Olu Oguibe

He // Him // His

[ID: A headshot of a Black man with short locked hair wearing a grey shirt and a light green preppy jacket.]

Conceptual Artist
Vernon Rockville, CT
2022 USA Fellow

This award was generously supported by the Barr Foundation.

Olu Oguibe is an award-winning multimedia artist and writer whose work often straddles minimalist formalism and engagement with global social issues. Oguibe has been exhibited in museums and galleries around the world and has participated in several international biennials and triennials, including the Venice, Havana, and Busan biennials. He has also created permanent public works in many countries and curated or cocurated several significant international exhibitions.

His writings on art, literature, and cultural theory are widely published. He has been a fellow of the Smithsonian Institution, the Vera List Center for Art and Politics at The New School, the Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Center, and Open Society Foundations, among others. His many honors include the Connecticut Governor’s Arts Award for excellence and lifetime achievement in 2013 and the 2017 Arnold Bode Prize for his work in documenta 14 in Kassel, Germany.

In 2017, Oguibe left his position as professor of painting at the University of Connecticut to concentrate on making art.

Portrait photo courtesy of the artist.
  • Artwork by Olu Oguibe
    Das Fremdlinge und Flüchtlinge Monument (Strangers and Refugees Monument), 2017. Outdoor monumental sculpture: concrete and stainless steel with engraved and gilded text in English, German, Arabic, and Turkish languages, dimensions 18.8 × 18.8 × 53.2 feet. Kassel, Germany. Photo by Reimund Lill; courtesy of the artist.
    [ID: A photograph of a plaza in a modern urban environment under a slightly overcast sky. The plaza is surrounded by buildings with prominent glass windows. In the center of the square is a tall stone obelisk with a gold inscription reading, “I was a stranger and you took me in.”]
  • Artwork by Olu Oguibe
    Is this the end of coal, 2020. Text in black acrylic on acid-free handmade paper. 6 panels, dimensions 22.5 × 30.75 inches each. Brook Smith Collection. Photo by Carreon Lopez, courtesy of Galerie Kandlhofer, Vienna.
    [ID: Six prints hung next to one another in white frames on a white wall. Each image has one word of black text on a white background that all together reads "is this the end of coal" from left to right.]
  • Artwork by Olu Oguibe
    Sex Work Is Honest Work, 2021. Outdoor neon sculpture: text, glass tubes, neon lights, dimensions 12 × 3 meters. Commissioned for sonsbeek20-24 international art exhibition, Arnhem, Netherlands. Photo by Django van Ardenne; courtesy of sonsbeek20-24 and the artist
    [ID: A photograph of a dimly-lit building at night. On top of the building's roof, a pink neon sign reads "sex work is honest work." The neon casts a dim pink light on the many rows of bikes in front of the building.]
Artwork by Olu Oguibe Artwork by Olu Oguibe Artwork by Olu Oguibe