Northwestern University

Wed 12:00 PM

Sylvester Ogbechie: The Metaphysics of Modernity: Globalism, African Art, and Ontologies of Being

recurring see all events in this series

When: Wednesday, April 25, 2018
12:00 PM - 1:15 PM  

Where: 620 Library Place, Room 106, Evanston, IL 60208 map it

Audience: Faculty/Staff - Student - Public - Post Docs/Docs - Graduate Students

Contact: Program of African Studies   847.491.7323

Group: Program of African Studies

Category: Lectures & Meetings


Join the Program of African Studies for our weekly lunch and lecture.

The Metaphysics of Modernity: Globalism, African Art, and Ontologies of Being

Sylvester Ogbechie, History of Art and Architecture, University of California, Santa Barbara


The study of modern and contemporary African art is gaining global visibility in art history and several publications are now emerging that carry out sophisticated analysis of individuals, contexts and discursive practices. How do these publications frame the emergent subjects / contexts and specifically position Africa within global debates about cultural production in general? Using the works of notable pioneer modern African artists (Ben Enwonwu, Irma Stern, Gerard Sekoto, Gazbia Sirry, Iba Ndiaye and Gebre Kristos Desta), I investigate how scholars might narrate a history of modern and contemporary art that foregrounds the status of the African subject in the metaphysics of modernity.


Sylvester Okwunodu Ogbechie (Ph.D. Northwestern University) is Professor of Art History and Visual Cultures of Global Africa at the University of California Santa Barbara. His publications include Ben Enwonwu: The Making of an African Modernist (University of Rochester Press, 2008), Making History: The Femi Akinsanya African Art Collection (Milan: 5 Continents Editions, 2011), and editor of Artists of Nigeria (Milan: 5 Continents Editions, 2012). Founder and editor of Critical Interventions: Journal of African Art History and Visual Culture, Ogbechie is a Melville J. Herskovits Award winner (2009), a Consortium Professor of the Getty Research Institute, Daimler Fellow of the American Academy in Berlin, and Senior Fellow of the Smithsonian Institution. He has also received prestigious fellowships, grants and awards for his research from the Rockefeller Foundation, Getty Research Institute, and the Institute for International Education. His research focuses on contemporary art, cultural informatics and the cultural patrimony of Africa and African Diaspora in the age of globalization.

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