.

SAF participation:
March Meeting 2022
March Meeting 2021
Sharjah Biennial 15