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Nolan Oswald Dennis

Selected Artworks

bioactive system, books, borosilicate globes, community of eisenia fetida earthworms, care protocols, microcontroller, steel armature
variable dimensions
altered PET plastic globe model, synthetic stone finish, black primer, cowry shell veil and articulated stand
Work: 78 x 23 x 14 cm
wallpaper, archival notes, hand drawn notes, found objects and pencil drawings
Variable Dimensions
compound PET plastic globe model, synthetic stone finish and black primer
Work: 34 x 83 x 20 cm
Ink, collage and gaffer's tape on paper
Work: 43.5 x 60 cm
altered calabash and PET plastic globe model, synthetic stone finish, black primer, cowry shell veil and aluminium rod
Work: 28.3 x 97.1 x 32.2 cm
Soil, steel armature and books
Work: 135 x 40 x 40 cm
Ink and graphite on paper, set of two
drawings (each): 45.5 x 30.5 cm
2 receipt printers, microcontroller, shelf
Variable Dimensions


Nolan Oswald Dennis image

Nolan Oswald Dennis (b. 1988, Zambia) is a para-disciplinary artist from Johannesburg, South
Africa. Their practice explores what they call ‘a black consciousness of space’: the material and
metaphysical conditions of decolonization.

Dennis’ work questions the politics of space (and time) through a system-specific, rather than site-specific approach. They are concerned with the hidden structures that pre-determine the limits of our social and political imagination. Through a language of diagrams, drawings and models they explore a hidden landscape of systematic and structural conditions that organise our political sub-terrain. This sub-space is framed by systems which transverse multiple realms (technical, spiritual economic, psychological, etc) and therefore Dennis’ work can be seen as an attempt to stitch these, sometime opposed, sometimes complimentary, systems together. To read technological systems alongside spiritual systems, to combine political fictions with science fiction.

Dennis’ is the 2016 winner of the FNB Arts Prize, and has exhibited in various solo and group shows, including the 9th Berlin Biennale (2016), the Young Congo Biennale (2019), Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona (MACBA), Architekturmuseum der TU München, Palais de Tokyo (Paris) and ARoS Aarhus (Denmark). They were the 2020 artist in residence at NTUCCA (Singapore) and the 2021 artist in residence at the Delfina Foundation (London).

Dennis’ work is currently featured at the Liverpool Biennale with their installation, ‘no conciliation is possible (working diagram)’ as well as Kunsthalle Bern and Van Abbe Museum. Dennis will participate in the upcoming 12th edition of the Seoul Mediacity Biennale as well as the ‘back wall project’ at the Kunsthalle Basel.

Download full CV


Johannesburg Gallery
27 May - 01 July 2023
Cape Town Gallery - Greenpoint
16 February - 19 June 2022

Press & News


Nolan Oswald Dennis presents a monumental, site-specific artwork extending across the back wall of Kunsthalle Basel. The project employs mathematical abstractions, eclipse diagrams, African fractal...


Artist Nolan Oswald Dennis on the importance of thinking like a lichen written by Skye Sherwin