ART X Lagos – the leading international art fair in West Africa – returns from the 4th until the 6th of November for its seventh edition at The Federal Palace, Lagos, with 31 African and diasporan galleries.
It’s been 7 years of creating and evolving West Africa’s leading international art fair, and our refreshed brand identity reflects our re-energised commitment to celebrating and amplifying the breadth of Africa’s creative expression. This year’s theme, ‘Who Will Gather Under the Baobab Tree?’ highlights art’s unique ability to inspire, uplift, educate and empower, inviting our audience to revisit the past as a precursor to looking forward.
Mónica de Miranda | Sabrina Amrani (Madrid, Spain)
Mónica de Miranda, Sea Whispers, 2020. Courtesy of the artist & Sabrina Amrani
Mónica de Miranda is a Portuguese artist, of Angolan origin, who lives and works between Lisbon and Luanda. Her work is based on themes of urban archaeology and affective geographies. She works with drawing, installation, photography, film, video, and sound. She has been nominated for the Novo Photo Banco Prize, exhibiting as one of the finalists at the Berardo Collection Museum. Her solo exhibitions include ‘Geografia Dormente’ at the Galeria Municipal de Arte in Almada, Portugal, and ‘Panorama’ at the Banco Economico in Luanda. Miranda’s work is represented in several collections, including Centro Cultural de Lagos and the Photographic Archive of Lisbon.
Pedro Pires | LouiSimone Guirandou Gallery (Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire)
Pedro Pires, Border #3. Wrought rusty metal, 50 x 29 x 27cm. Edition of 3. Courtesy of the artist & LouiSimone Guirandou Gallery.
Angolan artist, Pedro Pires, explores dislocated national identities, migration, and human rights through his work, which includes sculpture, drawing, photography, video and installation. He is particularly interested in questions of identity and stereotypes in direct relation to education, history, and institutions. This stems from having a background in both African and European cultures. Pires’ sculptures and installations have a strong relationship with the human body and anthropomorphic volumes. His “faces” are created from metallic elements representing leaves, petals, or flowers. His work rethinks (or redefines) metallic elements, as he uses them in relation to the human body, imagining them as similar to a skin covered with the beauties of nature.
Léonce Raphael Agbodjelou | Borna Soglo Gallery (Cotonou, Benin)
Léonce Raphael Agbodjelou, Egungun. Courtesy of the artist & Borna Soglo Gallery.
Léonce Raphael Agbodjelou is one of the pre-eminent photographers of the Republic of Benin. Born in Porto-Novo in 1965, he was trained by his father, the world-renowned photographer Joseph Moïse Agbodjelou (1912-2000). Léonce’s ongoing portraiture project, ‘Citizens of Porto-Novo,’ captures the people of Benin’s capital. Using a daylight studio and a medium format film, the artist interprets the experience of a generation caught between tradition and progress. His work has been exhibited at Saatchi Gallery London, Seattle Art Museum, Fowler Museum Los Angeles, Brooklyn Museum New York, Vitra Museum Basel, Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, Tel Aviv Museum of Art, Israel & Camden Arts Centre, London, among others. Acquisitions have been made by the National Gallery of Canada, Brooklyn Museum, Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, Kelvingrove Museum, Glasgow and Pitt Rivers Museum, Oxford.
Megan Gabrielle Harris | OOA Gallery (Barcelona, Spain)
Megan Gabrielle Harris, Her Idyll, 2022, Acrylic on canvas, 36 x 48 inches. Courtesy of the artist & OOA Gallery.
Megan Gabrielle Harris is a painter and photographer. Dividing her time between Brooklyn, New York, and Sacramento, California, where she lives and works. Harris is influenced by travel, surreal landscapes and nature. Her work typically features women of colour as powerful, regal, divine, and often are painted against a rich, vibrant backdrop. She explores dreamscapes and the concept of escape, which she identifies in the Escapism work of her father, Thomas Harris. Her new series touches on her aspirations for the peace associated with leisure. These large-scale paintings depict women of colour in relaxed states. They represent something Harris hardly sees in the media: a Black Woman in a calm, drama-free state.
John Madu | Zidoun-Bossuyt Gallery (Luxembourg/Dubai/Paris)
Courtesy of the artist & Zidoun-Bossuyt Gallery.
John Madu is a self-taught multidisciplinary artist based in Lagos, Nigeria. He draws inspiration from pop culture, modern art, his own experiences and African history – and is best known for bright figurative paintings contemplating the past, present and future. He works with acrylic, oils, spray paint, ink, collage and burlap. His eye-catching compositions transform domestic spaces into a playground and subvert familiar objects and figures. This subversion produces images rich in meaning, giving his audience deconstructed stereotypes of gender, class and power.
Julius Agbaje | Bloom Art (Lagos, Nigeria)
Julius Agbaje, Flowers are boys too II, 2022. Acrylic on canvas, 60 x 48inches. Courtesy of the artist & Bloom Art
Julius Agbaje is a conceptual artist who works primarily as a painter. He is an alumnus of the Arts in Medicine Fellowship, where he had a stint as Director of Art Projects in Lagos. He is a believer in art as a tool for change and considers that belief to be the central tenet of his practice. His work addresses issues he considers important, often charming his audience using humour. Through his creative processes, Agbaje documents his connections and interactions with other humans and human activities, typically situating himself or his elected subject in different poses while adopting pipes as a metaphor for the interconnectedness of humans and human activities.
Amanda Mushate | Kó Gallery (Lagos, Nigeria)
Amanda Shingirai Mushate, Akula kunyama kuluhlaza, 2022. Oil on canvas, 150 x 150cm. Courtesy of the artist & Kó Gallery.
Amanda Mushate currently lives and works in Harare, Zimbabwe. Having completed her studies at the National Gallery of Zimbabwe Visual Arts Studio in 2016, Mushate has since been a resident at Chinembiri Studios. Working under the mentorship of Gresham Tapiwa Nyaude, she has developed a vibrant and unique personal vision and modes of expression. Like any young person, Mushate is preoccupied with finding her place and path in this world and negotiating the complexity of interpersonal relationships in that process. Her presented abstract paintings blend looping linework with amorphous blocks of colour, generating networks that suggest geographical and interpersonal connections. Painting abstract fantasy realms allow her to think about the future without the narrative constraints of figuration. Amanda draws her inspiration from people around her – she paints and sculpts her happiness and burdens, and things she takes time to visualise.
Samson Akinnire | Nike Art Gallery (Lagos, Nigeria)
Samson Akinnire, Abami Eda, 2022. Mixed media, 84 x 52 inches. Courtesy of the artist & Nike Art Gallery.
Nigerian artist Samson Akinnire is prolific in his artistic production of abstraction, realism, portraiture and post-impressionistic works. He uses mainly found objects and draws inspiration from harvesting “waste”. His works are nailed, glued, cast, carved, welded, tied, cut, sliced, ground, punched, beaten, woven, stretched, burnt, painted, et al., assembled with screws and nail perforations to be called art. His installation works are unfinished inventories of fragments and feature a schematic combination of materials improvised from these discarded items. His work is collaborative, inviting his audience’s interpretation, but a dedication to his strict methodology is perceptible across each piece of his art. His mixed media portraits incorporate articles of waste that invite clarifying and humanising engagements with what is discerned as beautiful disposable elements. His art presents bold complexity and striking completeness that evokes an inherent potency and elaborates collages mostly of (beer cans). Samson’s works have been published/exhibited nationally and internationally.
Cecilia Lamptey-Botchway | Nubuke Foundation (Accra, Ghana)
Cecilia Lamptey-Botchway, Dance of Freedom, 2022. Acrylic, oil and wool on canvas, 91 x 122cm. Courtesy of the artist & Nubuke Foundation.
Cecilia Lamptey-Botchway studied Graphic Design, Textile Design, Sculpture and Painting at the Yaba College of Technology in Lagos, Nigeria. She is a multi-talented artist, working in performance, textile design, painting and multimedia. She is currently participating in the Young Ghanaian Artist career development initiative of the Nubuke Foundation. Her recent work pays homage to the nurturing influences of an artistic family, incorporating and deriving meaning from symbols from batik, found objects and other materials like mopping wool. She deploys her sense of geometry and perspective to achieve symmetry, and her colours and mixed media add vibrant dimensions to her paintings.
Boris Nzebo | Gallerie MAM (Douala, Cameroon)
Boris Nzebo, Transmission, 2022. Acrylic and Molotow on canvas. Courtesy of the artist & Galerie MAM.
Boris Nzebo was born in Port-Gentil in Gabon. He is a self-taught artist working in Douala, Cameroon. He worked as a sign painter before devoting himself to the plastic arts. He explores traditional hairstyles in urban Africa, using them as a pretext for questions regarding identity and inequality. His work has graced auction houses such as PIASA and Sotheby’s, and has been exhibited in Cameroon, England, France, Switzerland, Haiti, the USA and Brazil.