CYRUS KABIRU

b. 1984, Nairobi, Kenya.

Lives and works in Nairobi, Kenya.

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.

Most recently, Kabiru has work up on exhibition as part of group exhibition, KUBATANA, at Kristin Hjellegjerde Gallery in London, UK which opened on 4 May, and will run until 22 September 2019. Kabiru’s work also formed part of the fourth edition of the  Kochi-Muziris Biennale in Kochi, India in 2019. Kabiru‘s works are also currently included in Material Insanity at MACAAL in Marrakech, Morocco; and he participated in a panel discussion, Comparative Futurisms | Afro-Asian Perspectives, on 31 March 2019 at Art Basel Hong Kong.

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.

current

Kabiru’s work is curently included in the exhibition KUBATANA, curated by Kristin Hjellegjerde. The exhibition will feature recent works by 34 leading practitioners from 19 countries across Africa and the African diaspora and will occupy the entire Museum, making it one of the most expansive exhibitions of African art in Scandinavia to date. The exhibition will run from May 4th to September 22, 2019.

Kabiru’s work is currently up on exhibition as part of Material Insanity. Gathering more than 30 artists from the continent and its diaspora, Material Insanity explores the material and its symbolic significance in a plurality of dimensions and formal experiences. Through installations made from everyday objects or materials, the exhibition combines various discourses in the service of a new aesthetic. The exhibition will run from 26 February to 22 September 2019 at the Museum of African Contemporary Art Al Maaden (MACAAL) in Marrakech, Morocco.

highlights

Kabiru recently participated in the panel discussion, Comparative Futurisms | Afro-Asian Perspectives, as part of Art Basel in Hong Kong.

ART X Lagos (SMAC Gallery) | The Civic Centre, Lagos, Nigeria | 2018

Pandashuka | SMAC Gallery | Cape Town, South Africa | 2017

Macho Mbadala | SMAC Gallery | Johannesburg, South Africa | 2017

Njia Ya Maisha | The Amory Show: African Perspectives (SMAC Gallery) | New York City, USA | 2016

Black Mamba | FNB Joburg Art Fair (SMAC Gallery) | Johannesburg, South Africa | 2015

The End Of The Black Mamba | LOOP Fair, (SMAC Gallery) | Barcelona, Spain | 2015

C-Stunners and Black Mamba | SMAC Gallery | Cape Town, South Africa | 2015

Cyrus Kabiru & Timothy Prus | African Art Foundation Gallery | Lagos, Nigeria | 2015

Cyrus Kabiru: C-Stunners | Frank Picture Gallery in association with the Ed Cross Fine Arts Gallery | Los Angeles, USA | 2013

Cyrus Kabiru | Kuntspodium T Gallery | Tilburg, Netherlands | 2011

Upcoming | Kuona Trust | Nairobi, Kenya | 2010

The C-Stunner | Kuona Trust | Nairobi, Kenya | 2010

Cyrus Kabiru | Rahimtulla Museum of Modern Arts (RaMoMA) | Nairobi, Kenya | 2009

Sarah Moroz | BlouinArtInfo | Othman Lazraq: A Dreamer for Africa | 31 May 2019

Killian Fox | The Guradian | The artist putting rubbish to visionary use – in pictures | 3 November 2018

T Kermeliotis | CNN | Artist’s spectacular glasses ‘give trash a second chance | 11 December 2017

Leila Leiman | Mail & Guardian | Rubbish puts art in its place | 22 August 2014

Lily Kuo | Quartz Africa | An artist remembers Africa’s disappearing “Black Mamba” bicycles with his own whimsical designs | 19 Jul 2016

Sean O’Toole | Wanted | Armory Show shines its spotlight on Africa | March 2016