Lagos’ cultural calendar kicks off with Lagos Fashion Week in late October and culminates with Art Week in early November, bringing together a global gathering of artists, as well as designers, collectors and the creatively curious. Since its first edition in 2016, ART X Lagos has become a must-see event of the week, alongside other initiatives such as LagosPhoto, Design Week Lagos and the Lagos Biennale. Non-profit and artist-led spaces including 16/16, Treehouse, the Contemporary Art Center (CCA) Lagos, and the Yemisi Shyllon Museum, among others, have all helped consolidate Lagos’s most populous city. Africa as an important global destination for contemporary art and architecture. , and design.
Held from November 2 to 5 at the iconic Federal Palace Hotel on Victoria Island, the main business and financial hub of Lagos, this year’s Art X Lagos, under the theme “Dialogue”, was reduced to 10 participating galleries, including Galerie MAM (Cameroon), Nike Art Gallery (Nigeria), Afriart Gallery (Uganda), Contemporary Tiwani (UK and Nigeria), Gallery 1957 (Ghana), and Wunika Mukan Gallery (Nigeria).
“We decided to move forward with this different format for ART ecosystem in a responsible and sustainable way. said Tokini Peterside-Schwebig, founder of the salon, in an email exchange. “We want people to take the time to talk to each other and that is why we have placed our conference and cinema program at the epicenter of the show and not on its periphery: we invite our audience to get deeply involved and to trigger the act of dialogue, in this pivotal period.
Additionally, the fair will feature a series of curated exhibitions, including “Writing With…”, curated by Missla Libsekal and featuring a multi-hyphenate artist and printmaker. Bruce Onobrakpeya, a founding figure of modern art in Nigeria whose career spanned 65 years. Elsewhere is “Graphic Stories,” a study of illustrations in Nigerian media from the 1940s to the 1980s. Live music returns with audiences “ART ”, which features musicians Tay Iwar and Azekel and is curated by Lanre Masha and Ayo Lawson. The Access ART ). New for this edition of the show, ART X Cinema will present films by artists including Sammy Baloji, Onyeka IgweGoddy Leye, Ibrahim MahamaAnd Fatimah Tuggar. (Igwe and Tuggar will be part of the Nigerian pavilion at the Venice Biennale next year.)
This year’s participating galleries range from longtime participants like Nike Art Gallery to up-and-coming spaces like O’DA Artwhich will highlight Uthman Wahab“The Phenomenal Women” series by and offers a focused presentation of African and African Diaspora artists, emphasizing both the growing local collector base and the need to build and strengthen the local ecosystem . Other highlights include SMO Contemporary Artgroup presentation, which features the Lagos artist Christopher Samuel Idowuthe Johannesburg artist’s artful figurative studies of his surroundings Nelson MakamoCelebration of African Youth’s charcoal and oil paintings counteract stereotypes of poverty. The stand will also feature painted stone sculptures by a Nigerian artist. Ejiro Fenegal which explore the female form.
Wunika Mukan, founder of Wunika Mukan Gallery, is another new exhibitor at the fair and will be featuring a solo stall of paintings by a Lagos-based artist. Adulphina Imuede. Mukan stressed the crucial importance of involving and developing local collectors. “There has always been a culture of collecting among Nigerians, who I believe have always supported local artists,” she told Artsy. “My most trusted collector base is my Nigerian collectors and I think that’s the way it should be. It is personally important that the artists I work with are strong in their home and always have a home to lean on and grow from.
Long-time participant ko—created by Kavita Chellaram, Lagos-based collector and founder of auction house Arthouse Contemporary—will feature a truly intergenerational booth. Bringing ceramists into dialogue Bisila Noha And Ozioma Onuzulike, the booth will feature works that both deconstruct classical clay traditions and recast them. It will also feature colorful geometric paintings of Deborah Segunabstract immersive landscapes by Kwadwoassiduthe abstract immersive landscape of Stephen PriceThe densely layered figurative and abstract paintings.
ART X Lagos has long positioned itself as a local, regional and global fair with a strong local base. Even if it responds to the immediate challenges of the present, reducing the fair does not mean losing its ambition or its main objective. Art X Lagos seeks to challenge and test the notion of what an art fair can be and will continue to evolve and build into the future.
A consensus shared by the galleries Artsy spoke with is the optimism they share for the Nigerian ecosystem, even as the global art world responds to numerous social, political and economic challenges.
“As a gallery, we are committed to promoting and situating the works of African artists in the local and international artistic discourse. Our dedicated programming has been instrumental in introducing a diverse mix of artists to international audiences while creating a sustainable career path for these artists,” said Adrenle Sonariwo of Rel– who does not participate in the fair, but is a key contributor to the Nigerian art scene.
She added: “The Nigerian art scene has undergone a series of changes over the years, from the rise of commercial galleries exhibiting in local and international spaces, to alternative art spaces aimed at more experimental and non-experimental work. commercial. It has also seen the emergence of large-scale events like the Lagos Biennale and the Art X fair, which have helped provide various platforms for critical reception and economic growth of the art sector and artists.