Steffani Jemison was born in Berkeley, California and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Her work has been the subject of solo exhibitions and special projects at JOAN Los Angeles (2022), Contemporary Art Center Cincinnati (2021), the Everson Museum (2021), the Stedelijk Museum (2019), Nottingham Contemporary (2018), Jeu de Paume and CAPC Bordeaux (both 2017), MoMA, New York (2015), RISD Museum, Providence (2015), and LA><ART, Los Angeles (2013) among other institutions. Group exhibitions include the Guggenheim Museum (2021), the Whitney Biennial, New York (2019), the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago (2019), and the Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia (2017). Jemison’s novella, A Rock, A River, A Street, was published by Primary Information in October 2022.

In collaboration with Justin Hicks, Jemison performs as Mikrokosmos. Mikrokosmos performances have been presented by the Contemporary Art Center Cincinnati, Western Front, Nottingham Contemporary, MASS MoCA, festival steirischer herbst, and other venues. 

Jemison has completed many artist residencies and fellowships, including the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture (2008), the Core Program at the Museum of Fine Arts Houston (2009-2011), Project Row Houses (2010-2011), the Studio Museum in Harlem AIR (2012-2013), and others. She was an Art Matters grantee (2014), a Louis Comfort Tiffany Biennial Foundation awardee (2015), a NYFA Fellow in Video/Film (2017), the Mildred Londa Weisman Fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University (2017-2018), a Guggenheim Fellow (2019-2020), and a recipient of the Herb Alpert Award in Visual Art (2021-2022).

Jemison holds an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (2009) and a BA in Comparative Literature from Columbia University (2003). She has served as a visiting artist at many institutions, including the University of Pennsylvania, Brown University, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Hampshire College, the Evergreen State College, and Georgia State University. She has taught fine art at Columbia University, Parsons The New School for Design, Wellesley College, Trinity College, Rice University, the Cooper Union, and other institutions, and is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Art and Design at Mason Gross School of the Arts, Rutgers University New Brunswick.

Highlights — Interviews, Press + Publications

Current + soon

Sin Rumbo. Confrontar la Imago Mundi, Es Baluard Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art of Palma,
Palma, ES, (February 2023 -January 2024)

Current Exhibitions 50th Anniversary: Selections from Light Work Collection, Everson Museum of Art (January - May 2023) 

A Movement in Every Direction: Legacies of the Great Migration, Mississippi Museum of Art (Summer 2022), Baltimore Museum of Art (Fall 2022) Brooklyn Museum (Spring 2023)

Tomorrow is a Different Day, Collection 1980-now, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, NL (ongoing)

New Formations, deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum, Lincoln, MA (October 2022 - March 2023)

Recent + selected solo exhibitions, screenings, commissions  

A rock, a river, a street. Primary Information. (Fall 2022)

A Movement in Every Direction: Legacies of the Great Migration, Mississippi Museum of Art (Summer 2022), Baltimore Museum of Art (Fall 2022)

End over End, JOAN Los Angeles. (February-April, 2022)  [Hyperallergic]

Steffani Jemison at Annet Gelink.  (February-April, 2022)

Steffani Jemison: WLD, Madragoa.  (2021)

Steffani Jemison: Broken Fall, Greene Naftali, New York. (2021). [NY Review of Books] [Brooklyn Rail] [New York Times]

End over End, Contemporary Art Center Cincinnati. (2021)

Figure 8, Urban Video Project, Everson Museum Plaza. (2021)

On Similitude, Triple Canopy. (2020)

Decoders / Recorders, De Appel. (2019)

Steffani Jemison: New Videos. (Stedelijk Museum, 2019)

Steffani Jemison, Kai Matsumiya. (2019)

Revelation (Iceberg Projects, 2018)

Art of the Real (Lincoln Center, 2018)

Conversations at the Edge, Gene Siskel Film Center. (2018)

Sensus Plenior, Jeu de Paume. (2017)

Sensus Plenior, CAPC Bordeaux. (2017)

Plant you now, dig you later, MASS MoCA. (2017)

Steffani Jemison: Maniac Chase, Escaped Lunatic, and Personal, RISD Museum. (2015)

Steffani Jemison: Promise Machine, Museum of Modern Art. (2015)

Steffani Jemison: Same Time, LAXART. (2013)

Recent solo performances 

On Similitude: Ellen Gallery, Concordia University (2020); Whitney Museum (2019); Triple Canopy / MCA Chicago / Public Fiction, (2019)

Recitatif: Kalamazoo Institute of Arts (2019); Jessica Silverman (2019); Jeu de Paume (2018); Nottingham Contemporary (2017)

Recent and selected group exhibitions  

A Movement in Every Direction: Legacies of the Great Migration, Mississippi Museum of Art (Summer 2022), Baltimore Museum of Art. (Fall 2022)

Our whole, unruly selves, San Jose Museum of Art, San Jose, CA. (November 2021 – June 2022)

Greater New York, MoMA/PS1. (October 7, 2021 - April 18, 2022)

CLOSER, Kuntsverein Dusseldorf. (2022)

In Between Days: Video from the Guggenheim Collection, (group exhibition) Guggenheim Museum. (2021)

The Inconstant World, Institute of Contemporary Art Los Angeles. (2021)

Enunciated Life, California African American Museum. (2020-2021)

Wild Frictions: The Politics and Poetics of Interruption, Contemporary Art Center Cincinnati. (2021)

Wild Frictions: The Politics and Poetics of Interruption, Kunstraum Kreuzberg. (2021)

Black Refractions: Selections from the Studio Museum in Harlem. (2019-2021)

100 Drawings from Now, The Drawing Center. (2020-2021)

Three’s a crowd, BWA Galleries of Contemporary Art. (2020)

Tenet, Swiss Institute. (2020)

Scrivere Disegnando, Centre d’art contemporain Geneva. (2020)

Whitney Biennial, Whitney Museum.(2019)

Direct Message, Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago. (2019-20)

Out of Easy Reach, DePaul Art Museum. (2018)

Speech Acts, Institute of Contemporary Art. (2017)

Separation Penetrates, Mercer Union. (2017)

Power, Sprueth Magers. (2017)

Frozen World of the Familiar Stranger, Kadist. (2016)

Crossing Brooklyn, Brooklyn Museum. (2014)

Fore, Studio Museum in Harlem. (2012)
Selected publications, texts, context

Olamiju Fajemisin. “CLOSER.”
Artforum. 2022

Ben Lerner. “Force of Gravity.” The New York Review of Books.  December 16, 2021

Erica N. Cardwell. “How Steffani Jemison Made Movement an Extension of Being.” Frieze. September 17, 2021

Steffani Jemison: Recitatif (What if we need new words?), Interview, Cindy Sissikho. Video viewing room, The Kitchen. June 2021.

“How the Studio Museum in Harlem Transformed the Art World Forever,” Harper's Bazaar. March 2021

May 29, 2020 (text) MoMA Magazine. June 2020

Selected public collections

Albright-Knox Museum
Brooklyn Museum
Guggenheim Museum
Hirschorn Museum of Art
Kadist Foundation
Museum of Modern Art
San Jose Museum of Art
Stedelik Museum
Studio Museum in Harlem
Whitney Museum
Special projects + collaborations

Justin Hicks and Steffani Jemison perform as Mikrokosmos. Mikrokosmos performances and exhibitions have been presented by the Center for Contemporary Art Berlin (2022), the Contemporary Art Center Cincinnati (2022), Zimmerli Art Museum (2021-2022), Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden, Albertinum (2020), Nottingham Contemporary (2018), Western Front (2017), MASS MoCA (2017), festival steirischer herbst (2016), and other venues. Their work is in the public collection of the Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden. Their album Another time, this time, one time was published by Western Front in 2019.

Steffani Jemison and Jamal Cyrus: Alpha’s Bet Is Not Over Yet debuted at the New Museum in 2011. Alpha’s Bet has also been presented in exhibitions at Tufts University Galleries (2019), Juxtaposition Arts (2013), and the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Art (2012).

Future Plan and Program commissions literary work by artists of color. FPP has published books by: Martine Syms, Jibade-Khalil Huffman, Harold Mendez, Jina Valentine, Szu-Han Ho, and others. Future Plan and Program was created with support from Project Row Houses.

at Louis Place is a platform for writers. Created in collaboration with Quincy Flowers; led collaboratively with Naima Lowe.

Herb Alpert Award—Visual Arts (2021) * Guggenheim Foundation (2020) * NYFA Film/Video (2018) * Radcliffe Institute (2017-2018) * Ann Plato Fellowship (2011) * Core Program (2009-2011).

Grants + awards 

Creative Capital (2020) * Paulo Cunha e Silva Art Prize (2020) * Tiffany Foundation (2014) * Art Matters Foundation (2013) * Flaherty Philadelphia Fellowship (2007)


Robert Rauschenberg Artist-in-Residence (2016) * Jacob Lawrence Gallery (2016) * Sharpe Walentas Studio Program (2015-2016) * Smack Mellon (2014-2015) * Hermitage Artist Retreat (2013) * Studio Museum in Harlem (2012-2013) * Denniston Hill Artist Colony (2012) * International Studio and Curatorial Program (2012) * Project Row Houses (2011) * The Wassaic Project (2010) * Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture (2008)

Biography, education

Born in Berkeley, California; grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio; currently live and work in Brooklyn, New York. MFA, School of the Art Institute of Chicago (2009); BA in Comparative Literature, Columbia University (2003).


Currently - tenured Associate Professor in the Department of Art and Design at Mason Gross School of the Arts, Rutgers University New Brunswick.

Past - Columbia University, School of the Art Institute of Chicago Low-Residency Program, Parsons The New School for Design Fine Arts, Wellesley College, Trinity College, Rice University, the Cooper Union, etc.