Chika Okeke-Agulu

Chika Okeke-Agulu, an artist, curator, and art historian, is a professor of African and African Diaspora art and Director of Graduate Studies, Department of Art and Archaeology and Department of African American Studies at Princeton University. He was recently the Varnedoe Visiting Professor, The Institute of Fine Arts, New York University (spring 2020). He previously taught at Pennsylvania State University, Williams College, and University of Nigeria, Nsukka. He lives in Princeton (NJ), USA.

His books include Yusuf Grillo: Painting. Lagos. Life (Skira Editore, 2020); Obiora Udechukwu: Line, Image, Text (Skira Editore, 2016); Postcolonial Modernism: Art and Decolonization in Twentieth-Century Nigeria (Duke, 2015); Contemporary African Art Since 1980 (Damiani, 2010); Ezumeezu: Essays on Nigerian Art and Architecture, a Festschrift in Honour of Demas Nwoko (Goldline & Jacobs, 2009). He is co-editor of Nka: Journal of Contemporary African Art and maintains the blog Ọfọdunka.

As an art critic, his writings have appeared in The Guardian (Lagos), Daily Times (Lagos), Artforum International (New York), The New York Times, The Huffington Post, Parkett, Art Journal, Art South Africa (Johannesburg), and Bonhams Magazine (London).

He has (co-)organized several major art exhibitions, including El Anatsui: Triumphant Scale (with Okwui Enwezor, Haus der Kunst, Munich, 2019), Who Knows Tomorrow (Nationalgalerie, Berlin, Germany 2010), 5th Gwangju Biennale (Gwangju, South Korea, 2004), The Short Century: Independence and Liberation Movements in Africa, 1945-1994 (Museum Villa Stuck, Munich, Germany, 2001), Seven Stories About Modern Art in Africa (Whitechapel Art Gallery, London, UK, 1995), Nigerian section, First Johannesburg Biennale, (Johannesburg, South Africa, 1995). He is on the curatorial team of the 15th Sharjah International Biennial (Sharjah, UAE, 2022)

Among his many awards and prizes are: Honorable Mention, The Arnold Rubin Outstanding Publication (triennial) 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). Okeke-Agulu was the Valedictorian and Class President of the 1990 graduating class, University of Nigeria.

Okeke-Agulu serves on the advisory boards of the Hyundai Tate Research Centre, Tate Modern, London; the Center for the Study of Visual Arts, National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC, and The Josef and Annie Albers Foundation/ Le Korsa, Bët-bi Project. He is the executive board of Princeton in Africa, and the editorial board of African Studies Review.