Yesomi Umolu is Director and Curator, Logan Center Exhibitions at the Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts, University of Chicago. She directs a program of international contemporary art in the Logan Center Gallery and contributes to a number of strategic committees that drive the development of contemporary art, architecture and urbanism on campus. In addition to her curatorial role, Umolu also holds the position of Lecturer in the Humanities Division. Umolu served as Artistic Director of the 2019 Chicago Architecture Biennial and she is a 2016 recipient of an Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts Curatorial Fellowship.
Specializing in global contemporary art and spatial practices, Umolu recently curated Candice Lin: A Hard White Body, a Porous Slip (2018), Cinthia Marcelle and Tiago Mata Machado: Divine Violence (2017), Kapwani Kiwanga: The sum and its parts (2017) and So-called Utopias (2015) at the Logan Center Gallery, among others. Prior to joining the Logan, Umolu held curatorial positions at the Edythe Broad Art Museum at MSU; the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis and the European biennial of contemporary art Manifesta 8. Her other notable exhibitions include: Material Effects (MSU Broad, 2015), John Akomfrah: Imaginary Possessions (MSU Broad, 2014), The Land Grant: Forest Law (MSU Broad, 2014), and The Museum of Non Participation: The New Deal (Walker Art Center, 2013).
Umolu has been a visiting lecturer, critic and speaker at a number of international universities including Cranbrook Academy of Art, Bloomfield Hills; Bartlett School of Architecture, University College London and University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, among others. She recently served on the curatorial advisory board for the United States Pavilion at the 16th Venice Architecture Biennale, commissioned by the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and the University of Chicago. Umolu sits on the board of trustees at the Graham Foundation, Chicago.
Contemporary art, architecture and spatial practices; exhibition histories and the globalization of contemporary art discourses; postcolonial studies