Art is an important aspect of Nigerian culture, with it being a vital way through which Nigerians share and communicate history and ideas. For Nigerian contemporary artists, the challenge has always been to find a platform to communicate these ideas and express their creativity through their arts, the challenge has always been finding someone willing to curate a platform for Nigerian artists. ART X Lagos has seemingly solved that challenge.
In 2016, ART X Lagos, West Africa’s first International art fair kicked off in Lagos for the first time. Founded by Tokini Peterside, the art fair endeavors to showcase the best and most innovative contemporary art from the African continent and diaspora, and to widen Nigeria’s connection to the art scene across Africa and internationally.
The art exhibition attracted an audience of more than 5000 people over the three days in which it held at the Civic center, Lagos, and put to bed the notion that Nigerians don’t appreciate art. The second edition in 2017 attracted more, featuring 14 leading international art galleries and over 60 artists from many countries across Africa and the Diaspora.
On Friday 21st September 2018 at the Wheatbaker Hotel in Ikoyi, Lagos, the art fair announced that its third edition will be held this year from Friday 2nd November to Sunday 4th November 2018, at The Civic Centre in Victoria Island, Lagos. Some of Africa’s most sought-after artists as well as exhibitions by major galleries.
Artists to be shown at ART X Lagos 2018
Some of the galleries that will be showcasing innovative and contemporary art include Art House – The Space (Nigeria), Addis Fine Art (Ethiopia), Circle Art Agency (Kenya), Stevenson Gallery (South Africa), Gallery 1957 (Ghana), Tafeta (United Kingdom), Tiwani Contemporary (United Kingdom), Nike Art Gallery (Nigeria), Out of Africa Gallery (Spain) and many more. These are some of the leading galleries in the world, and their presence at ART X Lagos will certainly is an indication of the ambitions of ART X Lagos and its Founder and Director Tokini Peterside.
The 18 exhibiting galleries were 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 and leading commercial lawyers.
While speaking at the ART X Lagos Press launch, Tokini Peterside announced that the art fair will be welcoming for the first time East African artists Paul Onditi and Cyrus Kabiru, who hail from Kenya to the fair as part of cultivating its pan-African identity.
“After the success of ART X Lagos 2017, we are delighted to return for a third edition. We are validated in our decision to develop this vital platform for the growth and increased visibility of African artists and galleries. This would have been impossible without the phenomenal support of the galleries, sponsors, and partners, who took a huge leap of faith and committed to supporting us from ground zero, for which we are most grateful. In six weeks, we will open the doors to ART X Lagos 2018. We look forward to welcoming a vast and varied, local and international” she said.
The Keynote artist for this year’s ART X Lagos edition is the internationally renowned artist, Yinka Shonibare MBE, who will be celebrated with a highly anticipated exhibition, exploring his career highlights.
Here is a breakdown of programs for the forthcoming ART X Lagos:
ART X Talks – This year’s program will feature a series of exciting and engaging talks from key stakeholders in Africa’s art economy and will be curated by Missla Libsekal. ART X Talks will hold on Saturday 3rd November and Sunday 4th November. The Keynote artist will also be speaking at this event.
Interactive Projects – curated by A Whitespace Creative Agency, ART X Lagos 2018 will feature experiential platforms that explore ideas influenced by the exhilarating essence of Lagos. Olalekan Jeyifous and Wale Lawal have created a virtual reality installation, Mad Horse City, which explores a futuristic imagination of Lagos in the year 2115. Meanwhile ‘Lagos Drawings’ is an Interactive Installation, by Karo Akpokiere which combines digital technology, perceptible sounds and visual illustrations inspired by Lagos Textures.
The ART X Prize with Access – For the 2018 edition, the Prize evolved to bolster the efforts of emerging artists who have demonstrated a commitment to careers as professional visual artists. Bolatito Aderemi-Ibitola, who emerged as the winner in June 2018, after a rigorous selection process, received a grant of N1 million naira and will have a solo presentation of her project, ‘Scraps from Mama’s Floor’ at this year’s fair.
ART X Live!, the live art and music performance, will also make a return this year, featuring some of Africa’s most talented rising artists, curated by Lanre Masha, with Odunsi the Engine as creative director. The show will see performances by Teni the Entertainer, Ghanaian musician Amaarae, and BOJ, accompanied by some of Lagos’ finest emerging visual and graphic artists. The theme this year invites guests to indulge in an electric exploration of Africa’s rich musical history with a celebration of our heroes past – the icons, legends, and sounds that have shaped the continent’s contemporary musical landscape.
The 2018 edition of ART X Lagos is sponsored by Access Bank (Gold Sponsor); Ford Foundation (Diversity and Education Sponsor); Stanbic IBTC Pensions, H2Oh!, Anap Jets and Chapel Hill Denham (Bronze Sponsors); Lufthansa, Absolut, Budweiser, Leadway Assurance and Metro Capital (Category Sponsors)