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Founded in 1979, October Gallery, in central London, exhibits innovative, contemporary art from around the world. For over 35 years, October Gallery has pioneered the development of the Transvangarde - the trans-cultural avant-garde.
  • Adejoke_Tugbiyele. photo © Jonathan Greet 2007
  • Adejoke_Tugbiyele. photo © Jonathan Greet 2007
  • Adejoke_Tugbiyele. photo © Jonathan Greet 2007


Adejoke Tugbiyele

Adejoke Tugbiyele is an award-winning artist and human rights activist, who explores LGBTQ human rights issues around the world, and her own identity as a queer woman of Nigerian descent. She was nominated for the 2016 Joan Mitchell Painters and Sculptors Grant. In 2015, Foreign Policy described her as one of 100 Leading Global Thinkers for her sculptural work addressing the criminalization of LGBTQ individuals in Nigeria. In 2014, Tugbiyele was in Lagos, Nigeria on a U.S. Fulbright Student award, where she researched the intersections of art, spirituality and sexuality within the queer community. Her work resulted in a short video, which was captured alongside her interview on CNN International with correspondent, Vladimir Duthiers. It also resulted in a large fabric work entitled Gele Pride Flag, which she recently donated to the permanent collection of the Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art at the Brooklyn Museum – ‘In Honor of Our LGBTQ Heroes in Orlando, 2016.’ While a graduate student at Maryland Institute College of Art, Tugbiyele was awarded the Amalie Rothschild ’34 Rinehart Award in 2012 and the William M. Phillips ’54 Scholarship for Best Figurative Sculpture in 2013.

Outside the United States, Tugbiyele’s multimedia work has been featured in the United Kingdom, South Africa, Nigeria, Poland, Spain, France and The Netherlands. Her work can be found in the public collections of the Brooklyn Museum, The Newark Museum, the corporate collection of Credit Suisse Bank, and in significant private collections within the United States, the United Kingdom, South Africa and Hong Kong. Tugbiyele’s work has been referenced and reviewed in leading publications around the world and she has sat as a panelist for programs within institutions in the United States and beyond. In 2002, she received a Bachelor of Science in Architecture from the New Jersey Institute of Technology and in 2013, graduated with a Master of Fine Arts in Sculpture from Maryland Institute College of Art.

Flight to Revalation

Musician II

Homeless Hungry Homo

Adejoke Tugbiyele (b.1977, New York, USA)

2013   Maryland Institute College of Art, Rinehart School of Sculpture
Master of Fine Arts
2002   New Jersey School of Architecture at NJIT
B.S. Architecture (w/ honors)
1995   High School of Art and Design, NYC
Diploma Architecture (w/ honors)
Selected solo exhibitions
2016   Grassroots, Skoto Gallery, New York, USA
2015   TESTIMONY, Goodman Gallery, Cape Town, SA, curated by Neil Dundas and Lara Koseff
2014   Election/Erection, Gallery Aferro, Newark, NJ, curated by Dexter Wimberly
2013   FAST FORWARD: MFA Thesis Exhibition, Metro Gallery, Baltimore, MD
2010   WAHALA TEMI - BODY WORK, The Walsh Gallery, Seton Hall University, South Orange, NJ, curated by Jeanne Brasile
2004   Dynamic Dark Matter, Philosophy Box Gallery, New York, NY
Selected group exhibitions
2016   AKAA (Also Known As Africa), Carreau du Temple, Paris, France with October Gallery, London, UK
Art on the Vine in Martha’s Vineyard,
The Agora Culture, Massachusetts, USA, curated by Jessica Stafford-Davis
Africa’s Out!
, Pioneer Works, Brooklyn, New York, USA. Founded by Wangechi Mutu in support of UHAI EASHRI
Disguise: Masks and Global African Art
, The Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn, NY, Curated by Kevin Dumouchelle (forthcoming)
Videonale in Lagos: Changing City – Shifting Spaces, Centre for Contemporary Art (CCALagos), VanLagos and Goethe Institut – Nigeria, Lagos, Nigeria, curated by Jude Anogwih, Tasja Langenbach & Jennifer Gassmann
2015   Agitprop! The Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn, New York, Co-curated by The Sackler Center Curatorial Collective: Catherine Morris, Stephanie Weissberg, Saisha Grayson and Jess Wilcox (forthcoming)
1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair
, October Gallery, London, UK, curated by Elisabeth Laloushek
A River Depends on its Tributaries
, The Walsh Gallery at Seton Hall University (in collaboration with Merton D. Simpson Gallery NYC), South Orange, NJ, curated by Jeanne Brasile
Resignifications/Black Portraitures, Biagiotti Progetto Arte, Florence, Italy, curated by Awam Amkpa
Speaking Back, Goodman Gallery, Cape Town, South Africa, curated by Natasha Becker
Art15: London’s Global Art Fair, October Gallery, London, UK, curated by Elisabeth Laloushek
No Such Place,
Edward Tyler Nahem Fine Art, New York, NY, curated by Larry Ossei-Mensah and Dexter Wimberly
2014   Interwoven Histories, October Gallery, London, UK,
The Subject is Black
, Leslie Lohman Museum of Gay & Lesbian Art: Prince St. Project Space, curated by Lawrence Graham-Brown
Brides of Anansi: Fiber and Contemporary Art
, Spelman College Museum of Fine Art, organized by Leslie King-Hammond, PhD and Lowery Stokes Sims, PhD
ARENA (Screenings), Centre for Contemporary Art, Torun, Poland, Curated by Dobrila Denegri and Jude Anogwih 
Matter as Metaphor Art Dubai 2014, Dubai, UAE, Presented by Omenka Gallery/ Oliver Enwonwu
1:54, Somerset House, London. (October Gallery)
2013   Matter as Metaphor, Omenka Gallery at The FNB Joburg Art Fair, Johannesburg, South Africa (with the artist, Nnenna Okore)
Ashe to Amen, Museum of Biblical Art, New York, NY, curated by Dr. Leslie King-Hammond (travels to The Reginald F. Lewis Museum and Dixon Gardens)
Reloading the Canon: African Traditions in Contemporary Art, James E. Lewis Museum, Baltimore, MD, curated by Allison Gulick
2011   The African Continuum, The United Nations, Public Gallery, New York, NY, curated by Jan Arnesen and Monique Long
All We Ever Wanted, Center for Contemporary Art, Lagos, Nigeria, Curated by Bisi Silva
2010   The Global Africa Project, Museum of Arts and Design, New York, NY, co-curated by Lowery Sims & Leslie King-Hammond
OUTSIGHT INN: 28 Solo Projects, Rupert Ravens Contemporary, Newark, NJ, curated by Rupert Ravens
Life After Death (A Tribute to Fela Kuti), Caribbean Cultural Center African Diaspora Institute, New York, NY, curated by Shantrelle Lewis
Dreamtime Overtones from a Fantastic Brown Planet, Aljira: Center for Contemporary Art, Newark, NJ, curated by Edwin Ramoran
2009   Brick City: 07101, The Visual Arts Center of New Jersey, Summit, NJ, curated by Jeanne Brasile
Masquerade: False Faces, Casa Frela Gallery, New York, NY
The Big Apple Meets the Big Easy, GSL Art Projects, New Orleans, LA
Time & Space, A Gathering of the Tribes Gallery, New York, NY
2008   Afusion, Rotunda Gallery at The Brennan Courthouse, Jersey City, NJ
2007   Waging Peace, Arts for Peace Gallery, New York, NY, curated by Troy West and Claudia Flynn
2005   Boundaries, Philosophy Box Gallery, New York, NY
The Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn, NY, United States
The Newark Museum, Newark, NJ, USA
The Smithsonian Museum for African Art, Washington DC, USA
Credit Suisse Bank
Awards & Residencies
Joan Mitchell Painters and Sculptors Grant, 2016
Foreign Policy’s Leading 100 Global Thinkers Award, USA, 2015
Maboneng Arts District Residency, Johannesburg, South Africa, 2015
Serenbe Artists-In-Residence Program, Georgia, USA, 2014
Fulbright U.S. Student Fellowship, Lagos, Nigeria, 2013-14
Gallery Aferro Artist-In-Residence Program, Newark, New Jersey, USA, 2013-14
MICA, Rinehart School of Sculpture, Amalie Rothschild Award, USA, 2013
MICA, William M. Phillips Memorial Scholarship/Best Figurative Sculpture, USA, 2012
October Gallery, 24 Old Gloucester Street, Bloomsbury, London WC1N 3AL Tel: + 44 (0)20 7242 7367