ART X Lagos, the leading international art fair in West Africa, is back for its eighth edition from November 2-5, 2023. This year’s fair, themed “The Dialogue”, will feature a compelling multi-disciplinary program that explores the ways storytelling can help us to see ourselves in new ways, while welcoming us to think presently in and about the world, as well as our place in it.
The theme of “The Dialogue” is actually quite relevant today, as Nigeria and Africa face a number of unique challenges. It is apparent that ART X Lagos recognizes its role as a gathering place for the community, and how much more important now than ever. The fair aims to provide a space where people can come together to learn, question, and be inspired to contribute to shaping the society they desire for themselves and for future generations.
ART X Lagos 2023 will feature a number of special exhibitions, including:
- “Writing With…”, curated by Missla Libsekal, features the work of renowned sculptor and printmaker Bruce Onobrakpeya, a founding figure of modern art in Nigeria. Onobrakpeya’s work is often inspired by traditional African folklore and mythology, and his exhibition at ART X Lagos will explore the ways in which storytelling has shaped his artistic practice.
- “Graphic Stories” is a retrospective of illustrations in Nigerian mass media from the 1940s to 80s. This exhibition will showcase the work of some of Nigeria’s most celebrated illustrators, including Ben Enwonwu, Yusuf Grillo, and Demas Nwoko. The exhibition will also explore the ways in which illustration has been used to tell stories about Nigerian culture, society, and politics.
- “Passing / Building / Victory” by Dennis Osadebe is a new body of work that explores the themes of migration, displacement, and resilience. Osadebe’s paintings are often large-scale and immersive, and they offer viewers a glimpse into the lives of people who have been forced to leave their homes and rebuild their lives in new places.
- “The Hands That Remain” by Papa Omotayo and Max Kalaiwo is a collaborative exhibition that explores the themes of memory and loss. Omotayo and Kalaiwo’s work is often inspired by their personal experiences of growing up in Nigeria, and their exhibition at ART X Lagos will offer viewers a unique perspective on the country’s complex and sometimes painful history.
A special installation by MOWAA (the Museum of West African Art, Edo) will invite the audience to interact with themes ahead of the Nigeria Pavilion at the Venice Biennale 2024.
In addition to its special exhibitions, ART X Lagos 2023 is introducing a new program, ART X Cinema, which will premiere with a screening program of artists’ films and documentaries. The program will feature artists like Binelde Hyrcan, Onyeka Igwe, Ibrahim Mahama, Betelhem Makonnen, Zen Marie, Fatimah Tuggar, and more.
ART X Cinema will offer viewers a unique opportunity to experience the work of African artists through the medium of film. The program will showcase a wide range of films, from documentaries to experimental works, and it will explore a variety of themes, including identity, community, and social justice.
ART X Talks
ART X Talks, the fair’s energetic and interactive discussion series, will return in 2023 with a roster of speakers anchored by Bruce Onobrakpeya and Ibrahim Mahama. Other speakers will include artists, curators, and other experts from the art world. ART X Talks will provide visitors with an opportunity to learn more about the work of the artists featured in the fair, as well as to engage in discussions about the broader themes of art, storytelling, and community.
ART X Live!
ART X Live!, the fair’s one-of-a-kind live music and art experience, also returns in 2023, featuring the multi-hyphenate musicians Tay Iwar and Azekel in a night of exceptional musical storytelling. ART X Live! will offer visitors a chance to experience the best of African music and art in one unique setting.
The event will be held on the evening of Saturday, November 4th, and it will be a must-attend for any fan of contemporary African culture.
ART X Lagos is committed to supporting the development of African art and artists. The fair’s developmental platforms, which include Art Across Borders, The Development Forum, and The Access ART X Prize, provide opportunities for artists to connect with the art industry and advance their careers.
Art Across Borders is a collaboration between ART X Lagos and Afreximbank that brings together six emerging artists from diverse corners of Africa and the Caribbean. The program aims to showcase the innovative spirit that defines contemporary art by individuals of African descent.
The Development Forum is a series of informal conversations between emerging art practitioners and established artists, curators, and other experts from the art world. The forum provides an opportunity for emerging artists to learn more about the art industry and to get advice on how to develop their careers.
The Access ART X Prize is a prestigious award for early-career artists in Africa and its Diaspora. The prize includes a residency at Gasworks London or GAS Foundation Lagos, as well as an exhibition at ART X Lagos. The Access ART X Prize is designed to support the development of emerging artists and to help them reach a wider audience.
ART X Lagos 2023 is a must-attend event for anyone interested in contemporary African art. With its compelling theme, special exhibitions, engaging programs, and commitment to supporting emerging artists, the fair offers a unique opportunity to experience the vibrant creativity of the African continent.
ART X Lagos 2023 will be held from November 2-5, 2023 at The Federal Palace Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos, Nigeria.
- VIP Preview: Friday, November 3rd
- Public Days: Saturday, November 4th and Sunday, November 5th
For tickets and more information about ART X Lagos 2023, please visit the fair’s website at https://artxlagos.com/