“We knew it was coming but the finality of his passing makes it even more devastating. Okwui was this enormously prophetic figure, wise beyond his years, whose insights—vision, if you will—literally shaped the universe many of us now inhabit. He was like an enormous tree in the glare, whose shadow provided refuge, hospitality, generosity, and love for so many.” — John Akomfrah
Okwui Enwezor—the great historian, curator, writer, editor, and former artistic director of Haus der Kunst—has died in Munich following four years of cancer treatment.
Enwezor, who was 55 at the time of his death, is celebrated for his paradigm-shifting directorship of Documenta 11 in 2002, and the 56th Venice Biennale—All the World’s Futures—in 2015.
A writer and editor in demand, Enwezor’s contributions will live on in the work of the artists he championed.
From top: Contemporary African Art Since 1980 (2009), by Okwui Enwezor and Chika Okeke-Agulu, image courtesy Damiani; John Akomfrah: Signs of Empire (2018), contributing text by Enwezor, image courtesy the New Museum; Candice Breitz: The Scripted Life (2010), contributing text by Enwezor, image courtesy Kunsthaus Bregenz; Recent Histories: Contemporary African Photography and Video Art from the Walther Collection (2017), contributing text by Enwezor, image courtesy Steidl and the Walther Collection; Gary Simmons: Paradise (2012), conversation with Enwezor, image courtesy Damiani; Kerry James Marshall: Painting and Other Stuff (2014), contributing text by Enwezor, image courtesy Ludion; Lyle Ashton Harris: Excessive Exposure (2010), text by Enwezor, image courtesy Gregory R. Miller & Co.; Home Lands–Land Marks: Contemporary Art from South Africa (2009), contributing text by Enwezor, image courtesy Haunch of Venison.