The Slade Professor for 2023 is Chika Okeke-Agulu. An artist, critic and art historian, he is Director of the Program in African Studies and Professor of African and African Diaspora art in the Department of African American Studies, and Department of Art & Archaeology, Princeton University. Born in Umuahia, Nigeria, Okeke-Agulu earned an MFA (Painting) from the University of Nigeria, and PhD (Art History) from Emory University.
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. He is co-editor of Nka: Journal of Contemporary African Art and writes the blog Ọfọdunka.
He recently organized (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); Fifth 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, First Johannesburg Biennale (1995). He is on the curatorial team of Sharjah Biennial (2023).
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; 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, 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).
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