Okwui Enwezor was born in Kalaba, Nigeria in 1963. In 1982 he moved to New York and earned his undergraduate degree in Political science from what is now New Jersey City University.
He was the co-founder of ‘Nka: Journal of Contemporary African Art’ (1994) which was co-published by the Africana Studies Centre at Cornell University, New York. His writings have appeared in numerous journals, catalogues, books, and magazines including: Third Text, Documents, Texte zur Kunst, Grand Street, Parkett, Artforum, Frieze, among others.
His curatorial work saw him being the first African-born curator to organize the 56th Venice Biennale (2015) and the first non-European to oversee Documenta 11 (2002). He was also the artistic director of Haus Der Kunst (2011-2018).
Throughout his career, Enwezor put special emphasis on expanding the contemporary art canon to include artists from around the world. His 2017 exhibition at the Haus der Kunst, “Postwar: Art Between the Pacific and the Atlantic, 1945–1965,” included 220 artists from 65 countries. His international legacy included leading the 1996 Johannesburg Biennale, the South Korea’s Gwangju Biennale in 2008, ‘Global Conceptualism: Points of Origin, 1950s-1980s’ shown at the Queens Museum of Art, 1999; ‘Cinco Continentes y una Ciudad’, and Mexico-City, 1998; ‘In/sight: African Photographers, 1940 – present’, Guggenheim Museum, New York, 1996.