Thenjiwe Niki Nkosi

Nkosi was born in 1980 in New York. She was raised there, in Harare and Johannesburg, where she now lives. She obtained her BA from Harvard University (2004) and her MFA from the School of Visual Arts in New York (2008).

Nkosi divides her time between studio work, performance, and navigating the field of art as social practice. Her first solo exhibition, Gymnasium, took place at Stevenson, Johannesburg (2020) and her second, Landings, currently takes place in Cape Town. 

Group and collaborative exhibitions include How to Make a Country, FRAC Poitou-Charentes, Angoulême (2021); Mixed Company at the Norval Foundation, Cape Town, South Africa (2021);  FIVE, We Buy Gold, New York (2020); Don’t Ask Me Where I’m From, Aga Khan Museum, Toronto, (2020); That's What She Said, Constitution Hill, Johannesburg (2019); Lost Lover, Rampa, Porto, Portugal (2019); NIEPODLEGŁE, Women, Independence and National Discourse, Museum of Modern Art, Warsaw (2018); Five Propositions, Roberts Projects, Los Angeles (2018); Moving Stills – Affective Archives, Mumok Cinema, Vienna (2018);  Art/Afrique, le nouvel atelier, Fondation Louis Vuitton, Paris (2017); Kabbo ka Muwala (The Girl’s Basket), National Gallery of Zimbabwe, Harare (2016); Transforming Provocations, The Flaherty NYC, New York (2016); The Film Will Always Be You, Tate Modern, London (2015); The Johannesburg Pavilion, Venice (2015); A Beautiful Rebellion, DUMBO, New York (2014); Disrupters: This is Disrupter X, Schokofabrik, Bayreuth, Germany (2014); The Space Between Us, Ifa Gallery, Berlin (2013); Spectacular, Frac des Pays de la Loire, Carquefou, France (2013); IF YOU DO IT RIGHT, Honolulu Performance Space, Nantes, France (2013); VAIVEM, SESC Pinheiros, São Paulo (2013); Making Way: Contemporary Art from China and South Africa, Standard Bank Gallery, Johannesburg (2013); Shoe Shop, Goethe-Institut & Shoe Shop Project Space, Johannesburg (2012); Gulbenkian Next Future Program, Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian, Lisbon (2011); and (Re)constructions: Contemporary Art in South Africa, Museum of Contemporary Art, Niterói, Rio de Janeiro (2011).

Nkosi has taken part in residencies including the XXVIIes Aterliers Internationaux, FRAC des Pays de la Loire, France (2013); VAIVEM, Sao Paulo, Brazil (2013); Vanilla Facts, Berlin, Germany (2012); Cruces International, Montevideo, Uruguay (2011) and the Bag Factory Artist Residency (2009).

She has received grants from Pro-Helvetia (2019); Pala Lab (2018); National Arts Council of South Africa (2015; 2009); Virginia Wellington Cabot Foundation (2008) Goethe-Institut (2010), and fellowships including the School of Visual Arts Alumni Award Fellowship (2006); Pforzheimer Foundation Public Service Fellowship (2006); Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship (2002). Nkosi is the recipient of the Philippe Wamba Prize in African Studies (2004), and the Tollman Award for the Visual Arts (2019).

Download CV (PDF)