Power 100

Most influential people in 2023 in the contemporary artworld


Otobong Nkanga

Artist - Artist whose work explores questions of home, place and displacement

76 in 2023

  • 202376
  • 202281
  • 2021
  • 2020
  • 2019
  • 2018
  • 2017
  • 2016
  • 2015
  • 2014
  • 2013
  • 2012
  • 2011
  • 2010
  • 2009
  • 2008
  • 2007
  • 2006
Photo: Wimvan Dongen. © Otobong Nkanga. Courtesy Lisson Gallery

The curators of Dear Earth, at London’s Hayward Gallery, said they took inspiration from Nkanga’s maxim that ‘caring is a form of resistance’, with care being afforded to both the human and nonhuman subject. In that exhibition she showed Double Plot (2018), a vast tapestry depicting the solar system, while more recent textiles, drawings, photographs, sculptures and performance works featured in solo shows at the Frist Art Museum, Nashville, and the Institut Valencià d’Art Modern. ‘Care’ is not just a modish curatorial buzzword for Nkanga, but the driving force behind O8 Black Stone, a black soap made of petrol sediment (name-checked in Teju Cole’s new book), sold in aid of her Athens project space, Akwa Ibom, and an organic farm in Nigeria that promotes biodiverse planting practices and doubles as a hub for the rural community. While shifting galleries, from Mendes Wood DM to Lisson, Nkanga remains as formally innovative as she is socially conscious, winning this year’s $100,000 Nasher Prize for Sculpture.

Related articles


We use cookies to understand how you use our site and to improve your experience. This includes personalizing content. By continuing to use our site, you accept our use of cookies, revised Privacy.