Victor Ehikhamenor



Victor Ehikhamenor was born in Udomi-Uwessan, Edo State, Nigeria in 1970 and lives and works between Lagos, Nigeria and Maryland, USA.

Ehikhamenor is a multi-faceted artist whose practice encompasses painting, drawing, photography, sculpture and installation, as well as unique perforated works on paper. Hailing from a small village in Edo State, the historic seat of the Benin Empire, he draws inspiration from the dual aesthetic and spiritual traditions which infused his upbringing, using imagery and symbolism from both Edo traditional religion and Catholicism. His signature patterning is a frenetic mélange of gestural abstraction and stylised forms, revealing faces, objects and writing systems. This patterning is used in everything from paintings to photographs to immersive installations, producing a hypnotic experience, a sense of both meditative repetition and an ongoing narrative being told.

Storytelling is an important element of the artist’s practice, whether the magic realism of memory and nostalgia, or biting criticism of history and politics. Ehikhamenor is also a published writer, not only of fiction but also of critical essays in various academic journals, magazines and newspapers including the New York Times and Washington Post. He has also worked in journalism, as creative director and columnist at Next Newspapers in Lagos, as well as serving as CEO and editor-in-chief of the Nigerian national newspaper the Daily Times. His book, Excuse Me! (2012, Parresia Publishers), a satirical non-fiction look at Nigerian life, is a recommended text at two Nigerian universities.

The artist has designed book covers for award-winning authors such as Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, and collaborated on a fashion line with Nigerian designer Ituen Basi which was featured in Vogue Italia (2013). In 2015, he started an initiative called Ink Not Blood in order to promote peace and discourage the violence which often accompanies the electoral process in his home country.

Since gaining his Bachelor of Arts in English and Literature from Ambrose Alli University, Nigeria, in 1991, he has been awarded two Masters degrees from the University of Maryland, USA, in Technology Management (2003) and an MFA (2008). He has received numerous awards for both his writing and art, as well as fellowships from organisations such as the Rockefeller Foundation (USA, 2016), the Nirox Foundation (South Africa, 2016) and the Norman Mailer Centre (USA, 2014).

Solo exhibitions include In the Kingdom of This World at Tyburn Gallery, London, UK (2017); Paperwork: Works on paper at Constant Capital Gallery, Lagos, Nigeria (2015); Chronicles of The Enchanted World at Gallery of African Art, London, UK (2014); Artist Experience at Whitespace, Ikoyi, Lagos (2011); and Invasion of Privacy at Jennings Gallery, Washington, D.C. (2008).

In 2019, Ehikhamenor’s work will be included in the group exhibition FILAM(A)NT at Fondation Blachère, Apt, France. In 2018, the artist undertook a four-week residency with Art Dubai Art Fair as part of a solo project entitled Cartographers of Dreams, as well as participating in the group exhibitions Whose Land Have I Lit on Now? at SAVVY Contemporary, Berlin, Germany, and Soundlines of Contemporary Art, Yerevan, Armenia. He was one of four artists chosen to exhibit as part of the first Nigerian Pavilion at the 57th Venice Biennale in 2017. His work has also been included in numerous group exhibitions and other biennales, including the 5th Mediations Biennale in Poznan, Poland (2016), the 12th Dak’art Biennale in Dakar, Senegal (2016), Biennale Jogja XIII, Indonesia (2015), as well as being shown at the 56th Venice Biennale as part of the German Pavilion (2015).



MFA, University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland, USA.


MSc, Technology Management, University Of Maryland, University College, Maryland, USA.


BA, English and Literature, Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma, Nigeria.

Selected Solo Exhibitions


Cartographers of Dreams, Art Dubai Art Fair, Dubai, UAE.


In the Kingdom of This World, Tyburn Gallery, London, UK.


Paperwork: Works on paper, Constant Capital Gallery, Lagos, Nigeria.


Chronicles Of The Enchanted World, Gallery of African Art, London, UK.

In The Lions Lair: Photographing Wole Soyinka, Ake Arts and Books Festival, Abeokuta, Nigeria.


Amusing The Muse, Temple Muse, Lagos, Nigeria.


Crossing the Line, Bloom Gallery, Lagos, Nigeria.


Entrances & Exits: In search of not forgetting, CCA, Lagos, Nigeria.

Artist Experience, Whitespace, Ikoyi, Lagos, Nigeria.


Mirrors and Mirages, Terra Kulture Gallery, Lagos, Nigeria.


Invasion of Privacy, Jennings Gallery, Washington, D.C., USA.


Labyrinth of Memories, Didi Museum, Lagos, Nigeria.


Beyond The River, Grenada Embassy, Washington, D.C., USA.


Body Language, Utopia Art/Grill, Washington, D.C., USA.

Divine Intervention, Howard University A J Blackburn Center Gallery, Washington, D.C., USA.

Talking Walls, BB&T Bank, NW Washington, D.C., USA.


Songs and Stories: Moonlight Delight, Utopia Gallery, Washington, D.C., USA.


Discovering the gods, Monroe Gallery, Arts Club of Washington, Washington, D.C., USA.


Spirits In Dialogue, The Brazilian-American Cultural Institute Gallery, Washington, D.C., USA.

Selected Group Exhibitions


FILAM(A)NT, Fondation Blachère, Apt, France. (forthcoming)


Soundlines of Contemporary Art: International Exhibition of Contemporary Art in Armenia, Yerevan, Armenia.

Whose Land Have I Lit on Now?, SAVVY Contemporary, Berlin, Germany.


UNTITLED, Tyburn Gallery, London, UK.

Lines, Motions and Ritual, Magnan Metz, New York, USA.

Nigerian Pavilion, 57th Venice Biennale, Venice, Italy.

Significations, Provincial Centre of Arts and Design, Havana, Cuba.


5th Mediations Biennale, Poznan, Poland.

error x, Ostrale Contemporary Art Festival, Dresden, Germany.

12th Dak’Art Biennale, Dakar, Senegal.

A Place in Time, Nirox Foundation Sculpture Park, Johannesburg, South Africa.


Displacement, German Pavilion, 56th Venice Biennale, Venice, Italy.

Biennale Jogja XIII, Equator #3 2015, Indonesia.


ARENA, Center of Contemporary Art, Torun, Poland.


Nigeria Now, Ake Arts & Book Festival World Bank Exhibition, Nigeria.


Post-colonial photo studio, Action Field Kodra, Thessaloniki, Greece.


Black Creativity, Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago, IL, USA.


Rhythms & Blues, Sarah Silberman Gallery, Montgomery College, MD, USA.


Memories: 2Griot, Joy Smith Gallery, Memphis, TN, USA.


Symbols and Metaphors, Underwood Studio, Chevy Chase, MD, USA.


Home of African Concepts Gallery, Kent, WA, USA.


Patuxent Art League Members Juried Show, Laurel, MD, USA.

Same Tree, Different Roots, Howard University AJ Blackburn Center Gallery, Washington, D.C., USA.


National Geographic Society Staff Show, Washington D.C., USA.

Selected writings by the Artist


Confronting an Empty Canvas,

Walking with Wole Soyinka, Essay,

Blindness at The Top, Essay, New York Times.


Excuse Me!,  Collection Of Selected Essays, Parresia Publishers, Lagos, Nigeria.

Africas voice, Nigerias conscience, Essay. New York Times.

Is Nigeria At War?, CNN Online.


A Picture from Ireland, AGNI magazine, Boston University, USA.


Of Money, Friends, and Greed, Anthology of short stories, Hodder Publishers, UK.

Riding Monkey with Pako, Per Contra magazine, USA.

Passport to Heaven, Farafina Magazine, Lagos, Nigeria.


Glory Halleluya and Woman in Trance, Stylus Magazine, University of Maryland, USA.


Who Will Bury the Dead, Wasafiri Magazine, University of London, UK.



Art Dubai Art Fair Residency, Dubai, UAE.


Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Fellowship.

Nirox Foundation Residency, Johannesburg, South Africa.

Greatmore Residency, Cape Town, South Africa.


Casa Zia Lina, Elba, Italy.


Norman Mailer Fellowship for Writing.

Biography & Press


Alakam, Japhet, Art X Lagos exhibits contemporary Nigerian art for President Macron,, 12 July 2018.

Compton, Nick, Contemporary artists present amazing work to Emmanuel Macron, Akinwumi Ambode at Celebration of African Culture,, 05 July 2018.

Obuobi, Sharon, Episode 10: Victor Ehikhamenor, IN STUDIO with Sharon,, 13 March 2018.

Iduma, Emmanuel, The Work of Time: Victor Ehikhamenor’s In the Kingdom of This World,, 23 January 2018.

McTernan, Billie, There is a Kingdom,, 19 January 2018.


Enekwachi, Agwu, In Conversation wit Victor Ehikhamenor: The purity of Intuition as a Force for Originality,, 1 August 2017.

Agnew, Ellen, Biography of the Forgotten,, 25 May 2017.

Thackara, Tess, Despite Obstacles, African Countries Shine at the Venice Biennale,, 24 May 2017.

Azimi, Roxana, A la Biennale de Venise, les pavillons africains portent l’art au cœur des plaies,, 18 May 2017.

Idowu, Torera, First Ever Nigerian Pavilion Opens at the Venice Biennale,, 12 May 2017.

Aimufua, Jessica, ‘How About Now?’,, 11 May 2017.

----, Must See: African Artists Showcasing at the 57th Venice, 3 May 2017.

Oluwatobi, Nigerians in Venice Biennale – ‘How About Now’,, 2 May 2017.

Nigerian visual art set to make history at Venice BiennaleThe Guardian Nigeria, 7 April 2017.


Muoka, Chidera, Victor Ehikhamenor - Reviving the Culture of Art, The Guardian Nigeria, 10 July 2016.

Egbedi, Hadassah, Victor Ehikhamenor: The Innovative Maverick of Contemporary African Art,, 11 May 2016.


Bolshaw, Liz, Victor Ehikhamenor: Shaped by memory and tribal tradition, Financial Times,, 27 March 2015.

Nigerian Artist Calls for Peace through Paintings Ahead Of Polls, CGTN Africa,, 22 March 2015.

Nigeria artist's aim: Ink, not blood, BBC World News - Africa, 4 March 2015.


Nigerian artist Victor Ehikhamenor's canvas sculptures, BBC World News – Africa, 27 May 2014.

Iduma, Emmanuel, The Art of Victor Ehikhamenor, Africa is a Country, 30 April 2014.

Gresle, Yvette, Victor Ehikhamenor,, 5 June 2014.

Antonacci, Celia, Victor Ehikhamenor (2014) Legendado,, 16 July 2014.


How love letters made Nigeria's Victor Ehikhamenor, BBC World News Africa, 30 November 2012.


ENTRANCES / EXITS - In Search of Not Forgetting by Victor Ehikhamenor, Next TV,, 19 May 2011.



Leon Forrest Africana Scholar Award.


Familiar Streets Writing Contest Award for “A Beautiful Freedom” by Hyman S. & Freda Bernstein Jewish Literary Festival, Washington, DC.


Highly Commended Award for “The Supreme Command”, Commonwealth Broadcasting Association, London, UK.


1st Place, Arts Club of Washington Juried Exhibition. Juror, Dr. Kimberly A. Jones, National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C.


Finalist for “Palace Dwellers” The Artist’s Magazine Art Competition.



Nirox Sculpture Park, Cradle Of Humankind, South Africa

Ventures Park, Abuja, Nigeria

American Embassy, Abuja, Nigeria

Access Bank, Lagos, Nigeria

Keystone Bank, Lagos Nigeria

Aluko and Oyebode Law Firm, Lagos, Nigeria