“Hair Stories” Artist Talk: Nneka Kai & Anne Wilson

September 14, 2021 5:30 pm - 6:30 pm Virtual, on Zoom

As interdisciplinary artists, Anne Wilson and Nneka Kai utilize hair as an evocative and intimate art-making and storytelling vehicle. Wilson’s delicately hair-embroidered found textiles appear minimal and quiet, but draw attention to imperfections. Her embellishments accentuate the flaw, rather than seek to mend, by using strands of hair as intimate and dramatic drawing tools. Nneka Kai’s arresting sculptures explore issues of Blackness and celebrate Black femininity, and are a demand for autonomy and an end to violence against black bodies. Her works demythologize an idea of American identity by presenting complex narratives and hidden histories.

Join us for a virtual exhibiting artists talk and conversation with Anne Wilson and Nneka Kai, with Senior Curator Francine Weiss, followed by Q&A. 

Registration is required to receive the Zoom link. 


About the Artists:

Nneka Kai 
Nneka Kai is an interdisciplinary artist who is from, and currently lives in, Atlanta, Georgia. She received her MFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2019 and a BFA from Georgia State University in 2017. Kai’s work is a fluid material exploration of a Black radical feminine identity through quotidian gestures and minimalist aesthetics. In her practice she uses abstraction to reimagine an existence that expands ideas of self, site, and time. In 2019, Kai had her first solo exhibition at Material Gallery in Chicago. Kai has also shown her work in group exhibitions in Georgia and North Carolina.

Anne Wilson 
Anne Wilson is a Chicago-based visual artist who creates sculpture, drawings, performances and video animations that explore themes of time, loss, and private and social rituals. She has work in the permanent collections at the Metropolitan Museum of Art; Museum of Arts and Design; The Art Institute of Chicago; Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago; Des Moines Art Center; Detroit Institute of Arts; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Victoria and Albert Museum; and the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art in Japan among others. Wilson was named a 2015 United States Artists Distinguished Fellow and is the recipient of awards from the Textile Society of America (2017 Fellow); Driehaus Foundation; Artadia; The Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation; NASAD; Cranbrook Academy of Art; the National Endowment for the Arts; and the Illinois Arts Council. She has had solo exhibitions at the Museum of Contemporary Art and Rhona Hoffman Gallery in Chicago; and Knoxville Museum of Art among others. She has also exhibited at: The Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art; SESC Pompéia in Brazil; Museum of Arts and Design; National Museum of Women in the Arts; The Drawing Center; ICA Boston; Zhejiang Art Museum; and the “2002 Whitney Biennial.” She is represented by Rhona Hoffman Gallery, Chicago. Wilson is a Professor Emeritus at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.