“Each of my artistic projects is responding to my self-reflexive question: Who am I and what is my place in this world? My artworks exist as invitations to examine new possibilities that broaden our collective imaginations and challenge traditional boundaries of race, nationhood and religion.”– Nsenga Knight
My upbringing as a first-generation Black American Muslim woman informs my work in many respects and I seek to make critical contributions to conversations on the status of Black America, American society, politics, culture and Islam in the 21st century.
The social practice projects, geometric drawings, text paintings, prints and photographs I create seek out connective dots across geographical space and time. Each of my artistic projects is a permutation responding to my self-reflexive question: who am I and what is my place is in this world?
My creative process is grounded in research, rigorous experimentation with forms and unorthodox uses of materials. I reference historical archives, memoirs, rituals, and documentary photographs within the aesthetic and theoretical contexts of abstraction, new media, the conceptual art movement, minimalism, Islamic geometric art and the Black experience.
My art works exist as invitations to examine new possibilities that broaden our collective imaginations and challenge traditional boundaries of race, nationhood and religion.
Nsenga Knight was born in 1981 in Brooklyn, New York. She currently lives and works in Cairo, Egypt and New York. She has exhibited work at the Drawing Center, New York, NY; Arthur Ross Gallery at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA; Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston; Project Rowhouses, Houston, TX; Berman Museum of Art at Ursinus College, Pennsylvania; Smack Mellon, Brooklyn, NY; Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Art, Brooklyn, NY; Amistad Gallery at the University of Pennsylvania, New Museum for Contemporary Art, New York, NY; PS1 MoMA among others.
Knight is a 2019-2020 Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grantee. She has been a recipient of a Foundation for Contemporary Arts grant, a Durham Arts Council Emerging Artist grant, a Southern Constellations Fellowship, the Leeway Foundation Art and Change Grant, and Brooklyn Arts Council grants.
From 2016-2017 Knight was an Open Sessions artist in resident at the Drawing Center in New York. Knight has held artist residencies at Elsewhere Museum in Greensboro, North Carolina, the Galveston Artist Residency in Galveston, Texas, Brandywine Workshop in Philadelphia, Film/Video Arts Center in New York, and was a BCAT/ Rotunda Gallery Multimedia Artist in Resident in Brooklyn, NY. In 2019 she was a BRICworkspace Artist in Residence in Brooklyn, NY.
Knight is the Co-Founder and Managing Editor of Sapelo Square: An Online Resource on Black Muslims in the United States, which publishes weekly. She earned a Masters of Fine Arts degree at the University of Pennsylvania, a Bachelor of Arts in Film Production at Howard University.