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Founded in 1979, October Gallery, in central London, exhibits innovative, contemporary art from around the world. For over 35 years, October Gallery has pioneered the development of the Transvangarde - the trans-cultural avant-garde.


Nnenna Okore

Nnenna Okore’s art is inspired by the use of found objects, and by close attention to natural textures and forms. Using basic materials such as clay, newspaper, wax and rope, her tactile and highly evocative sculptures take on dramatic and unanticipated forms. Her work celebrates the transformation of discarded materials into cultural objects and spaces and brings a critical focus to bear on the consumption and recycling cultures in parts of Nigeria. She applies various repetitive and labour-intensive techniques, like weaving, twisting, sewing, dyeing, waxing and rolling, which were learned by watching villagers perform everyday tasks. These processes accentuate colours, textures and other visceral qualities of her sculptures.

Mentored by the renowned sculptor El Anatsui, Nnenna’s highly tactile works are shaped into striking forms, when displayed. Currently she is working with shapes that explore or are inspired by intimate spaces, shelters, architectural and natural environments. Her work has been exhibited at the headquarters of Channel 4, London, in connection with the Big 4 Project. In September 2008, her works were featured in the inaugural exhibition Second Lives: Remixing the Ordinary, at the Museum of Arts and Design in New York.  Her recent solo exhibitions include October Gallery, London, 2008, the Chicago Cultural Center, 2009 and the Goethe Institute, Lagos, Nigeria 2009.  She will have a second solo exhibition at October Gallery, London in May 2011.


Ulukububa - Infinite Flow
Angaza Afrika - African Art Now

Everything Good shall Come to Pass

Beneath the Surface

Aged Newness
Ashioke Series, Variation VII

Never Hurry the Sunrise

Onwa N'etilu Ora
Ashoebi II by Nnenna Okore
Ashoebi II

Would We Ever know?

Akwa Ocha

Echi Di Ime

Nnenna Okore Biography

2005    M.F.A Sculpture, Universityof Iowa, USA
2004    M.A Sculpture, University of Iowa, USA
1999    B.A Painting, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Nigeria
Selected solo exhibitions
2001   Metaphors, Alternative space, Lagos, Nigeria, Curator: Bisi Silver, London.
2002   Beyond the Lines, Didi Museum, Lagos, Nigeria.
2003   Re-presented, Armature Gallery, University of Iowa.
2004   Accumulations, Arts Iowa City, Iowa City, IA. Curator: Elise Kendrot, Iowa.
2005   Paper to Paper, Armature Art Gallery, University of Iowa
2006  Trans-figuration, Robert F. DeCaprio Art Gallery, Moraine Valley Community College, Illinois.
   Betwixt and Between, Carlson Gallery, North Park University, Chicago.
2007   Sub-consciousness, Adam Hall Gallery, Wheaton College, Wheaton, Illinois.
   Reflection, Contemporary African Art Gallery, New York City
2008   Moonlight Tales, Tall Grass Association, Park Forest, Illinois
    Ulukububa - Infinite Flow, October Gallery, London.
    Affrika West, Oriel Mostyn Gallery, Llandudno, Wales.
2009   Of Earth…Bark and topography, Goethe Institut, Lagos, Lagos, Nigeria
    Twisted Ambience, Chicago Cultural Center, Chicago
    Anyanwu, Carl A. Fields Center Gallery, Princeton University, NJ
    Strings and Patterns, Viberto University Gallery, La Crosse, WI
    Common Thread, Bekris Gallery, CA
2010   Life After, Noyes Art Centre, Evanston, IL
    Recovered Energies, Bekris Gallery, San Francisco, CA
    Absurd Beauty, Northeastern Illinois University Gallery, Chicago, IL
    Textile, Blachere Foundation Art Center, Apt, France.
2011   Metamorphoses, October Gallery, London, UK.
    Torn Apart, David Krut Projects, New York, USA
    On The Edge, Dittmar Memorial Gallery, Northwestern University, Evanston, USA.
Selected group exhibitions
2015   Africa Africans, Museu Afro Brazil, São Paulo, Brazil
2001   New Energies, Nimbus Gallery and Mydrim Gallery, Lagos, Nigeria Curator: Prof. El Anatsui, University of Nigeria
2002    New Works, Armature Gallery, University of Iowa. Curator: Thomas Aprile, Professor of Art, University of Iowa.
2003   Units, Legion Arts CSPS, Cedar Rapids, IA. Curator: Isabel Barbuzza, Professor of Sculpture, University of Iowa.
    Migrations, Legion Arts CSPS, Cedar Rapids, IA. Curator: Mel Andringa, Executive Director, Legion Arts.
2005   8th International Open Exhibition, Woman Made Gallery, Chicago, IL. Juror, Lynne Warren, Curator at MCA
    Twelfth SOFA International Exposition, Chicago.
2006   African Contemporary Art Exhibition, Dakar Biennale, Senegal.
2008   Trading Spaces, Binghamton University, New York
    Jo'burg Art Fair, (sponsored by October Gallery) Sandton Convention Center, Johannesburg, SA.
    Refabrication, by Nnenna Okore, Linda Gordon, and Kirstin Demer. Carlson Gallery, North Park University.
    Second Lives: Remixing the Ordinary, Museum of Art and Design, New York City
    Resonance, Tall Grass Association, Park Forest, Illinois. 2008
    Channel4 Art Exhibition, Channel4/Art4 Gallery, London. 2008
    Affrika West,Galeri Artspace, Caernarfon, Wales.
    Afganza Africa, October Gallery, London
2009   Trace/Memory, Evanston Art Center, Evanston, IL
    Object of A Revolution, Galerie Dominique Fait, Paris
    Chance Encounters, Sakshi Gallery, India
    Transvangarde, October Gallery, London
    Paper to Pulp, HC Center for the Arts, Ellicott City, MD, USA
    Trash Menagerie, Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, MA, USA
2010   Scratch, presented by Sakshi Gallery, Latit Kala Akademi, New Delhi, India
    (Re---) Cycles of Paradise, UNCOP16, Cancun, Mexico
    29th Sao Paulo Biennial, Sao Paulo, Brazil
    Textile, Blachere Foundation Art Center, Apt, France
2011   Environment and Object in Recent African Art, Tang Museum at Skidmore College, New York
    On The Edge, Dittmar Memorial Gallery, Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois
    Transcending Intergration, Baltimore Clayworks, Baltimore, Maryland
    As It Is, Mojo Gallery, Dubai
    Art Dubai, with October Gallery, Madinat Jumeirah, Dubai, UAE.
Grants / Awards / Residences
2008    North Park University Project Grant..
2007    Residency at Instituto Rural de Arte Hoz del Jucar, Spain.
    Artist Full Fellowship at Global Art Village, Delhi, India.
    Residency at Skowhegan Schoo; of Painting and Sculpture, Maine, USA
    UNESCO - Ashberg Fellowship for Artists, Gruber Jez Foundation, Mexica
2006   Red Gate Residency, Beijing, China.
2005   North Park University Project Grant.
    SFAI Residency, Santa Fe Art Institute, NM. 
    Graduate Assistantship, University of Iowa.
2004    Emma McAllister Novel Scholarship, University of Iowa, USA
1999   Valedictorian (Fine Arts), University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Nigeria.
1994   First prize, UNIFEM Women’s Art Contest, Lagos, Nigeria. 
1993   First prize, UNICEF African Child’s Day Art Contest, Mbabane, Swaziland.
Selected bibliography
2001    The Real Values Beyond the Tags, by Okechukwu Uwaezuoke, The Comet
    New Energies, rebellion against the old, by Ozolua Uhakheme, The Guardian
    The Metaphors of Today, by Victor Ikwele, National Interest
2002    Plenty Art Shows, lean Patrons, by Chukka Nnabuife, The Guardian
2003    Chasing the Paper Trails with Vision, by Vidya Murthy, Daily Iowan
2005    8th International Open, Exhibition Announcement by Woman Made Gallery
2006   As Dak’art Beckons, by Ugochukwu Uwaerzuoke, This Day
    The Yam is King, by Obi Nwakama, Farafina Magazine, No. 7
2007   Mind Openers-Women Artist in Africa, by Barbara Murray, Farafina Magazine, No 8
    Nnenna Okore NY Exhibition, by Slvester Ogbechie, AACHRONYM, October 31
2008   Using Old Materials to Put a New Face on the Museum, by Roberta Smith, New York Times, September 26, 2008.
    Introduction: Ulukububa-Infinite Flow, by Polly Savage, Exhibition Catalogue, London, Oct 16-Dec 6, 2008,
2009   Ulukububa: Infinite Flow, by Bunmi Akpata-Ohohe, Africa Today, December 3, 2008
    Studio Visit with Nnenna Okore: Art from Discarded and Found Things, by Molara Wood, Next, February 08, 2009.
    Artist to Watch: Nnenna Okore, by Katy Donoghue, Whitewall Magazine, Spring Issue, 2009.
    Art of Africa, by Simon de Burton, The  Financial Times, March 28, 2009.
    African Art At Bonhams by Julian Roup, Bonhams Headlines, March 2009.
    Groundbreaking African Artists In Spotlight At First British Auction Of Contemporary
    Okore, Enwonwu, Onabrakpeya, Anatsui, Kentridge others in London's art auction, by Chuka Nnabuife and Emmanuel Agozino, Nigerian Compass, April 7, 2009.

October Gallery, 24 Old Gloucester Street, Bloomsbury, London WC1N 3AL Tel: + 44 (0)20 7242 7367 Fax: + 44 (0)20 7405 1851