Otobong Nkanga joins Lisson, to hold solo exhibition in May

Otobong Nkanga, Photography by Wim van Dongen, Photo: Lisson Gallery

Otobong Nkanga, Nigerian-born Antwerp-based artist has left Mendes Wood DM to join the roster at Lisson Gallery, attributing the move as a “question of growing with another team” and with “a gallery that I’ve always had great admiration for.” 

According to The Art Newspaper,  the artist’s multidisciplinary works, spanning painting, textiles, sculpture, and film, reference the history and legacy of colonialism, will go on view in a show at the gallery’s London outpost in May. Nkanga will continue to be represented by Lumen Travo in Amsterdam and Galerie In Situ-Fabienne Leclerc in Paris. 

“I don’t know if it’s a question of change, or if it’s a question of growing with another team and with a gallery that I’ve always had a great admiration for,” Nkanga, who is no longer represented by Mendes Wood DM, tells The Art Newspaper. “When I first met Nicholas Logsdail [Lisson’s founder] and Ossian Ward [the gallery’s content director] in Venice, the conversation was just so smooth. It felt like we’ve known each other for a long time.”

Speaking of her reasons for moving on, Nkanga cites the Lisson team’s understanding of her work and process. “Getting to know the gallery, I understood how committed the team are, and I know they will take care of the work and that will also grow with me and listen to me,” she says. “I think that aspect of listening—not only listening to the artist, but to what the work does and where it’s going—is so important. I think Lisson is the gallery I need for my work.”

Nkanga is ranked 81st in ArtReview’s Power 100 list for 2022, which cites her inclusion in the group exhibition When Faith Moves Mountains, the first show to have taken place at the Pinchuk Art Centre in Kyiv after the Russian invasion, and her subsequent solo show, Of Cords Curling around Mountains at Castello di Rivoli in Turin.


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