CYRUS KABIRU

b. 1984, Nairobi
Lives and works in Nairobi, Kenya.

BIOGRAPHY

Cyrus Kabiru was born in 1984 in Nairobi, Kenya, where he currently lives and works. He is a self-taught sculptor, who has exhibited frequently both internationally and on the African Continent. In 2017 Kabiru presented two solo exhibitions, Macho Mbadala at SMAC Gallery in Johannesburg, and Pandashuka at SMAC Gallery in Cape Town. Earlier solo exhibitions include: Upcoming and The C-Stunner -both at the Kuona Trust in Nairobi, Kenya in 2010- as well as Cyrus Kabiru at the Kunstpodium T Gallery in Holland in 2011. Kabiru sees his work as a call to innovation, which was highlighted in his 2015 solo exhibition; C-Stunners and Black Mamba, at SMAC Gallery in Cape Town, South Africa.

In 2016, Kabiru was a resident artist at the Fundació Han Nefkens in Barcelona, Spain, where he was also the first artist to participate in the Flow Series talks programme – a joint initiative of the Fundanció Han Nefkens and the Fundació Antoni Tàpies. Also in 2016, Kabiru was selected as a featured artist for The Armory Show’s Focus Section: African Perspectives, curated by Julia Grosse and Yvette Mutumba, in New York City, USA.  Additional awards and recognitions include: his selection as one of the Quartz’s Africa Innovators for 2016 in Nairobi, Kenya; a fellowship at TED’s The Young, The Gifted, The Undiscovered in the USA, in 2013; the 2010 Best Artist Innovation Award at the Maker Faire in New York City, USA; and his selection as a featured artist in the Gestalten publication titled Africa Rising: Fashion, Design and Lifestyle from Africa.

Selected group exhibitions include: All Things Being Equal, at Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa (MOCAA) in Cape Town, South Africa, in 2017;  Making Africa – A Continent of Contemporary Design, a seminal, travelling exhibition curated by Amelie Klein with Okwui Enwezor, initially exhibited at the Vitra Design Museum in Weil am Rhein, Germany in 2015, later shown at The Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain and upcoming at selected museums in the USA; Brutal Beauty: Violence and Contemporary Design at the MARTA Herford Museum of Contemporary Art in Herford, Germany in 2016; Lumières d’Afriques, organised by the AAD Fund, at the Théâtre National de Chaillot in Paris, France; AFRICA – Architecture & Identity at the Louisiana Museum in Humlebæk, Denmark; Beyond Borders, the 5th edition of the Beaufort Triennial in West Flanders, Belgium; and Unorthodox, curated by Jens Hoffmann, at The Jewish Museum in New York City, USA, all in 2015; as well as Concealed Selections and The Shadows Took Shape, at The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York City, USA, in 2015 and 2013 respectively; also in 2013 Kabiru’s his work formed part of Afrofuture: Adventure with Makers, Thinkers and Dreamers at Milan Design Week in Italy.

Cyrus Kabiru’s work is included in numerous public and private collections, including: the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa (MOCAA) permanent collection in Cape Town, South Africa; the Studio Museum in Harlem permanent collection, in New York City, USA; the Lemaître Collection, in Paris, France; the Han Nefkens H+F Collection, in Rotterdam, Netherlands; Kuona Trust, in Nairobi, Kenya; Scheryn Art Fund, in Cape Town, South Africa; and the Tiroche DeLeon Collection in Gibraltar, amongst others.

NEWS

Kabiru will be participating in the Museum of Contemporary Art of Serralves in Porto, Portugal series of educational workshops under the theme “The Gaze of the Apprentice.” He will also be presenting his solo presentation at the Kochi-Muziris Biennale, an international exhibition of contemporary art held in Kochi, India.

Kabiru will also have works included in the Museum of African Contemporary Art Al Maaden‘s Second Life – Second Breath exhibition in 2019, which celebrates the innovative use of found objects that go far beyond the renaissance of waste plastics or agro-food industry scraps as artistic objects.

Cyrus Kabiru was selected to participate in the Zeitz MOCAA Artist in Residency Programme at the Segera Retreat in Laikipia, Kenya, in May 2018. He hosted a workshop on 19 May, titled Re-Visioning Africa Through the Creative Lens with Cyrus Kabiru, at the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art in Washington, USA.

Kabiru recently presented a solo booth at ART X Lagos in November this year following his September participation in the Africa First Residency by Serge Tiroche in collaboration with START incubator project. Kabiru will also be participating in the Museum of Contemporary Art of Serralves in Porto, Portugal series of educational workshops under the theme “The Gaze of the Apprentice.” Kabiru’s work as part of the travelling exhibition Making Africa has now opened at the Blanton Museum of Art, Austin Texas and will run until the 6 January 2019.