Dubai is sharing the art world’s delight in the thriving art scenes on the African continent with a new show opening on Sunday at Christie’s Dubai showroom that features prominent emerging and established painters from West Africa.
Entitled (West) African Renaissance and on until Dec. 14, the exhibition showcases the vibrantly colored works of several pioneers in what is frequently being dubbed a “renaissance” for modern and contemporary art from Africa and the African diaspora.
The show is being staged by Gallery 1957, one of Ghana’s premier spaces for modern and contemporary art. On display are works by Ghanaian artists Gideon Appah, Kwesi Botchway, Joshua Oheneba Takyi, Lord Ohene Okyere Bour, Annan Affotey, Serge Attukwei Clottey, Isshaq Ismail Godfried Donkor, Arthur Timothy and Afia Prempeh, as well as works by Nigerian painters Oliver Okolo, Juwon Aderemi, and Peter Ojingiri.
“Our focus has always been to support the careers of West African artists, and to ensure they continue to reach new audiences on the global stage,” said Marwan Zakhem, founder of Gallery 1957.
“We continue to provide opportunities for our artist to engage with different communities and be visible to a wider international audience,” Zakhem told Arab News. “While this is our fourth time showing our artists in Dubai, we feel there is now a growing appetite for works by African artists in the region.”
“Promoting this exhibition on the international stage is a key priority for us,” Michael Jeha, chairman of Christie’s Middle East said. “Following our collaboration with 1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair, partnering with Gallery 1957 to present this exciting exhibition featuring so many of the leading names from West Africa is a perfect extension of our recent initiatives.”
“Dubai is a hub to so many different nationalities and collectors from around the world, so bringing contemporary African art to the city seemed only natural as we look to continue to internationalize art from this region and to expose it to an even wider audience,” he said.
The present exhibition reveals the emphasis artists placed on portraiture and figurative abstraction — a growing trend over the past few years in works by many artists from the African continent, particularly from West Africa, as they focus on the people and symbols that make up their daily domestic, personal and public lives.