Marcia Kure

Text 2004


© Chika Okeke

Nigerian painter Marcia Kure’s works — inspired by African cave paintings, woven and printed textiles, bodypainting and a background in which she was exposed to a wide variety of intra-Nigerian cultures and influences — often deal with issues of gender and identity. Kure’s work has been profoundly informed by uli, a painting and drawing tradition practiced by the Igbo women of eastern Nigeria that employs simple forms and minimal use of color. The spare, anthropomorphic forms in her series of works on paper (‘cave paintings,’ whose earth tones are rendered in kolanut pigment and watercolor) exude displacement, strength and liberation, while her abstracted textile paintings capture a rhythmic, multilayered quality perhaps inspired by the complex color arrangements in traditional kente fabrics, which Kure has often cited as a major inspiration in terms of expressing multiculturalism and transcontinental migration.


The work, as a whole, is possibly best explained with the opening lines of Kure’s artist statement:
cloth. texture. connection. disconnection.
unveil. deconstruct. rip apart. rearrange.
heritage. history. myth.

Born in 1970 in Kano, Nigeria, Kure graduated with a B.A (painting) from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, in 1994. Kure has attended art residency programs in Germany and the United States, where she has taken part in many solo and group exhibitions in addition to showing extensively in her home country. Kure was included in the Multichoice Africa “African Artists of the Future” calendar in 2002, and a body of Kure’s work depicting each year of Nigerian singer Fela’s life was included in last year’s Fela Project at the New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York, an exhibition that is presently on tour in venues throughout the United States. The artist lives and works in Princeton, USA.


Portrait of the Artist as a Teapot
in Kill Bill I (IV)

Portrait of the Artist




Loretta I



Portrait of the Artist III
Portrait of the Artist I

  Post modern  
Portrait as a Teapot
The Post-Post Modern Commuter
Portrait as Teapot


Loretta II
Loretta III


Marcia Kure - Otobong Nkanga - Senam Okudzeto
Berlin. 10.7. - 28.8.2004

Berlin. 16.11. bis 23.12.2004 Mit: Aboudramane - Sokari Douglas Camp - Pierre Granoux - Nicole Guiraud - Jörg Heitsch - Ingrid Mwangi - Martin Kippenberger - Imi Knoebel - Joseph Kosuth - Marcia Kure - Owusu-Ankomah - Marie Pittroff - Chéri Samba - Jürgen Schadeberg - Ralf Schmerberg - Pascale Marthine Tayou - Michel Würthle