Cyrus Kabiru - New Now London Thursday, April 28, 2022 | Phillips

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  • During Cyrus Kabiru’s time participating in the Africa First Residency program, the artist toured around the country of Israel. He was captivated by the story of Masada and the beauty of the desert location. Kabiru then gathered materials from the Jaffa Flea Market to create a work inspired by this trip. The C-Stunner is composed of a cassette tape, bracelets, and necklaces representing his moving experience. At the center is a bead which is a map of Israel as if Kabiru is looking through the country’s lens.


    Born in 1984 in Nairobi, Kaibru has exhibited extensively, 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. He was selected as one of Quartz’s Africa Innovators for 2016 in Nairobi, Kenya. Cyrus participated in the Africa First residency in Israel in 2019 which culminated with an exhibition at the African Studies Gallery in July of that year. 


    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, in 2015, and later at The Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, 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, both in 2015; Concealed: Selections from the Permanent Collection at the Studio Museum in Harlem, New York; and Lumières d’Afriques, organised by the AAD Fund, at the Théatre National de Chaillot in Paris during 2015.


    In 2016, Kabiru was the resident artist at the Han Nefkens Foundation in Barcelona, 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. His work featured in Brutal Beauty: Violence and Contemporary Design at the MARTA Herford Museum of Contemporary Art in Germany; Unorthodox, curated by Jens Hoffmann, at The Jewish Museum in New York; and the Climactic: Post Normal Design exhibition at The Carnegie Mellon University School of Design in Pittsburgh. He was a featured artist in the Gestalten publication titled Africa Rising: Fashion, Design and Lifestyle from Africa. In addition, he was selected to participate in the Zeitz MOCAA Artist in Residency Programme at the Segera Retreat in Laikipia, Kenya, in May 2018.


    Examples of Kabiru’s work are also included in the Zeitz MOCAA permanent collection. Other notable collections include Studio Museum, Harlem, New York; Lemaître Collection, Paris, France; Han Nefkens H+F Collection, Nederlands; Helena Fernandino & Emilio Pi Collection, Madrid, Spain; Kuona Trust, Nairobi, Kenya; Scheryn Collection, Cape Town, South Africa and Saatchi & Abel Collection, Cape Town, South Africa.

    • Provenance

      Africa First Artist Residency, Tel Aviv
      Acquired from the above by the present owner

    • Exhibited

      Tel Aviv, African Studies Gallery, Beats of Beads, 20 July - December 2019




signed 'c kabiru' lower right of the C-Stunner
pigment ink on HP premium satin photographic paper mounted on Diasec, in artist's frame and found objects, in 2 parts
print 121.2 x 121.2 x 7 cm (47 3/4 x 47 3/4 x 2 3/4 in.)
C-stunner 20 x 29 x 26 cm (7 7/8 x 11 3/8 x 10 1/4 in.)

Executed in 2019.

Full Cataloguing

£8,000 - 12,000 

Sold for £10,080

Contact Specialist

Charlotte Gibbs
Associate Specialist, Head of New Now
+44 20 7901 7993

New Now

London Auction 28 April 2022