Independent Curators International (ICI) supports the work of curators to help create stronger art communities through experimentation, collaboration, and international engagement. Curators are arts community leaders and organizers who champion artistic practice; build essential infrastructures and institutions; and generate public engagement with art. Our collaborative programs connect curators across generations, and across social, political and cultural borders. They form an international framework for sharing knowledge and resources — promoting cultural exchange, access to art, and public awareness for the curator’s role.
Yesomi Umolu is Director and Curator, Logan Center Exhibitions at the University of Chicago where she leads an ambitious program of international contemporary art focused on emerging interdisciplinary practices. Umolu also teaches courses in contemporary visual art and spatial practices as a lecturer in the humanities division. Prior to joining the Logan, Umolu held curatorial positions at the MSU Broad Museum; Walker Art Center; and Manifesta 8, the European Biennial of Contemporary Art. She has also contributed to programming at the Serpentine Galleries and Tate Modern.
Umolu has worked on key solo exhibitions and commissioned projects with Assemble, Ursula Biemann, and Paulo Tavares, John Akomfrah, Mike Cloud, Mariana Castillo Deball, Kapwani Kiwanga, Candice Lin, Harold Mendez, Camille Norment, Karthik Pandian, and Andros Zins-Browne, among others. As Artistic Director of the 2019 Chicago Architecture Biennial (2018-2020), Umolu oversaw a critically acclaimed curatorial program featuring new commissions, off-site installations, and a host of performances, talks, workshops, and community engagements with over 80 international contributors.
Umolu is a 2016 recipient of the prestigious Andy Warhol Foundation for Visual Arts Curatorial Fellowship. She has been a visiting lecturer and critic at numerous universities including Williams College; University College London; University of Michigan; and University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, among others. She served on the curatorial advisory board for the United States Pavilion at the 16th Venice Architecture Biennale. She is a trustee of the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts, Chicago.
Watch Now! As part of ICI’s Curator’s Perspective—an itinerant public discussion series featuring national and international curators—Yesomi Umolu, Sepake Angiama, and Paulo Tavares presented on the 2019 Chicago Architecture Biennial, …and other such stories. The discussion focused on their take on the Biennial, their research-driven methodology, and how their interest in pedagogy manifested throughout the exhibition.read more »
In January 2015, ICI, in collaboration with Prospect New Orleans and CAC New Orleans, presents the inaugural Curatorial Intensive in New Orleans.read more »
Join the Curatorial Intensive participants on January 24, 2015 for a public symposium at CAC New Orleans.read more »