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4 Art Fairs in Africa That Rocked our World in 2022!

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Two years post-lockdown and it feels like the art community is still trying to make up for the lost time. The curators of these art shows must have understood the need to mend the disconnect between artists, art enthusiasts, curators, and writers as a result of the worldwide timeout. All over the world, art fairs this year gave and gave some more. Although in the last two years, some of the art fairs have kept it online, the experience is quite different, electric and reviving, when you are in the same space with the news works and news artists. 

Kenrick McFarlane, A Reunion of Two Souls, 2021, Oil on canvas, 91.4 x 91.4 cm. 
Image courtesy of 1-54.

Here is a list of the art fairs in Africa that rocked the art community.

  1. 1-54 African Art Fair

1-54 African Art Fair is a platform for commercial galleries to gather and support artists from Africa and its diaspora. This art fair is one of the leading voices of Contemporary African Art in the international art world, with locations in Marrakesh, London, and New York. This year marked 1-54 London’s tenth anniversary, and the program was as exciting as ever. 1-54 London 2022 hosted 50 international exhibitors from 21 countries, including 16 African galleries. This year’s fair featured over 130 artists.

You can find them here

  1. Art X Lagos

For their spectacular seventh edition art fair, Art X Lagos brought together 31 leading international galleries from around the world to showcase over 120 bold and daring artists from Africa and its Diaspora. It showcases a sharp selection of fresh and innovative work. Since its creation in 2016, Art X Lagos has fast become the cornerstone of the region’s contemporary art scene. 

You can find them here

  1. Investec Cape Town Art Fair 

Africa’s biggest international contemporary art fair has opened its doors to the public for the first time since the coronavirus pandemic began. It is one of the three art fairs in South Africa with FNB Art Joburg and 100% Design. With a range of cutting-edge artists and new galleries from Africa and the rest of the world, there is indeed a diverse range of art available at the show. The Investec Cape Town Art Fair went online last year, but this year has nearly 100 artists exhibiting works in person from 20 countries. This is the ninth year the fair is being held but was hosted online last year due to COVID-19. 

You can find them here

  1. FNB Joburg Art Fair

FNB Art Joburg is a contemporary art fair in Africa which supports and promotes art for an entire continent. Art Joburg is run for galleries with galleries Local and international galleries, especially those with a connection to Africa, display their paintings and sculpture in a wide range of media. With over 12 successful editions, FNB Art Joburg takes place every year in September in the heart of Johannesburg. 90 galleries exhibited this year and it was exciting to see new works! 

You can find them here

Yinka Shonibare CBE, Maypole, 2021, Patchwork, appliqué, embroidery and Dutch wax printed cotton textile, 140 x 190 cm.
Image courtesy: FNB Joburg.

After giving us an amazing art year, these art fairs are ready for 2023! 


Iyanuoluwa Adenle is a graduate of Linguistics and African Languages from Obafemi Awolowo University. She is a creative writer and art enthusiast with publications in several journals. She is a writer at Art News Africa.

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