Art News Africa

Art Dubai 2023 is Here! The African Galleries you Should Look Out For 

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The Art Dubai Group (ADG) is a commercial public-private collaboration that has been running the region’s most popular cultural events for 16 years. It also provides its industry knowledge to both private and public institutions. In order to foster a culture of exploration, Art Dubai Contemporary presents solo or group exhibitions from galleries from throughout the globe, ranging from up-and-coming to established institutions. This year’s edition of the fair is from March 1 – 5, 2023. 

Contemporary – Curated by Andrée Sfeir-Semler, Priyanka Raja, Ursula Krinzinger

In order to foster a culture of exploration, Art Dubai Contemporary presents solo or group exhibitions from galleries from throughout the globe, ranging from up-and-coming to established hubs. Andrée Sfeir-Semler, Priyanka Raja, and Ursula Krinzinger make up the selection committee for Art Dubai Contemporary 2023. 

Gallery 1957, Accra, Ghana and London, United Kingdom

Founded by Marwan Zakhem on Ghana’s Independence Day in 2016, Gallery 1957 has since grown to include three galleries in Accra. The gallery’s mission is to connect contemporary West African art with the rest of the world through exhibitions, installations, and performances featuring the region’s most notable artists. In October 2020, Gallery 1957 opened its London space, providing another platform for showcasing its artists from Africa and the diaspora.

Kwesi Botchway, Rita’s Gaze, 2022
Image courtesy of Gallery 1957 

By exhibiting the works of these diverse artists, Gallery 1957 aims to bridge the gap between local and international audiences. Beyond exhibitions, the gallery also fosters global partnerships and runs an artist residency program, inviting international artists and art professionals to engage with Ghana’s thriving contemporary art scene.

More on the gallery can be found at

Comptoir des Mines Galerie, Marrakech, Morocco

The Comptoir des Mines Galerie is a contemporary art space established in Marrakech in 2016, located in a stunning building dating back to 1932. This architectural gem has been fully renovated to host exhibitions, art projects, artist residencies, and workshops.

Fatiha Zemmouri, Geographie de L’intime, 2022, 130 x 170cm 
Image courtesy of the gallery

As a hybrid between a museum and art gallery, the Comptoir des Mines Galerie offers a unique and extraordinary artistic experience. The space is dedicated to supporting talented artists and enriching the artistic production, both intellectually and technically. With its exhibitions and artistic projects, the Comptoir des Mines Galerie is making a mark in the history of art in Morocco.

More information can be found on

First Floor Gallery, Harare/Victoria Falls

First Floor Gallery Harare was founded in Harare in 2009 by Marcus Gora and Valerie Kabov as an artist-driven experiment. Over time, it has evolved into Zimbabwe’s premier contemporary art gallery. The gallery prioritizes artist empowerment and innovation, hosting residencies and exchanges, master classes, and projects by a diverse range of creative professionals, from fashion designers to poets, musicians, and filmmakers.

Mavis Tauzeni, Blending in, 2022,150 × 130 cm
Image courtesy of the gallery

As advocates for the development of sustainable and thriving art scenes in Africa, First Floor Gallery Harare has co-founded the African Art Galleries Association and the Emerging Painting Invitational, a pan-African painting prize for emerging artists. In 2020, the gallery expanded its reach by opening a second space in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe’s fastest-growing and diverse city.

International engagement, collaboration, and building a global network are crucial to First Floor Gallery Harare’s mission and vision.

More information can be found on

GVCC, Casablanca, Morocco

GVCC, established in 1946, is Morocco’s oldest gallery. With a deep imprint on the country’s visual arts history, it is a pivotal institution in the art world of Morocco. Decades ago, GVCC gained recognition by being the first gallery to showcase the work of Orientalist painters such as Jacques Majorelle, José Cruz Herrera, Henri Pontoy, and Jean-Gaston Mantel, artists who are now highly sought after in international auctions. Additionally, GVCC was the first to present the work of renowned Moroccan artists, such as Farid Belkahia, Ahmed Cherkaoui, Jilali Gharbaoui, Hassan El Glaoui, and Chaïbia, who have since become significant references in the art world.

Hassan Mannana, Second life 2, 2018, 150 × 120 cm
Image courtesy of Artsy

In 2008, the gallery was acquired by Anne-Laurence Sowan, marking a new era. Today, GVCC reinvigorates its pioneering spirit through its distinguished artistic direction and dedication to showcasing the work of both emerging and established artists.

More information can be found on

Ko art Space, Lagos, Nigeria

Kó is a Lagos, Nigeria-based gallery that is passionate about promoting modern and contemporary art. With a focus on both prominent artists from Nigeria’s modern period and contemporary artists from Africa and its diaspora, kó showcases its exhibitions annually in Lagos and frequently participates in international art fairs. The gallery was established by Kavita Chellaram, an accomplished art collector and founder of Arthouse Contemporary in Lagos. She has been instrumental in shaping Nigeria’s modern and contemporary art market and has helped gain global recognition for many modern African artists through her exhibitions and projects. In 2015, Chellaram established the Arthouse Foundation, a non-profit artist residency program in Lagos, which has hosted over thirty artist residencies.

Nnenna Okore, Bountiful Pleasures, 2022, 121.9 × 137.2 × 10.2 cm
Image courtesy of gallery

More information can be found on

Bwwaba – curated by Vipash Purichanont

Through ambitious solo artist presentations, Bawwaba—which in Arabic means “gateway”—serves as a gateway to the discovery of works made in the last year or especially for the fair. It provides visitors with a curated reading of current artistic developments across diverse geographic scopes within “The Global South.”

Vipash Purichanont, an independent curator and lecturer at Silpakorn University, is the curator of Art Dubai Bawwaba 2023.

Circle art Gallery, Nairobi, Kenya

Circle was established in 2012 as a consultancy service for art collectors and institutions with the goal of promoting exhibitions through curating. In 2015, it opened its permanent gallery in Nairobi to become a leading exhibition space in East Africa. Circle’s mission is to strengthen the art market for East African artists by supporting and showcasing the region’s most innovative artists. The gallery features carefully selected contemporary art and collaborates with guest curators and a diverse group of artists from across East Africa. Circle participates in international art fairs and serves as a platform for presentations from artists, curators, critics, collectors, and academics.

Dickens Otieno, School Uniform (blue shirt), 2020, 69 × 65 × 29 cm
Image courtesy of the gallery

Dickens Otieno (born 1979 in Migori, Kenya; resides in Nairobi) has participated in various group exhibits and art fairs in Kenya, South Africa, Tanzania, Nigeria, France, and England. He has also had two solo exhibitions at Circle Art Agency in Nairobi (2018 and 2020). Otieno’s first project with Steve Turner, Los Angeles, and his first show in the country are both titled Mtaani.

More information about the gallery can be found at


By bridging the gap between the tech and art worlds and examining how artists are utilizing new, immersive technologies to blur the lines between the traditional art world, Art Dubai Digital offers an annual 360-degree picture of the digital art landscape. Clara Che Wei Peh, a curator, arts journalist, and educator, is the curator of Art Dubai Digital 2023.

Afrofutoursim, Lagos, Nigeria

The Afrofutourism project is a traveling exhibit that showcases the works of African and African-descendant new media artists. These artists present their visions of a reimagined Africa through the use of digital technology in their art. The goal of this cultural initiative is to promote and enhance the creative sphere through cutting-edge and unconventional artistic experiences, as well as emphasize the impact of culture and creativity as drivers for social transformation, both within and outside Africa.

Somi Nwandu , Self in Sibyl, 2018, Digital art on canvas
Image courtesy of artist

Somi Nwandu is a versatile artist and accomplished art curator with a passion for culture. She has been instrumental in organizing and presenting major exhibitions in renowned institutions including Tom Ford, Art Dubai, Expo 2020 Dubai, Macy’s, and more. Her artistic expression encompasses a range of mediums, including visual arts, photography, fashion, and the digital realm.

More information can be found at 

Wizara, Cairo, Egypt

Wizara is a Web3-powered gallery, creative studio, and digital arts platform that supports and showcases artists from African, Arab, and Asian backgrounds. To date, it has created and commissioned over 200 pieces of art from established, mid-career, and emerging artists. Its ecosystem also organizes and curates international conferences and festivals, including the New York Arab Festival, Berlin’s CANONS, and Cairo’s Performance Futures, among others.

Image still from Ahmed El Shaer, Hybrid Spaces Image Courtesy of Artist

Exhibiting Artists; Harshini Karunaratne, Ahmed Elshaer, Mey Seifan, Mert Akbal, And Nvard Yerkanian.

More information about the gallery can be found


Azeeza Sanni is the General Manager of Art News Africa. She is a graduate of Middlesex University of Mauritius & Monash South Africa. You can reach her with information/requests on

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