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Tafeta Gallery lines up Mbari artists for Art Dubai 2019

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A drawing by Susanne Wenger, showing at Art Dubai 2019.

Five artists with links to ‘Mbari’ Movement of the 60s are among Africans showing at the 2019 Art Dubai, in United Arab Emirate.

Represented by London-based Tafeta Gallery, the artists include, Uche Okeke, Demas Nwoko, Muraina Oyelami, Jimoh Buraimoh and Susanne Wenger.

Nwoko, Oyelami and Buraimoh are the only living artists on the list.

The 13th Art Dubai, which holds from March 20 to 23 at its traditional venue, Madinat Jumeirah, will also feature works of two other Nigerians in the Contemporary hall. They are Victor Ehikhamenor and Marcia Kure.

Whether showing on the bill of galleries based in the continent or the diaspora, the number of African artists in the fair has been on the increase.

For the 13th edition, there are more galleries from North and Sub-Saharan showing quite a number of artists from the continent. Ethiopia-based Addis Fine Art, which made its debut last year, returns to the fair with Addis Gezehagn and Tadesse Mesfin.

Making its debut this year is Valerie Atiss, Dakar, Senegal, which shows the works of Oumar Ball Ouattara Hyacinthe and Patrick Joel Tatcheda.

Kure, who is based in the U.S., Shadi Ghadirian, Jalal Sepehr and Maimouna Guerresi are being shown by Officine Dell’Immagine; Cape Town-based SMAC shows Alexandra Karakashian and Gareth Nyandoro; Wanja Kimani is represented by Guzo Art Project; Mariane Ibrahim returns again with Zohra Opoku while Tyburn Gallery represents Ehikhamenor.

The organisers noted that Galerie Anne-Sarah Benichou (Paris) is showing large-scale monochromatic urban wall paintings by the French-Moroccan artist, Chourouk Hriech; Paris-based In Situ – Fabienne Leclerc, with works by Benin Republic-born Meschac Gaba, explores constructions of cultural identity as they relate to exchanges between Africa and the Western world.

French-Camerounian Élise Atangana will curate the inaugural edition of a gallery section Bawwaba (Arabic for ‘gateway’)

The new section will exhibit works by individual artists from, based in, or focused on the Middle East, Latin America, Africa, Central and South Asia.

Also announced on the list of what Art Dubai describes as Guest Curators for the new sections of the fair are: Brazilian Fernanda Brenner and Emirati curator Munira Al Sayegh. Brenner is founder and artistic director of São Paulo-based contemporary art space, Pivô, and one of the most influential curators in Latin America. Brenner will co-curate the expanded Residents section of the fair, focusing on Latin America.

Al Sayegh, a well-established name in the UAE art scene, will co-curate Residents and work with the Campus Art Dubai 7.0 cohort, which is expected to create a body of work that will be exhibited during the fair.

The organisers explained that they selected 10 solo projects to interrogate multi-geographical focus of the Global South, a term that has developed within the art world to include, Latin America, the Middle East, Africa and Central and South Asia.

“I am delighted to curate the first edition of Bawwaba and look forward to working with artists who focus on critical thinking within the framework of the Global South,” Atangana said.

“Mid-career and emerging artists will challenge their current practice and position to produce a broader plurality of critical voices through historical facts, social and economic issues, political frameworks, technology and spirituality.”


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