Brendan Fernandes is a multidisciplinary artist who examines issues of cultural displacement, migration, labor, and queer subjectivity through installation, video, sculpture, and dance. He is invested in confronting the complexities of transitional and transnational identities, with a particular interest in incorporating elements of cultural performance into contemporary art, arising from his unique cultural background as a Queer, Kenyan Indian Canadian. Fernandes’ projects address issues of race, queer culture, migration, protest, and other forms of collective movement. Always looking to create new spaces and new forms of agency, his projects take on hybrid forms: part Ballet, part queer dance party, part political protest... always rooted in collaboration and fostering solidarity.
Fernandes (b.1979, Nairobi, Kenya) attended York University for his Bachelors (hons.) and is a graduate of the Whitney Independent Study Program (2010). He is currently an Assistant Professor at Northwestern University, Evanston, IL. Selected solo presentations include Lurie Garden at Millennium Park, Chicago, IL (2022); The Richmond Art Gallery, Richmond, BC (2022); The Art Gallery in Ontario, Toronto, ON (2021); Chrysler Art Museum, Norfolk, VA (2020); moniquemeloche (2019); Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, IL (2019); The Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, DC (2019); The Guggenheim Museum, New York, NY; and DePaul University Art Museum, Chicago, IL (2018). His projects have been featured in the 2019 Whitney Biennial, New York, NY; the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, NY, New York; the Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY; The Getty Museum, Los Angeles, CA; the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, ON; Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, ON; and The Kalamazoo Institute of Arts, Kalamazoo, MI, among many others. Recent and upcoming projects include performances and solo presentations at the Munch Museum, Oslo, Norway; a collaboration with Danish National Radio, Copenhagen, Denmark, a group show at the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa, and a two person show at Mass MoCA, North Adams, MA.
Public collections include the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, IL; Block Museum of Art at Northwestern University, IL; The National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, CA; Musée des beaux-arts de Montréal, QC; Crysler Museum of Art, Norfolk, VA; The Joyner/Giuffrida Collection of Abstract Art, San Francisco, CA; Museum of Contemporary Art, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA; and the Wedge Collection, Toronto, ON. Fernandes is also the recipient of the Artadia Award (2019), Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Grant (2019), Smithsonian Artist Research Fellowship (2020), and Black Cube Artist Fellow (2022). Fernandes currently lives and works in Chicago, IL.