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UWC artist and alumnus lands top international job

Author: Institutional Advancement

Eminent African artist, art historian and curator - and UWC alumnus - Dr Ugochukwu-Smooth C. Nzewi has been appointed as the Steven and Lisa Tananbaum Curator at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York in the United States.

Image: The Museum of Modern Art

(Published - 13 March 2019)

UWC alumnus and eminent African artist, art historian, and curator Dr Ugochukwu-Smooth C. Nzewi has been appointed as a curator at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York in the United States.

Dr Nzewi, who is currently curator of African art at the Cleveland Museum of Art, will start at MoMA’s department of painting and sculpture in July 2019 as the Steven and Lisa Tananbaum Curator.

“I am honoured to join MoMA as it continues the necessary task of telling an expansive and more inclusive story of 20th- and 21st-century art,” Nzewi said in a statement. “I look forward to collaborating with colleagues across departments in addressing historical gaps through purposeful acquisitions, advancing new programs and exhibitions that enrich our knowledge of global art, and, ultimately, in writing the next chapter in the history of this institution.”

Born in Nigeria, Dr Nzewi moved to Cape Town in 2006, where he worked on a year-long postgraduate programme in Museum and Heritage Studies at UWC while serving as artist-in-residence at the Greatmore Studio in Woodstock.

Dr Nzewi also holds a Bachelors in Sculpture from the University of Nigeria and a PhD in Art History from Emory University, and has been the recipient of a number of fellowships and awards. He has been a world-travelling artist and curator, and has exhibited internationally as an artist and artist-in-resident.

“I am pleased to welcome Smooth to the curatorial team at MoMA,” said Ann Temkin, the Marie-Josée and Henry Kravis Chief Curator of Painting and Sculpture, in a MOMA statement. “A highly accomplished scholar and curator of African art, Smooth will bring an important perspective as we expand our collection holdings and gallery presentations in new directions across the Museum.”

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