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.

Most recently Kabiru was a resident artist at the Africa First Residency by Serge Tiroche in collaboration with START incubator project in Israel in 2019;  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 in Barcelona, Spain in 2016. Kabiru has been the recipient of 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. Kabiru has presented talks and workshops the world over. Most recently Re-Visioning Arica Through the Creative Lens with Cyrus Kabiru at the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art in Washington DC, USA and Comparative Futurisms | Afro-Asian Perspectives, as part of Art Basel in Hong Kong, China both in 2019, as well as “The Young. The Wise. The Undiscovered” at the TED Talk Conference in Los Angeles, USA in 2013.

Notable solo presentations include: an upcoming solo exhibition with SMAC Gallery in Cape Town South Africa in 2019; a presentation with SMAC Gallery at ART X Lagos in Lagos, Nigeria, in 2018; two solo exhibitions, Macho Mbadala in Johannesburg and Pandashuka in Cape Town, both at SMAC Gallery in 2017; Njia Ya Maisha as part of The Amory Show: African Perspectives, in New York City, USA; Black Mamba at the FNB Joburg Art Fair in Johannesburg, South Africa; The End Of The Black Mamba at the LOOP Fair in Barcelona, Spain, both 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.

Selected 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, curated by Jens Hoffmann, at The Jewish Museum in New York City, USA, all in 2015.

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 July 2016

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