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Art X Lagos returns with second edition, features 60 artists from 14 countries

By Margaret Mwantok
29 September 2017   |   4:26 am
In its efforts at increasing the visibility of Africa’s most innovative artists, and widening Nigeria’s connection to the contemporary art scene across Africa internationally, Art X Lagos...

Advisory Board Member, ART X Lagos, Femi Lijadu(left); Founder/Director, ART X Lagos, Tokini Peterside; and Marketing Director, Pernod Ricard  Nigeria, Craig Van Niekerk at a press Conference of the  2017 edition of ART X Lagos, in Lagos. PHOTO; SUNDAY AKINLOLU

In its efforts at increasing the visibility of Africa’s most innovative artists, and widening Nigeria’s connection to the contemporary art scene across Africa internationally, Art X Lagos, a premier international art fair in West Africa will return with a second edition from November 3 through 5 at the Civic Centre in Victoria Island, Lagos.

Speaking on the event Founder & Director ART X Lagos Tokini Peterside, said the aim was to contribute to the positioning of modern and contemporary African art at the forefront, as Africa emerges in the wider contemporary art market. “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. ART X Lagos is an African platform for African artists, on the African continent,” she said.

After the success of its 2016 maiden edition, which drew an audience of over 5,000 people, Peterside said this edition promises to be even more dynamic, as much of the 2016 program structure returns, with new, vibrant content aimed at reaching a wider audience.

It will include exhibiting galleries and artists, special curated projects, a programme of talks, the ART X Prize, and a music show – ART X Live!

According to the founder, “We celebrate artists, art students, scholars, collectors, art professionals and art lovers, who are playing a fair role in the growth of African economies, which are now among the fastest-growing in the world. This invaluable contribution of the art sector to our continent’s development is what ART X Lagos seeks to highlight and to reinforce, through projects such as our annual art fair. None of this potential would be realised without the support of the many sponsors, galleries and artists who champion our cause, and to whom we owe the world of gratitude.”

Chosen by a Selection Committee, led by N’Goné Fall, the renowned Senegalese curator, art critic and cultural consultant, and Femi Lijadu, one of Nigeria’s most respected art collectors, the exhibiting galleries are; The Space (Nigeria), Bloom Art (Nigeria), Fondation Donwahi (Ivory Coast), Gallery 1957 (Ghana), Galerie Atiss (Senegal), Gallery MAM (Cameroon), Nubuke Foundation (Ghana), Retro Africa (Nigeria), Signature Beyond (Nigeria), SMO Contemporary (Nigeria), Stevenson Gallery (South Africa), TAFETA (United Kingdom), and Tiwani Contemporary (United Kingdom).

The artists lined up for the event are; Yinka Shonibare MBE, as well as Zanele Muholi (South Africa), Jeremiah Quarshie (Ghana), Modupeola Fadugba (Nigeria), Nandipha Mntambo (Swaziland), Virginia Chihota (Zimbabwe), Boris Nzebo (Cameroon), Babajide Olatunji (Nigeria), Pamela Phatsimo Sunstrum (Botswana), Amadou Sanogo (Mali) and Portia Zvavahera (Zimbabwe). In addition, ART X Lagos has invited four independent artists to present a curated selection of their own works: Polly Alakija, Rom Isichei, Lakin Ogunbanwo and Oluseye.

The art fair will also include curated projects across performance art, installation, photography and video art, to create a conversational showpiece for ART X Lagos. The artists selected by Curator, Missla Libsekal, and Founder of art journal Another Africa are: Nástio Mosquito (Angola) and Pere Ortin, Lemi Ghariokwu (Lagos, Nigeria), Yaw Owusu (Accra, Ghana), Rahima Gambo (Abuja, Nigeria), Johnson Uwadinma (Port Harcourt, Nigeria), Olu Amoda (Lagos, Nigeria) and Wura Natasha Ogunji (Nigeria / USA).

Absolut and ART X Lagos this year will introduce the ‘ART X Absolut Commission’, an installation at the art fair that responds to present day societal urgencies, supporting freedom of expression. The inaugural commission invites Olatunde Alara, a young artist living and working in Lagos, to respond to the theme ‘Artist as Citizen’.

To mark the conclusion of what is set to be a thrilling weekend, the winner of the ART X Prize, sponsored by Access Bank, will be announced on 5th November at the closing ceremony. The ‘ART X Prize with Access’ is a prize for the best young artists in the country, run via social media, which opened for entries on September 18th 2017. The 2016 winner was Patrick Akpojotor who will be exhibiting at this year’s fair.