• Kunstverein-in-hamburg-karo-akpokiere-illustrated-letters-q

    Illustrated Letters (Q), 2021


  • Kunstverein-in-hamburg-karo-akpokiere-illustrated-letters-x

    Illustrated Letters (X), 2021


Karo Akpokiere

Illustrated Letters

  • Kunstverein-in-hamburg-karo-akpokiere-illustrated-letters-q
  • Kunstverein-in-hamburg-karo-akpokiere-illustrated-letters-x

The drawings by Karo Akpokiere (*1981 in Lagos, Nigeria, lives and works in Lagos, Berlin, and Hamburg) are characterized by a close connection between image and text, fusing everyday experiences with his fascination with patterns, textiles, and printmaking to form narratives that are as political as they are personal in nature. Drawing on urban graffiti, written culture, and the visual language of his hometown of Lagos, Nigeria, Akpokiere’s work are playful in their approach to the sometimes arbitrary distinction between art or design.

For his edition, Akpokiere has produced new screen prints from his series Illustrated Letters, selecting the letters Q and X from its alphabet of illustrated forms. Akpokiere produced this rich typographic alphabet to play with the line between symbolism and abstraction, testing where language appears from image and image from language. This extends from his interest in design that challenges homogeneity, bringing in the visual language of everyday life. With these two letters, he produces a mise-en-scène of a demonstration inside the letter Q, and transforms the letter X into an anthropomorphic figure playing the keyboard.

  • Exhibitions (Selection)
  • 2021

    Easterfield Festival, Kunstverein in Hamburg (G)
    The World Is White No Longer: Views of a Decentered World, Museum der Moderne, Salzburg (G)
    Textures: The History and Art of Black Hair, Kent State University Museum, Ohio (G)

  • 2019

    IV Biennal of Montevideo, Uruguay (G)
    Political Affairs – Language Is Not Innocent, Kunstverein in Hamburg (G)

  • 2018

    África Revisitada, Zipper Galeria, São Paulo (G)
    MMCA Report, National Museum for Modern and Contemporary Art, Changdong, Seoul (G)
    Flow of Forms / Forms of Flow: Design History between Africa and Europe, MARKK Museum, Hamburg (G)

  • 2017

    Studio K, Griffelkunst. Kunstraum Seilerstraße, Hamburg (S)

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