The First Art Newspaper on the Net    Established in 1996 Saturday, July 2, 2022

Curator and former director of the Haus der Kunst Okwui Enwezor dies in Munich
Okwui Enwezor. Photo: Andreas Gebert, 2011.

MUNICH.- Okwui Enwezor, the distinguished curator, writer, teacher, and former director of the Haus der Kunst in Munich, died in Munich on March 15. Born in Calabar, Nigeria in 1963, Enwezor lived in Munich and New York.

One of the most charismatic figures in the panorama of contemporary global art, Enwezor ascended to the peak of curatorial practice with firm conviction and phenomenal drive, rewriting the ground rules and insisting on an inclusive global perspective for postwar visual arts. In 1994, in collaboration with Salah Hassan, Olu Oguibe, and Chika Okeke-Agulu, he founded NKA Journal of Contemporary African Art, now published by Duke University Press. Following the groundbreaking exhibition "In/Sight" on African photography, co-curated with Octavio Zaya at the Guggenheim Museum of New York, he was appointed Artistic Director of the Second Johannesburg Biennial in 1996.

In 1998, Enwezor surprised the western art world by being appointed Artistic Director of the prestigious Documenta 11 - until then an exclusively European domain - and he is credited with being the only curator after Harald Szeeman to have directed both Documenta and the Venice Biennale. In addition to Venice and Johannesburg, he also curated the Seville and Kwangju Biennials (2006 and 2008 respectively) and the Paris Triennale in 2012.

A poet with a background in political science, Enwezor's curatorial approach combined both practices in unique, unprecedented and newly imaginative ways. His ambitious exhibitions, which included "The Short Century" (2001), "Archive Fever" (2008), "The Rise and Fall of Apartheid" (2013), and "Postwar" (2016) have become cornerstones in the most recent history of art. While still struggling with the life-threatening disease that would eventually claim his life, Enwezor had embarked on a challenging exhibition project titled “Grief and Grievance,” pivoting on two public speeches: Barack Obama’s eulogy in 2015 for the Charleston victims of a white supremacist attack, and Donald Trump’s Gettysburg address, ten days after announcing his presidential race.

For Enwezor, art functioned as a tool to interpret, confront, and understand the social and political present and its historical context, but without abandoning the power of its aesthetic value. In less than three decades of curatorial practice he established a permanent and game-changing legacy - countless exhibitions, conferences, scholarly books and artist monographs, and new cultural initiatives, coupled with impactful contributions to juries, advisory bodies, and curatorial teams at arts institutions around the world - the lasting effects of which will be felt by artists and curators for many generations to come.

In addition to honorary doctorates at the University of Cape Town and Harvard University, Enwezor was awarded the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany in 2014 and the Hessichen Kulturpreis in 2015, among many other prizes and awards.

Exactly one week before his death, the aptly titled "Triumphant Scale" - an extensive traveling exhibition of the great African artist El Anatsui, which Enwezor co-curated with Okeke-Agulu - opened at Haus der Kunst in Munich.

Enwezor is survived by his daughter Uchenna Enwezor, his mother Bernadette Enwezor, his sisters Rita Ogor Enwezor-Udorji, Maureen Enwezor, Francesca Enwezor-Onyia and Nkiru Enwezor-Onyanta, and his life partner Louise Neri.

Today's News

March 16, 2019

How Neolithic stews, yogurt helped lead to 'F' and 'V' sounds

One of the finest examples of Claude Monet's Haystacks series estimated to sell for in excess of $55 Million

Curator and former director of the Haus der Kunst Okwui Enwezor dies in Munich

TEFAF Art Market Report: The Chinese Art Market released

V&A acquires pair of Champagne Standard Lamps designed by Salvador Dalí and Edward James

Sam Gilliam, Barkley L. Hendricks and Charles White included in gift of 78 works to PAFA

Major museum designed by V&A Dundee's architects to open in Turkey

Van Gogh & Japan: New film explores the career-defining impact Japan had on Van Gogh

Mexican Folk paintings explore migration, faith and human vulnerability in the 20th century

Exhibition at Kasmin presents three bodies of work by Naama Tsabar

Julien's Auctions announces highlights included in its Street and Contemporary Art Auction

Gemeentemuseum Den Haag shows installations by seven Dutch artists

Lebanese artist turns shrapnel into sculptures

NHM publishes 'Wild L.A.: Explore the Amazing Nature In and Around Los Angeles'

The Royal Air Force Museum launches new Dambusters Virtual Reality Experience

Crescent City Auction Gallery announces Important Spring Estates Auction

Exhibition draws attention to forgotten aspects of Jewish history in Austria

Anna Bülow leaves the British Museum to join the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam

Museum of Russian Icons announces partnership with The British Museum

'A Tale of Two Collections' exhibition opens at the Mississippi Museum of Art

Exhibition at S.M.A.K. includes about 200 works from the collection

'A Tale of Hidden Histories' opens at Eye Filmuseum

Winterthur acquires rare 1927 Rolls-Royce

Exhibition revisits the creative and civic-minded projects conceived by artist Elvira Leite in Porto

Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .


Ignacio Villarreal
(1941 - 2019)
Editor & Publisher: Jose Villarreal
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez

Royalville Communications, Inc
Founder's Site. Hommage
to a Mexican poet.

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful