Five Must-See Shows at Art X Lagos 2019 and More News

Friday, 1 November 2019


EAST AFRICA ART BIENNALE KICKS OFF IN TANZANIATHIS NOVEMBER. The biennale, which opens on Saturday, 2 November at Nafasi Art Space, Dar es Salaam, will feature exhibitions, including visual and performing arts, by artists from East Africa region, with limited space for African artists from other regions and foreign artists residing in East Africa or foreign artists whose productions are related to East Africa. The biennale runs through 22 November. [EASTAFAB]

ABLADE GLOVER, WANGECHI MUTU, SEYDOU KEÏTA AT PIASA AUCTION, PARIS. Some 139 modern and contemporary works by artists from Africa and its diaspora will go on the block at the 10th edition of PIASA Art Contemporain Africain on Thursday, 7 November in Paris. One of the major auctions dedicated to African art, this sale focuses on works addressing three of the most burning contemporary themes: the issue of migration, the climate emergency and the urbanization. [Download Auction Catalogue]

THE MAKINGS OF A SUCCESSFUL ART FAIR. The owner of South Africa’s first black-owned art fair, FNB Art Joburg, talks about art fairs and his experience organising the first edition of the revamped Joburg fair. “One of the challenges was re-orienting the team around database management and how to focus on getting new people onto the system.” says Mandla Sibeko, who was recognised for his entrepreneurial efforts by The Forum of Young Global Leaders in 2010. [Fin24]

Abayomi Barber, Ola Edu I. Courtesy of Mydrim gallery/Artsy
Abayomi Barber, Ola Edu I. Courtesy of Mydrim gallery/Artsy

FIVE MUST-SEE SHOWS AT ART X LAGOS 2019. From Abayomi Barber’s sculptures to Eyerusalem Adugna Jirenga’s photographs, Art X returns this weekend with more than 90 artists and 23 galleries from all over Africa and beyond, as well as a Performance Pavilion, Interactive Projects and ART X Live!, the fair’s live music show. Here are five exhibitions you don’t want to miss.

Modern Art Section
Mydrim Gallery in Booth 23 is showing bronze sculptures by Abayomi Barber, the surrealist painter, sculptor and teacher, who clocked 91 last week. Although Barber is one of the most influential contemporary artists in Nigeria, he’s rarely featured in fairs and auctions. Ablade Glover is featured in a solo show at Gallery 1957 in Booth 22. From recent auction results, it’s obvious that the Ghanaian modernist continues to mesmerize with his mastery of crowd movement and the crowd spirit on canvas.

Galerie MAM Douala – Booth 12
See the psychedelic paintings of Boris Nzebo, the self described pop artist from Douala, Cameroon, who started out custom painting signs for hairdressing and beauty salons. And Soly Cissé, one of Senegal’s most celebrated artists, whose painterly works merge the imagined and physical realms.

SMO Contemporary Art – Booth 3
Beninese artist Moufouli Bello’s striking blue paintings, addressing issues surrounding identity, are some of the works at SMO’s booth. The gallery is also showing Emeka Udemba, who initiated the Molue Mobile Museum of Contemporary Art experimental art in Nigeria.

If Not for a Child – Live Performance by Ngozi Schommers  
Sunday, 3 November at 2pm
Following her solo exhibition at Rele Gallery in 2016, Schommers became known for experimenting with different materials, and the painstaking care she applies in making her intricate works. It will be interesting to watch her foray into performance art. The newly added Performance Art Pavilion will host three live performances curated by Wura-Natasha Ogunji.

Leading Contemporaries with Wangechi Mutu – Art X Talks
Sunday, 3 November at 3pm
The keynote talk by Mutu, whose work is currently on view at the Metropolitan Museum of Art New York, where she is the first artist commissioned to transform the facade of the museum’s building. She will speak in depth about her studio practice and life as a multinational artist, and how the two inform one another.

ART X Lagos holds from 1st till 3rd November at The Federal Palace, Victoria Island.

Installation view of "Elias Sime: Tightrope." Photograph by Janelle Rodriguez. Courtesy of Hamilton University
Installation view of “Elias Sime: Tightrope.” Photograph by Janelle Rodriguez. Courtesy of Hamilton University


ELIAS SIME, SMITHSONIAN HONORED ARTIST AT WELLIN MUSEUM OF ART. The first major museum survey of the Ethiopian artist, titled ‘Elias Sime: Tightrope,’ is currently showing at Ruth and Elmer Wellin Museum of Art, New York. The exhibition opens through 8 December 2019. Elias Sime and Njideka Akunyili Crosby were honored by Smithsonian’s National Museum of African Art at its fourth annual African Art Awards on 25 October 2019. [Hamilton]


Featured Image: Boris Nzebo, Les marabouts 2019. Courtesy of Galerie MAM Douala/Artsy

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