For her powerful work, the Antwerp-based artist wins the 2025 Nasher Prize exclusively awarded to contemporary sculpture.
The Nasher Sculpture Center has awarded artist Otobong Nkanga its Nasher Prize, which is endowed with $100,000 and an exhibition at the museum in Dallas opening in April 2025.
“The work of Otobong Nkanga makes manifest the myriad connections—historical, sociological, economic, cultural, and spiritual— that we have to the materials that comprise our lives,” says Nasher Sculpture Center Director Jeremy Strick. “Delving deeply into the variegated meanings these materials take on, Nkanga’s work makes clear the essential place of sculpture in contemporary life.”
Otobong Nkanga, was born in Kano, Nigeria in 1974, grew up in Lagos and Paris, and lives and works in Antwerp, Belgium. She uses a broad range of materials and weaves together powerful works that delve into the complex, often fragile relationships between humans, the land, and its resources, touching on issues of consumption, global circulation, connectivity, and care. Over the past 20 years she has been producing evocative works that speak to migration and her own movement in the world.
Nkanga was chosen by a jury including Nairy Baghramian (artist / Germany), Pablo León de la Barra (Guggenheim Curator at Large, Latin America / Brazil), Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev (Director of Castello di Rivoli Museo d’Arte Contemporanea / Italy), Lynne Cooke (Senior Curator, National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. / USA), Briony Fer (Art Historian and Critic / UK), Hou Hanru (Artistic Director, MAXXI / Italy), Yuko Hasegawa (Director, 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa / Japan), Rashid Johnson (Artist / USA) and Nicholas Serota (Chairman of Arts Council England / UK).
Former recipients are Senga Nengudi and Theaster Gates.