CYRUS KABIRU

b. 1984, Nairobi, Kenya.

Lives and works in Nairobi, Kenya.

Cyrus Kabiru is a self-taught sculptor, using both found materials and photography in his practice. In 2019, Kabiru was a resident artist at the Africa First Residency in collaboration with START incubator project in Israel; preceded by the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa (MOCAA) Artist in Residency Programme at the Segera Retreat in Laikipia, Kenya in 2018 and the Fundació Han Nefkens residency in Barcelona, Spain in 2016. Selected awards include the Quartz Africa Innovators recognition at Quartz Africa’s Innovators Summit in Nairobi, Kenya, in 2016; the Maker Faire Africa Award for Best Artist Innovation – Thinking Outside the Box in 2010 and in 2007 was awarded the Young Innovator Award by the Sandbox Network, in London, UK. Recent talks and presentations include Comparative Futurisms | Afro-Asian Perspectives, as part of Art Basel in Hong Kong, China in 2019; Re-Visioning Africa Through the Creative Lens with Cyrus Kabiru at the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art in Washington DC, USA in 2018, as well as “The Young. The Wise. The Undiscovered” at the TED Talk Conference in Los Angeles, USA in 2013.

Notable group exhibitions include; Material Insanity at MACAAL in Marrakech, Morocco and KUBATANA at Vestfossen Kunstlaboratorium in Vestfossen, Norway, both in 2019; the fourth edition of the Kochi-Muziris Biennale in Kochi, India in 2018; 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 travelling exhibition curated by Amelie Klein with Okwui Enwezor, at the Vitra Design Museum in Weil am Rhein, Germany in 2015, later shown at The Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain and 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, 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, at The Jewish Museum in New York City, USA, all in 2015.

Selected solo exhibitions include: Macho Mbadala in Johannesburg and Pandashuka in Cape Town, both at SMAC Gallery in 2017; C-Stunners and Black Mamba, at SMAC Gallery in Cape Town, in 2015, Cyrus Kabiru at Kuntspodium T Gallery in Tilburg, Netherlands, in 2011 and another self titled exhibition at the Rahimtulla Museum of Modern Arts (RaMoMA) in Nairobi, Kenya, in 2009.

Kabiru’s art fair presence includes solo presentations at Art X Lagos, in Lagos, Nigeria, in 2018, Njia Ya Maisha at The Armory Show as part of the curated section, African Perspectives, in New York City, USA in 2016; Black Mamba at the FNB Joburg Art Fair in Johannesburg, South Africa as well as The End Of The Black Mamba at the LOOP Fair in Barcelona, Spain, both in 2015. Group presentations include SMAC Gallery’s booth at 1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair at Somerset House in London, UK and Braverman Gallery’s presentation at Paris Photo at the Grand Palais in Paris, France, both in 2019, Artissima in Turin, Italy, in 2016 and 2017, as well as the Investec Cape Town Art Fair and FNB Art Joburg, in South Africa, from 2015-2019.

Public and institutional collections, include: 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.

Kabiru’s works’s will be included in Braverman Gallery’s presentation at Paris Photo at the Grand Palais in Paris, France. The fair will run from the 7th to 10 November 2019.

Kabiru’s work was recently included in SMAC Gallery’s group presentation at 1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair at Somerset House in London, UK. The fair will run from the 3rd to 6 October 2019.

[upcoming] SMAC Gallery | Cape Town, South Africa | 2020

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

[upcoming] Paris Photo (Braverman Gallery) | Grand Palais | Paris, France | 2019

MACHO NNE Afro-futurist visions of CYRUS KABIRU | The African Museum of Verona | Italy, Verona | 2019

1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair (SMAC Gallery) | Somerset House | London, UK | 2019

FNB Art Joburg (SMAC Gallery) | Sandton Convention Centre | Johannesburg, South Africa | 2019

Real to Reel Film Festival | Picturehouse Central | London, UK | 2019

KUBATANA | Vestfossen Kunstlaboratorium | Vestfossen, Norway | 2019

Material Insanity | Museum of African Contemprary Art Al Maaden (MACAAL) | Marrakech, Morocco | 2019

Investec Cape Town Art Fair | Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC) | Cape Town, South Africa | 2019

Wish You Were Here | SMAC Gallery | Cape Town, South Africa | 2018

FNB Joburg Art Fair (SMAC Gallery) | Sandton Convention Centre | Johannesburg, South Africa | 2018

Making Africa: A Continent of Contemporary Design curated by Amelie Klein & Okwui Enwezor, [Travelling Exhibition] | Blanton Museum of Art | Austin, USA; Albuquerque Museum, USA | 2018

Investec Cape Town Art Fair | Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC) | Cape Town, South Africa | 2018

All Things Being Equal | Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa (MOCAA) | Cape Town, South Africa | 2017

AFRICAN VOICES: Confronting Frontiers of Reality | National Gallery of Zimbabwe | Harare, Zimbabwe | 2017

X: Part III | SMAC Gallery | Stellenbosch, South Africa | 2017

FNB Joburg Art Fair (SMAC Gallery) | Sandton Convention Centre | Johannesburg, South Africa | 2017

X: Part I | SMAC Gallery | Stellenbosch, South Africa | 2017

Making Africa: A Continent of Contemporary Design curated by Amelie Klein & Okwui Enwezor, [Travelling Exhibition] | High Museum of Art | Atlanta, USA | 2017

The Armory Show(SMAC Gallery) | New York City, USA | 2017

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 July 2016

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