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Chicago, IL 60626

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Rotimi Fani-Kayode (1955 – 1989)

November 2 – December 1, 2019

Curated by Mark Sealy and Renée Mussai

Iceberg Projects is pleased to present an exhibition of photographs by the Nigerian-born artist Rotimi Fani-Kayode; this will be the artist’s first solo show in Chicago. During his brief career — he died before his time in 1989, during the height of the AIDS crisis in Europe and the US — Fani-Kayode produced a body of visionary work that took up many challenges of the 1980s that are still pressing today: race and racism in the art world, representing complex and intersectional identities, and balancing individual creativity with collective action in the face of discrimination.

On the one hand, Fani-Kayode thought of his camera as a weapon to fight against repressive regimes and his own erasure; on the other, he drew on a global range of art-historical precedents to create tableaux of profound beauty.

The Iceberg Projects exhibition is made possible with generous financial support from Northwestern University’s Department of Art History and Black Arts Initiative. This exhibition was first organized by the arts non-profit Light Work in partnership with Autograph ABP to reproduce and display this selection of Fani-Kayode’s images at Syracuse University Art Galleries in 2016. The show at Iceberg Projects will include newly commissioned prints and subsequently travel to Georgetown University, opening in 2020.


A conversation commemorating Rotimi Fani-Kayode
Wednesday, November 6th, 6 PM at the DePaul Art Museum

Moderated by Ian Bourland

Ian Bourland, Ph.D. is a critic and Assistant Professor of Global Contemporary Art History at Georgetown University. His publications include Bloodflowers: Rotimi Fani-Kayode, Photography, and the 1980s published in 2019 by Duke University Press and Massive Attack’s Blue Lines.


Daniel Quiles, Rotimi Fani-Kayode,” Artforum, 2019
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