12 Must-See Works from Leading African Galleries


As part of its ongoing programming to promote artists and art spaces from the continent, the African Art Galleries Association (AAGA) has launched the second edition of African Galleries Now, an online-only showcase of emerging, mid-career, and established artists whose expansive practices include a range of mediums and materials. As the art world emerges from a year that saw some programming and initiatives go online but many other events canceled, African Galleries Now provides a space that allows galleries to showcase works by artists they represent. As such, the initiative marries elements of a traditional physical art fair with digital features.
This selection of 12 works that are part of this edition was, I must admit, informed by my own bias toward abstract imagery and artworks that are made of found materials. The selection ranges from drawing and painting to embroidery and mixed media. With works produced within the last eight years, and most in the last two or three, this selection represents a slice of what contemporary art from the continent is concerned with at this time. Take, for instance, ’s bricolage, which encourages questions about what portraiture could be; or the observations that could be made from ’s installations and canvases of fabrics interwoven with intimate histories.

I encourage viewers to consider what these works say about the environment, production, and societal relations. Consider the ways these conversations might have begun in homes or about town, and extended into studios before finding themselves in galleries and museums. Consider what these discussions say about the current global climate and the ways in which our contributions might help or hinder the situation.


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