Galerie Lelong & Co. is pleased to hold a virtual conversation as part of "Galerie Lelong: Dialogues" between Key Jo Lee and Enuma Okoro on occasion of our solo exhibition Ficre Ghebreyesus: I Believe We Are Lost (March 30 – May 6, 2023).
Tracing the impact of Ghebreyesus’s experiences as a refugee and immigrant on his practice, I Believe We Are Lost presents paintings and pastels in rich and bold palettes that demonstrate Ghebreyesus’s evolving definition of home, the majority of which are shown publicly for the first time. Early works are complemented by a selection of later works, demonstrating the development over time of the artist’s distinct visual language, with a recurring focus on themes of displacement and representations of Eritrea throughout his oeuvre.
Key Jo Lee is chief of curatorial affairs and public programs at the Museum of the African Diaspora (MoAD) in San Francisco. In this role, Lee oversees the strategic direction for the museum’s exhibitions and programs; leads globally on identifying and promoting emerging artists from the African diaspora; and works to expand MoAD’s reach and influence locally, nationally, and internationally. She is responsible for the overall management and execution of the museum’s curatorial vision, including its exhibitions, publications, and public and educational programs, and plays an important role in the organization’s outreach, communications, and digital strategy. Lee has a master’s degree from and is PhD candidate in History of Art and African American Studies at Yale University. Her first book, Perceptual Drift: Black Art and an Ethics of Looking, was published by Yale University Press and The Cleveland Museum of Art in January 2023.
Enuma Okoro is a Nigerian-American author, writer, speaker, and cultural curator born in Manhattan, and raised in Cote d’Ivoire, England, Tunisia, North America and Nigeria. She is an arts and culture weekend columnist, “The Art of Life,” for the Financial Times where she writes about the intersection of art, culture and how we live. Her work includes curating, moderating and hosting public conversations with culture makers, and profiling artists (such as Steve McQueen, Joan Jonas, Kara Walker, Faith Ringgold, Rachel Whitehead, Simone Leigh, and others). Her broader research and writing interests include the power of story as a modality for social transformation, and the role of the visual arts, culture, intersectional feminist theory, and contemplative eco-spirituality in the study of the human condition, how we live and how we accumulate and produce knowledge. She especially aims to amplify the creative, intellectual and psycho-spiritual work of women, female-identifying, and artists of the African diaspora and people of color. She has written and edited four nonfiction books, her short story and poetry is published in anthologies, and her essays and articles have been featured in The New York Times, The Financial Times, Aeon, Vogue, The Cut, The Atlantic Monthly, Harper’s Bazaar, Artsy, Catapult, NYU Washington Review, The Guardian, The Washington Post, Essence, NPR, ABC’s Good Morning America, and other media outlets.