Nataal is a media partner for ART X Lagos this November. Here’s what’s lined up for Nigeria’s international art fair

Nataal is happy to announce that we a media partner for the 2017 edition of ART X Lagos – West Africa’s first international art fair. The fair happens from 3 to 5 November at The Civic Centre and will host over 60 artists and 13 galleries from 14 countries across Africa and the diaspora.

Founded by cultural entrepreneur Tokini Peterside, last year’s inaugural event attracted 5,000 visitors and helped to cement ART X Lagos, and the city itself, as a thriving hub for contemporary art on the continent. This year the fair develops its mission to increate Nigeria’s connection to its own art and the broader art scene with its ambitious programme of activities.

“The world is waking up to the potential of Africa’s art market and we have witnessed very exciting developments in recent years, of which ART X Lagos is one,” Peterside said at the fair’s Lagos press conference. “ART X Lagos is an African platform for African artists, on the African continent… The invaluable contribution of the art sector to our continent’s development is what we seek to highlight.”

Exhibiting galleries, chosen by a committee led by N'Goné Fall and Femi Lijadu, include Tiwani Contemporary from the UK, Stevenson Gallery from South Africa, Nubuke Foundation from Ghana, Galerie Atiss from Senegal and Fondation Donwahi from Côte d'Ivoire plus Nigeria’s Bloom Art, SMO Contemporary, Signature Beyond and more. Artists to look out for are Yinka Shonibare MBE, Zanele Muholi, Boris Nzebo, ruby onyinyechi amanze, Girma Berta, Amadou Sanogo and Modupeola Fadugba while independent artists showcasing include Nataal favourite Lakin Ogunbanwo, who is collaborating with Oluseye.

The fair’s six curated projects are being overseen by Missla Libsekal (Another Africa) and feature solo projects by Olu Amoda and Lemi Ghariokwu; Nastio Mosquito and Pere Ortin; Yaw Owusu; Rahima Gambo and Johnson Uwadinma. There will also be the special exhibit, Daily Mirror, by pioneering artist Ben Enwonwu and another Nataal collaborator, Wura-Natasha Ogunji, will be bringing her performance art practice to the fair.

"A focal point of this year’s programming marks and considers the significance of Nigerian figures and events in the 20th century that seismically impacted art-making - modern African art pioneer Ben Enwonwu’s centenary anniversary, the passage of four decades since FESTAC ’77 that brought the world to Lagos and Lagos to the world, and lastly the 20-year milestone since Fela Anikulapo Kuti transitioned,” explains Libsekal. “The programme radiates on how reactivating and rethinking about these mythologised, and sometimes opaque histories, enhances our capacity to interpret and contextualise the present. This intergenerational group of artists serve to remind us of art’s generative ability to bring focus to the conditions of a particular moment, and art’s vitality as a rebellious tool facilitating meaning-making."

Libsekal also oversees the talks programme for which she’ll be joined by Njideka Akunyili Crosby and Lemi Ghariokwu, among others. These will compliment A Whitespace Creative Agency’s curation of interactive projects by emerging talents including Olalekan Jeyifous, Dipo Doherty, Queen Nwaneri, Soji Adesina, Sejiro Avoseh and Lubee Abubakar. In addition ART X Live! with Absolut will bring live art and music together with musicians AYE, Poe and Tomi Thomas. Plus the first ART X Absolut Commission will be an installation by Olatunde Alara, which examines the theme of the artist as citizen. Finally the ART X Prize returns, its winner announced at the ART X Lagos closing ceremony.

Nataal will be zooming in on some of these highlights in the coming weeks so stay tuned.

Read our interview with Tokini Peterside from last year’s ART X Lagos here.

Visit ART X Lagos

Published on 07/10/2017