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Dozie Kanu: Function

Dozie Kanu Function installation shot depicting intro wall text

Dozie Kanu, Dozie Kanu: Function, 2019. Photo: Adam Reich

Nov 15 2019Mar 29, 2020

Studio Museum 127, 429 W. 127th St.

Dozie Kanu: Function presents Nigerian-American artist Dozie Kanu in his first museum solo exhibition. This exhibition maps out the arc of Kanu’s practice over the last three years, exploring the tensions between form and function, African and African-American, and art and design as embedded in the act of object-making.

The dialogue across materials, objects, and actions here surfaces urgent questions: “What is an art object?,” “How can art function?,” and “What does ‘functional art’ look like?” Responsive to these queries, the artist looks to the notion of “pragmatic sculpture” as a means of blurring boundaries, situating his work at the intersection of fine art and utilitarian design. Kanu places these objects in dialogue within the rigidity of the traditional art historical canon. Ultimately, arguing toward new ways to engage with art objects through touch, sense, and perception.

Dozie Kanu: Function is organized by Legacy Russell, Associate Curator, Exhibitions, with Yelena Keller, Curatorial Assistant, Exhibitions. Special thanks to Curatorial Fellows Makayla Bailey and Jasmine Wilson, and Curatorial Intern Sami Hopkins.


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inHarlem is made possible thanks to Citi; the William R. Kenan Jr. Charitable Trust; and The Shelley & Donald Rubin Foundation.

Additional support is generously provided by The New York City Department of Cultural Affairs; the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, and the New York City Council; and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.