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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.
  • Adejoke_Tugbiyele. photo © Jonathan Greet 2007
  • Adejoke_Tugbiyele. photo © Jonathan Greet 2007
  • Adejoke_Tugbiyele. photo © Jonathan Greet 2007


Adejoke Tugbiyele

In work, ranging from subtle to unflinching, Adejoke Tugbiyele explores LGBTQ human rights issues around the world, and her own identity as a queer woman of Nigerian descent. For her, art and activism are inextricably linked. As she describes, “Activism helps me stay in touch with the issues and ideas I respond to in my work. My work in turn educates and empowers others in the LGBT movement in Nigeria and beyond. Both depend on each other.” In her earlier work, Tugbiyele focused on Nigerian female identity. Though she is now recognized for tackling LGBTQ concerns in her sculptures, textiles, mixed media paintings, drawings, and videos, it was not until 2012 that she felt comfortable enough with her own sexuality to embrace such subjects. She has done this in, for example, expressive sculptures of figures marginalized by society because of their sexuality.

Her multimedia work has been exhibited and screened in reputable institutions around the world including Nigeria, the United States, France, South Africa, Poland, Spain, and the United Kingdom. Tugbiyele's work can be found in the collections of the Brooklyn Museum, the Newark Museum, Credit Suisse Bank and in significant private collections in the US, UK and Hong Kong.

Flight to Revalation

Musician II

Homeless Hungry Homo

Adejoke Tugbiyele (b.1977, New York, USA)

2013   Maryland Institute College of Art, Rinehart School of Sculpture
Master of Fine Arts
2002   New Jersey School of Architecture at NJIT
B.S. Architecture (w/ honors)
1995   High School of Art and Design, NYC
Diploma Architecture (w/ honors)
Selected solo exhibitions
2016   Grassroots, Skoto Gallery, New York, USA
2015   TESTIMONY, Goodman Gallery, Cape Town, SA, curated by Neil Dundas and Lara Koseff
2014   Election/Erection, Gallery Aferro, Newark, NJ, curated by Dexter Wimberly
2013   FAST FORWARD: MFA Thesis Exhibition, Metro Gallery, Baltimore, MD
2010   WAHALA TEMI - BODY WORK, The Walsh Gallery, Seton Hall University, South Orange, NJ, curated by Jeanne Brasile
2004   Dynamic Dark Matter, Philosophy Box Gallery, New York, NY
Selected group exhibitions
2016   AKAA (Also Known As Africa), Carreau du Temple, Paris, France with October Gallery, London, UK
Art on the Vine in Martha’s Vineyard,
The Agora Culture, Massachusetts, USA, curated by Jessica Stafford-Davis
Africa’s Out!
, Pioneer Works, Brooklyn, New York, USA. Founded by Wangechi Mutu in support of UHAI EASHRI
Disguise: Masks and Global African Art
, The Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn, NY, Curated by Kevin Dumouchelle (forthcoming)
Videonale in Lagos: Changing City – Shifting Spaces, Centre for Contemporary Art (CCALagos), VanLagos and Goethe Institut – Nigeria, Lagos, Nigeria, curated by Jude Anogwih, Tasja Langenbach & Jennifer Gassmann
2015   Agitprop! The Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn, New York, Co-curated by The Sackler Center Curatorial Collective: Catherine Morris, Stephanie Weissberg, Saisha Grayson and Jess Wilcox (forthcoming)
1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair
, October Gallery, London, UK, curated by Elisabeth Laloushek
A River Depends on its Tributaries
, The Walsh Gallery at Seton Hall University (in collaboration with Merton D. Simpson Gallery NYC), South Orange, NJ, curated by Jeanne Brasile
Resignifications/Black Portraitures, Biagiotti Progetto Arte, Florence, Italy, curated by Awam Amkpa
Speaking Back, Goodman Gallery, Cape Town, South Africa, curated by Natasha Becker
Art15: London’s Global Art Fair, October Gallery, London, UK, curated by Elisabeth Laloushek
No Such Place,
Edward Tyler Nahem Fine Art, New York, NY, curated by Larry Ossei-Mensah and Dexter Wimberly
2014   Interwoven Histories, October Gallery, London, UK,
The Subject is Black
, Leslie Lohman Museum of Gay & Lesbian Art: Prince St. Project Space, curated by Lawrence Graham-Brown
Brides of Anansi: Fiber and Contemporary Art
, Spelman College Museum of Fine Art, organized by Leslie King-Hammond, PhD and Lowery Stokes Sims, PhD
ARENA (Screenings), Centre for Contemporary Art, Torun, Poland, Curated by Dobrila Denegri and Jude Anogwih 
Matter as Metaphor Art Dubai 2014, Dubai, UAE, Presented by Omenka Gallery/ Oliver Enwonwu
1:54, Somerset House, London. (October Gallery)
2013   Matter as Metaphor, Omenka Gallery at The FNB Joburg Art Fair, Johannesburg, South Africa (with the artist, Nnenna Okore)
Ashe to Amen, Museum of Biblical Art, New York, NY, curated by Dr. Leslie King-Hammond (travels to The Reginald F. Lewis Museum and Dixon Gardens)
Reloading the Canon: African Traditions in Contemporary Art, James E. Lewis Museum, Baltimore, MD, curated by Allison Gulick
2011   The African Continuum, The United Nations, Public Gallery, New York, NY, curated by Jan Arnesen and Monique Long
All We Ever Wanted, Center for Contemporary Art, Lagos, Nigeria, Curated by Bisi Silva
2010   The Global Africa Project, Museum of Arts and Design, New York, NY, co-curated by Lowery Sims & Leslie King-Hammond
OUTSIGHT INN: 28 Solo Projects, Rupert Ravens Contemporary, Newark, NJ, curated by Rupert Ravens
Life After Death (A Tribute to Fela Kuti), Caribbean Cultural Center African Diaspora Institute, New York, NY, curated by Shantrelle Lewis
Dreamtime Overtones from a Fantastic Brown Planet, Aljira: Center for Contemporary Art, Newark, NJ, curated by Edwin Ramoran
2009   Brick City: 07101, The Visual Arts Center of New Jersey, Summit, NJ, curated by Jeanne Brasile
Masquerade: False Faces, Casa Frela Gallery, New York, NY
The Big Apple Meets the Big Easy, GSL Art Projects, New Orleans, LA
Time & Space, A Gathering of the Tribes Gallery, New York, NY
2008   Afusion, Rotunda Gallery at The Brennan Courthouse, Jersey City, NJ
2007   Waging Peace, Arts for Peace Gallery, New York, NY, curated by Troy West and Claudia Flynn
2005   Boundaries, Philosophy Box Gallery, New York, NY
The Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn, NY, United States
The Newark Museum, Newark, NJ, USA
The Smithsonian Museum for African Art, Washington DC, USA
Credit Suisse Bank
Awards & Residencies
Joan Mitchell Painters and Sculptors Grant, 2016
Foreign Policy’s Leading 100 Global Thinkers Award, USA, 2015
Maboneng Arts District Residency, Johannesburg, South Africa, 2015
Serenbe Artists-In-Residence Program, Georgia, USA, 2014
Fulbright U.S. Student Fellowship, Lagos, Nigeria, 2013-14
Gallery Aferro Artist-In-Residence Program, Newark, New Jersey, USA, 2013-14
MICA, Rinehart School of Sculpture, Amalie Rothschild Award, USA, 2013
MICA, William M. Phillips Memorial Scholarship/Best Figurative Sculpture, USA, 2012
October Gallery, 24 Old Gloucester Street, Bloomsbury, London WC1N 3AL Tel: + 44 (0)20 7242 7367