Cyrus Kabiru


Cyrus Kabiru was born in 1984 in Nairobi, Kenya, where he still lives and works. He has exhibited frequently both internationally and on the African continent. Notable solo exhibitions include: Upcoming in 2010 at the Kuona Trust in Nairobi, Kenya; Cyrus Kabiru at the Kunstpodium T Gallery in Tilburg, Netherlands in 2011; and C-Stunners & Black Mamba at SMAC Gallery in Cape Town in 2015. In 2013, Kabiru was a fellow at TED’s The Young, The Gifted, The Undiscovered in the USA. That same year, Kabiru exhibited at the Lagos Photo Festival in Nigeria and his work formed part of Afrofuture: Adventure with Makers, Thinkers and Dreamers at the Milan Design Week in Italy, as well as The Shadows Took Shape at The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York, USA. He was recently selected as one of Quartz’s Africa Innovators for 2016 in Nairobi, Kenya.

Important group exhibitions include: the seminal travelling exhibition Making Africa – A Continent of Contemporary Design, curated by Amelie Klein with Okwui Enwezor, first shown at the Vitra Design Museum in Weil am Rhein, Germany in 2015, and later at The Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain, the exhibition continues to travel across Europe and the USA; AFRICA – Architecture & Identity at the Louisiana Museum in Humlebæk, Denmark; and Beyond Borders, the 5th edition of the Beaufort Triennial in West Flanders, Belgium, both in 2015; Concealed Selections from the Permanent Collection at the Studio Museum in Harlem, New York, USA; and Lumières d’Afriques, organised by the AAD Fund, at the Théâtre National de Chaillot in Paris, France during 2015.

In 2016, Kabiru was the resident artist at the Han Nefkens Foundation in Barcelona, Spain, where he was also the first artist to participate in the Flow Series talks programme – a joint initiative of the Han Nefkens Foundation and the Antoni Tàpies Foundation. Also in 2016, Kabiru was selected as a featured artist for The ARMORY Show Focus Section, African Perspectives, curated by Julia Grosse and Yvette Mutumba, in New York, USA. His work featured in Brutal Beauty: Violence and Contemporary Design at the MARTA Herford Museum of Contemporary Art in Herford, Germany; Unorthodox, curated by Jens Hoffmann, at The Jewish Museum in New York, USA; and the Climactic: Post Normal Design exhibition at The Carnegie Mellon University School of Design in Pittsburgh, USA. He was a featured artist in the Gestalten publication titled Africa Rising: Fashion, Design and Lifestyle from Africa. In addition, he has been selected to participate in the Zeitz MOCAA Artist in Residency Programme at the Segera Retreat in Laikipia, Kenya, in May 2018.

Kabiru’s work is included in the Zeitz MOCAA permanent collection, the highly-anticipated opening in September 2017 in Cape Town, South Africa. Other notable collections include: Studio Museum, Harlem, New York, USA; Lemaître Collection, Paris, France; Han Nefkens H+F Collection, Nederlands; Helena Fernandino & Emilio Pi Collection, Madrid, Spain; Kuona Trust, Nairobi, Kenya; Scheryn Art Fund, Cape Town, South Africa and Saatchi & Abel Collection, Cape Town, South Africa.

Works in the collection