In capturing the fraught relationships among people and their environments, Otobong Nkanga illuminates the social, political, and economic histories—and legacies—of colonialism. This beautifully illustrated book, which focuses on Nkanga’s drawings, showcases the artist’s compelling and thought-provoking oeuvre. An essay by Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago curator Omar Kholeif reveals the rich background of Nkanga’s varied subjects, including the historical realities of Nigeria and memories of the artist’s childhood. In addition, a narrative piece by acclaimed author and art historian Teju Cole offers a poignant counterpart to Nkanga’s work as he reflects on his experiences growing up in Nigeria. Interspersed throughout the monograph are the artist’s newly written poems, inspired by the city of Chicago.
OMAR KHOLEIF is Manilow Senior Curator and Director of Global Initiatives at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago.