11 November 2021 |
ART X Lagos staged a triumphant return to the Federal Palace in Victoria Island, Lagos, Nigeria with the first in-person art fair to take place anywhere on the African continent since the pandemic struck in 2020. The physical fair closed on Sunday 7 November amid reports of strong sales, enthusiastic collector attendance and gallery satisfaction…
ART X Lagos staged a triumphant return to the Federal Palace in Victoria Island, Lagos, Nigeria with the first in-person art fair to take place anywhere on the African continent since the pandemic struck in 2020.
The physical fair closed on Sunday 7 November amid reports of strong sales, enthusiastic collector attendance and gallery satisfaction across the board while the online edition will continue via ARTXLAGOS.COM until 21 November.
Tokini Peterside, ART X Collective Founder & CEO said: “This year’s ART X Lagos created a place for artists, gallerists, collectors and curators to come together and celebrate the vibrant African art scene. The response to our first physical fair in two years has been astounding – demonstrating the critical role that the fair plays in Africa’s art ecosystems. Many of the 30 galleries who joined us have experienced robust sales and we are excited to welcome even more of them at ART X Lagos 2022. We thank all of our supporters, galleries, exhibiting artists and special projects artists for such a brilliant showing that demonstrated once again Lagos’ dynamism as a leading art capital in Africa.”
For its sixth edition – and its most ambitious fair to-date – ART X Lagos 2021 brought together 30 leading international galleries from around the world to present work both online and in-person: Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, France, Germany, Ghana, Kenya, Martinique, Morocco, Nigeria, Sénégal, South Africa, Spain, Uganda, United Kingdom, and USA. Together, they showcased 120 artists from over 30 countries, from Angola to Zimbabwe, Morocco to Martinique, and Egypt to South Africa. Of the 30 exhibitors, 15 joined ART X Lagos for the first time – marking a period of growth for the fair despite the challenges wrought by Covid-19.
ART X Talks brought together experts to discuss timely topics including: the role of collecting on the continent, the dangers of stereotyping African art, demystifying NFTs, and a panel discussion with Ngaire Blankenberg – the newly appointed Director of the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art.
This year ART X Live! presented ‘Forward Ever’, a live performance watched both in person and virtually around the world, featuring musicians Lojay, AYLØ and Dami Oniru alongside the visual artists AMKMQ and Fez, produced by BigFoot and Pheelz.
The Special Projects: Future Africa with newly commissioned artworks by David Alabo and Adéọlá Ọlágúnju; multilayered immersive installation Unfolding Layers of Time composed of paintings, sculptures, and photographs by Nigerian artist Kelani Abass; and We Are Here with the film collective The Critics and sound artist Aye! teaming up with ART X Lagos’ visitors to produce a dynamic short film, were also very well received. The digital versions can all still be viewed on our website ARTXLAGOS.COM, with the premiere of the We Are Here film happening shortly.
The Access Bank ART X Prize 2019 winner, documentary photographer Etinosa Yvonne also presented a solo exhibition titled “It’s All in My Head”. The winner of the Access Bank ART X Prize 2021 – Chigozie Obi – will present work at ART X Lagos 2022 after a residency at Gasworks in London, a cash prize and mentorship.
Galleries exhibiting at ART X Lagos 2021 commented:
Daudi Karungi, Afriart Gallery (Uganda)
“ART X Lagos is very important for the furthering of contemporary art from Africa. It’s on the continent, and it means a lot for the art of Africa to be appreciated and traded in Africa. And the fair has the majority of collectors from Africa. This is the only fair in the world that has ninety percent black people at the opening. And if you don’t fully understand that statement I just made – you better think about it. Look anywhere in the world, tell me the place in the world with more black people gathering over a weekend and collecting art or dealing with art than right here.”
Yasmine Mechbal, Loft Art Gallery (Morocco)
“ART X Lagos is a fair that crystallizes the excellence of the creation of artists from the African continent and its diaspora. The fair extends its programming beyond exhibitions, to multidisciplinary cultural events, which makes the event richer, and closer to its audience, especially that of young generations who have fed it with dreams and hope! It is also a great opportunity to tell our story to the world, from our continent through an annual artistic meeting, designed by an inspiring young woman, Tokini Peterside!”
Oyinkan Dada, DADA Gallery (Nigeria)
“I feel like ART X Lagos is firmly at the center of the African international art scene. I think that being here is being seen and it’s very important to be part of this community. Also, having worked at ART X Lagos before and experiencing how the fair really galvanises the community and draws people from all over, I thought this was the place to be at and the best place to properly represent my artists on the continent.”
See photos from the event: