Ugochukwu-Smooth C. Nzewi

Ugochukwu-Smooth C. Nzewi is an artist, art historian, and the first Steven and Lisa Tananbaum Curator in the Department of Painting and Sculpture at the Museum of Art, New York. He leads the Africa group in the Museum’s Contemporary and Modern Art Perspectives (C-MAP), MoMA’s internal research and exchange initiative devoted to art in a global context. His projects at MoMA include the exhibition Frédéric Bruly Bouabré: World Unbound (2022). Prior to joining MoMA, Nzewi was Curator of African Art at the Cleveland Museum of Art (2017–19) and at Dartmouth College’s Hood Museum (2013–17).

Nzewi has curated major international exhibitions including the Dak’Art Biennale in Dakar, Senegal, in 2014. He served on the curatorial team of the 11th Shanghai Biennale in 2016–17 and collaborated with the Fonds Régional d’Art Contemporain de la Région Centre (FRANC) Orlean, France, for its inaugural architecture biennale in 2017. In addition to his curatorial work, Nzewi has taught at the University of Bayreuth, Dartmouth College, and Emory University. He has lectured widely and given talks at several academic institutions, museums, and biennale platforms in Africa, Europe, Latin America, North America, and the Middle East. He has served on boards or consulted for major academic, cultural, and global organizations, including, The College Art Association of America, International Studio and Curatorial Program, New York, the Moondrian Fonds, the Netherlands, and the International Olympic Committee, Lausanne.

He holds a PhD in art history from Emory University. As an artist, he has exhibited internationally and is represented in public and private collections including the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art, Washington, DC, and Newark Museum, New Jersey.

Smooth Nzewi © 2021 The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Photo: Peter Ross