AUG. 17 – OCT 11, 2018



OCT. 9, 2018 6 pm


Nsenga Knight, Other Stars Don’t Behave So, 2013  ink and wax drawing, 20 x 30 in. Courtesy of the artist.


THOUSAND OAKS, CA, September 25, 2018Nsenga Knight: Other Stars, an exhibition of geometric drawings, text paintings, photographs and oral history recordings by Nsenga Knight will be on view at the Kwan Fong Gallery at California Lutheran University from August 17 – October 11, 2018. In conjunction with the Other Stars exhibition, art historian Halima Taha will present on the work of Knight in the context of the canon of African American artwork, with a focus on the overlapping influences of Western and Islamic abstraction in her work Tuesday, October 9, 2018 at 6:00pm at the Ullman Conference Center 100/101 at CLU.

The exhibition includes a survey of Knight’s works from as early as 2007 such as As the Veil Turns her photography, video and oral history project on Black women in her hometown Brooklyn Muslim community who converted to Islam prior to 1975 and pioneered some of New York’s earliest still-existing mosques; and more recent works that place Malcolm X and Ali Shariati’s pilgrimage memoirs in sociological and formal conversation with Abū Rayḥān Muḥammad ibn Aḥmad Al-Bīrūnī’s 10th-century astronomical renderings.

Shameela copy.jpg

Nsenga Knight As the Veil Turns (Shameelah), 2007 Archival Inkjet Print, 30 x 20 in. Courtesy of the artist.


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

On October 9, 2018  Taha will present a discussion about Knight as a contemporary artist working in film, photography, paint,   and printmaking, exploring her place as an interdisciplinary artist whose visual statements are universal, yet part of the visual culture of the African Diaspora. Given the meteoric growth of art by artists of African descent in the worldwide market, Taha will discuss Knight’s presence within it and will highlight the market interest in work that provides insight into the global experience while ultimately provoking self-reflection.

Knight (b. 1981, Brooklyn, NY) has exhibited work at the Drawing Center, Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, the Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Art, the New Museum for Contemporary Art and MoMA PS1. She received her MFA from the University of Pennsylvania and BA in Film from Howard University. She lives and works in Cairo, Egypt and New York.

Taha is a best-selling author, curator, appraiser and independent scholar. Taha is most well-known for her groundbreaking bestseller, Collecting African American Art: Works on Paper and Canvas (Crown), the first book to validate African American art as a viable asset and commodity within the international marketplace; which created a new market for publications and exhibitions on African American art. Her work advocates the importance and value of collecting art made by American artists of African descent. She has degrees in Liberal Arts, Arts Management & Cultural Policy from Sarah Lawrence College and New York University. Currently, Taha is the President of TahaThinks,LLC, a company that provides art advisory, appraisal, collection management, and speaker services.

The Kwan Fong Gallery is located in Soiland Humanities Center at the California Lutheran University. Admission is free. The gallery is open to the public 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Street parking is by permit 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Parking lots are located on Mountclef Boulevard north and south of Olsen Road.

For more information, visit https://blogs.callutheran.edu/kwanfong/ and https://nsengaknight.com/


Nsenga Knight  




Rachel T. Schmid





Ritual and Revolution at Artspace, Raleigh, NC

Artspace Raleigh, NC August 2-31, 2013
Ritual and Revolution (installation view) 
Artspace, Raleigh, NC
August 2-31, 2013


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE July 1, 2013 Artspace 201 E. Davie St. Raleigh, NC 27601 http://www.artspacenc.org
CONTACT: Artspace info@artspacenc.org 919.821.2787
Nsenga Knight’s Ritual and Revolution on Display in Artspace’s Lobby Exhibition Dates: August 2-31 Opening Reception: First Friday Gallery Walk, August 2, 2013, 6-10pm Artist Talk: August 15, 6-7:30pm Raleigh, N.C. – Raleigh, N.C. – Regional Emerging Artist-in-Residence (REAR) Nsenga Knight will exhibit her work for the month of August in a solo exhibition, Ritual and Revolution, as a conclusion of her six-month residency at Artspace, a non-profit visual art center in Raleigh. This concept-driven artist explores abstraction and conceptual art in a range of media as they inform and coincide with traditional Islamic Art. She explains, “My work expands upon the common aesthetic and theoretical concerns of the conceptual arts movement of the late 60s and 70s, performance, minimalism, abstract expressionism, and both Western and Islamic geometrical abstraction; and reflects my interest in ritual, subjectivity, history, archiving and intervention.” Knight’s work explores concepts including unity in multiplicity, repetition, and transformation of forms. An identical twin, Knight developed an interest in multiples that appear similar but have distinctions. The seriality expresses itself with systems, like those made historic by Conceptual American artist Sol Lewitt (1928 – 2007). She used her residency to continue working on her Last Rite project, which is “an interdisciplinary visual art project whose narrative pivots between Malcom X’s pilgrimage to Mecca in 1964 (his fulfillment of his last religious duty) and his funeral rites – the final ritual regarding his physical presence on earth.” In a series of new drawings, Knight stencils words excerpted from the book Hajj (The Pilgrimage) by Dr. Ali Shariati. She layers the quotes and produces each set in a series of four, painted in oil stick and mixed media. The order of text, and direction it is written in, follows a system. One layer is top to bottom, left to right, with every other line going upside down; another layer is in a circular direction. In one series of four, the first layer of text is painted in white, and the next layer in black; in another series, the first layer is black, the next layer white. In one evocative iteration, the first layer is black, and the next layer is done with olive oil, so the stenciled letters are partially transparent and take some of the black oil paint from the first layer of words. Among the quotes that Knight uses from Shariati’s text, Hajj, are “as a butterfly who encircles the candle until it burns, its ashes are gone with the wind, disappearing in love and dying in light.” The language used demonstrates the complexity and beauty inherent in Islamic culture, and ways in which contemporary visual art can help others learn more about it. An artist talk with Nsenga Knight and Rose Aslan, PhD candidate of Religious Studies at UNC-Chapel Hill, will be held at Artspace on August 15, 6-7:30pm. Knight has a M.F.A. in Photography and Cinema Studies from the University of Pennsylvania and a B.A. in Film Production from Howard University. Her recent exhibitions include The First Year, Galveston
Arts Center, Galveston, TX, Muslim Voices of Philadelphia, International House, Philadelphia, PA, and Reading with Jamal Cyrus, New Museum, New York, NY. For more information, contact Artspace at http://www.artspacenc.org or 919.821.2787.