Amir Nour was born in 1939 in Shendi, a Sudanese town between the fifth and sixth cataracts of the Nile. He was educated at the Khartoum School of Fine Arts, earning his diploma in 1957. He remained there to teach before going to London to study at the Slade School of Fine Art, where he received a diploma in 1962. He completed one year of postgraduate work at the Royal College of Art in 1966. Nour was awarded a Rockefeller Fellowship to attend Yale University, where he earned a B.F.A. and a M.F.A. in 1969. He has taught at colleges in Chicago since that time.
During his first years in Chicago, Nour met Jeff Donaldson and attended several meetings of the African Commune of Bad Relevant Artists (AfriCobra), although Nour's minimalist approach to sculpture differed from AfriCobra's aesthetic ideas.
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