Kapwani Kiwanga is a French-Canadian artist, born in 1978 in Canada and based in Paris since 2005 where she works. Kiwanga studied Anthropology and Comparative Religion at McGill University in Montreal and Art at l’École des Beaux-Arts de Paris, and later at Le Fresnoy.
Her work traces the pervasive impact of power asymmetries by placing historic narratives in dialogue with contemporary realities, the archive, and tomorrow’s possibilities.
Her work is research-driven, instigated by marginalised or forgotten histories, and articulated across a range of materials and mediums including sculpture, installation, photography, video, and performance.
Kiwanga co-opts the canon; she turns systems of power back on themselves, in art and in parsing broader histories. In this manner Kiwanga has developed an aesthetic vocabulary that she described as “exit strategies”, works that invite one to see things from multiple perspectives so as to look differently at existing structures and find ways to navigate the future differently.
In 2020, Kiwanga received the Prix Marcel Duchamp (FR), and the Zurich Art Prize (CH) in 2021. She was also the winner of the Frieze Artist Award (USA) and the annual Sobey Art Award (CA) in 2018. She will represent Canada at the 60th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia in 2024.
Solo exhibitions include the Museum Of Contemporary Art, Toronto (CA), the New Museum, New York (USA); the 59th International Art Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia; Moody Center for the Arts, Houston (USA); Crédac – Centre d’Art Contemporain d’Ivry (FR); Haus der Kunst, Munich (DE); Kunstinstituut Melly – Center for Contemporary Art, Rotterdam (NLD); Kunsthaus Pasquart, Biel/Bienne (CH); MIT List Visual Arts Center, Cambridge (USA); Albertinum museum, Dresden (DE); Artpace, San Antonio (USA); Esker Foundation, Calgary (CA); Tramway, Glasgow International (UK); Power Plant, Toronto (CA); Logan Center for the Arts, Chicago (USA); South London Gallery, London (UK); and Jeu de Paume, Paris (FR) among others.
Selected group exhibitions include Palais de Tokyo (FR); LUMA Foundation (FR); Joburg Contemporary Art Foundation, Johannesburg (ZAF); Musée de l’Armée, Hôtel des Invalides, Paris (FR); High Line Fourth Plinth commission, New York (USA); Renaissance Society, Chicago (USA); Whitechapel Gallery, London (UK); Serpentine Galleries, London (UK); Yuz Museum, Shanghai (CHN); MOT – Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo (JPN); Museum MMK für Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt (DE); Museum of African Contemporary Art Al Maaden – MACAAL, Marrakech (MAR); National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa (CA); Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston (USA); Hammer Museum, Los Angeles (USA); Centre Pompidou, Paris (FR) and MACBA, Barcelona (ESP); etc.
Since the beginning of their collaboration in 2015, the gallery and Kapwani Kiwanga have worked on tens of projects, in France and abroad.
” KIWANGA’S PRACTICE IS SUCH THAT IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO PREDICT WHAT SHE WILL DO NEXT “