Follow Friday: 9 African Galleries You Should Know

Artsy Editorial
Oct 7, 2014 9:01PM

1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair provides a forum for showcasing art and art practices from the African continent. With strong local roots and contemporary approaches to traditional practices, the artists at 1:54 represent the collective verve of the growing African art market. Here, we’ve compiled a preview of nine galleries exhibiting at the fair that call the continent of Africa home, and are committed to fostering local talent. 


Established in a decommissioned synagogue in Cape Town, South Africa, WHATIFTHEWORLD began as a gallery committed to showcasing the work of young contemporary South African artists. As the artists became more established, the gallery focused on supporting the careers of new emerging artists in the Southern African art scene. Its artists have been shown at fairs and major biennials across the world including Frieze New York and the Venice Biennale. WHATIFTHEWORLD will present Lakin Ogunbanwo, Dan Halter, and Athi-Patra Ruga at 1:54.

Afronova, South Africa

Afronova is a gallery committed to showcasing modern and contemporary African art. In addition to exhibitions, Afronova hosts performances and film screenings and supports international residencies. The gallery will be showcasing work by Karl Gietl, Wayne Barker, Musa Nxumalo, Roger Ballen, Lawrence Lemaoana, John Liebenberg, Ricardo Rangel, Mauro Pinto, and Billie Zangewa at 1:54.

Art Twenty One, Lagos

Art Twenty One is a space dedicated to fostering the growing art scene in Lagos. The gallery presents local and regional artists, as well as new contemporary art projects. At 1:54, Art Twenty One will showcase the work of mixed media artist, Peju Alatise. Working with local fabrics, Alatise constructs collages that represent the ethnic identities of women from various cultures.

First Floor Gallery Harare, Zimbabwe

As Zimbabwe’s first international emerging art gallery, First Floor Gallery Harare supports the career development of young local artists. This artist-run gallery fosters education, experimentation, and exchange to develop a promising future for the artists it represents. At 1:54, First Floor Gallery Harare will be presenting Richard Butler-Bowdon, Moffat Takadiwa, Gresham Tapiwa Nyaude, Terrence Musekiwa, and Wycliff Mundopa.

Galerie Cécile Fakhoury, Ivory Coast

Located in Abidjan, Galerie Cécile Fakhoury focuses on contemporary art from the African continent. The artists on its roster are strongly rooted in their respective identities and their work focuses on creating a dialogue that dissolves ethnic barriers and geographical stigma. The gallery will present the works of Jems Koko Bi, Paul Sika, Vincent Michéa, François-Xavier Gbré, and Aboudia at 1:54.  

Voice Gallery, Morocco

Based in Marrakech, Voice Gallery is committed to showcasing contemporary art that breaks the orientalist molds still present in Arabic art today. Following the city’s tradition for acting as a gateway between the East and West, Voice Gallery presents exhibitions featuring both local and international artists. At 1:54, the gallery will exhibit work by Younés Baba-Ali, Mohamed Arejdal, Megumi Matsubara, Houda Terjuman, and Eric van Hove.

Carpe Diem, Mali

Carpe Diem showcases photography, painting, and sculpture by both African and international artists. This art space also includes a café and a library, with a program that supports collaboration and dialogue between its artists. Carpe Diem will be exhibiting works by Amadou Camara Gueye, Afi Nayo, Serigne Mbaye Camara, Amahiguéré Dolo, Harandane Dicko.

doual’art, Cameroon

Located in the historic center of Douala, Cameroon, doual’art space is a contemporary gallery and studio that focuses on promoting new practices in African art. The gallery hosts seven exhibitions a year in addition to seminars, workshops, and lectures. At 1:54, doual’art will be representing artists Joseph-Francis Sumegné and Hervé Yamguen.

ARTLabAfrica, Kenya

Based in Nairobi, Kenya, ARTLabAfrica focuses on developing experimental art in East Africa. Located in a region where artistic recognition often faces adversity, ARTLabAfrica strives to provide a forum for local artists to exhibit their work on an international stage. Peterson Kamwathi, Paul Onditi, Arlene Wandera, Gor Soudan, James Muriuki, and Miriam Syowia Kyambi will be presented at 1:54.

Newlin Tillotson

Explore 1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair 2014 on Artsy. 

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