News: Nigerian Prof. Okeke-Agulu to speak on ‘African Artists In The Age Of The Big Man’ Oxford University

British Academy

Professor Chika Okeke- Agulu, fellow of The British Academy, Professor of Art and Archaeology and African American Studies at Princeton University in New Jersey, will speak at Oxford University’s Department of History of Art ‘Slade Lectures’

Every year since 1869, the department has played host to the Slade Professor of Fine Art, “who is always a figure of international standing in the study of the visual arts,” the Department said in a statement on its website.

The 2023 lecture series, six of them in total, will hold in Hilary Term 2023, in the Examinations School, High Street, Oxford. The first lecture is the title lecture African Artists in the Age of the Big Man. It is scheduled for January 18, 2023.

Okeke-Agulu, an artist, critic and art historian, is Director of the Programme 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.

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The next lecture comes up on January 25, 2023: Gazbia Sirry and Egyptian Artists in the Nasserite State, 1950s – 1960s.
• February 1, 2023: To Speak in Parables: Dumile Feni in Hendrik Verwoerd’s South Africa, 1960s
• February 15, 2023: Prison Drawing: Ibrahim El Salahi in Al Nimeiry’s Sudan, 1970s
• February 22, 2023: Drawing the Line: Obiora Udechukwu and Nigeria’s Smiling General
• March 1, 2023: Defiant Sculpture: Isek Bodys Kingelev and Mobutu Sese-Seko’s Autheticite, 1990s.

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 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); 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).

By Emmanuel Ugbolue



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