Power 100

Most influential people in 2023 in the contemporary artworld


Azu Nwagbogu

Curator - Founder and director of African Artists’ Foundation; director of LagosPhoto Festival

87 in 2023

  • 202387
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Photo: Fabian Landewee

Hopefully Nwagbogu has a good filing system, given how many projects he’s juggling at the moment. The founder of the Nigeria-based African Artists’ Foundation, which staged the latest stop of Dig Where You Stand: From Coast to Coast at the Palais de Lomé in Togo in August, and the 14th Lagos Photo Festival in October, will curate Benin’s first pavilion at the Venice Biennale next year (having got the call from Patrice Talon, the country’s president). With work by artists Romuald Hazoumé, Chloe Quenum, Ishola Akpo and Moufoli Bello, it will be a group show centred on questions of restitution, a subject Nwagbogu has long been vocal about. The curator will bring a similarly decolonising perspective to his various contributions in a new role as a National Geographic Society ‘Explorer at Large’. When the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam was looking for a curator for its incubator Buro Stedelijk initiative, which opened in December, it picked Nwagbogu, working with Rita Ouédraogo; they have been given almost total autonomy from the main institution to pursue their shared agendas.

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