Top 6 Incredible African Art Exhibitions You Must See Before the End of 2017

It’s easy to forget how lucky we are to receive and share some incredible African art exhibitions happening across cities around the world. How fun is that? Our art calendar is pretty much full this week and for the rest of the year!  But when you lay it out and really see what we have to look forward to, it’s a little overwhelming, isn’t it?  These exhibitions are forward looking, progressive and thought provoking.

Evans Mbugua heads to Gallery of African Art in London. Njideka Akunyili-Crosby‘s stunning art works will be in New Orleans until February 2018. Victor Ehikhamenor explores Benin history through literary at Tyburn gallery and El Natsui will be in Johannesburg as well. I feel a relief for anyone looking for incredible African art exhibitions because surely there’s an exhibition in almost every continent for end of 2017.

This list not only shows the luxury of choice we have to look forward to, but it’s enough to get anyone properly and seriously excited for 2018. From London, Lagos, New Orleans to Johannesburg, check out the top 6 incredible African art exhibitions you should see this week.



1st December 2017 – 27th January 2018

Paris-based Kenyan artist Evans Mbugua returns to the Gallery of African Art (GAFRA) his first solo exhibition in London, DIALOGUE. The art exhibition brings across his latest series of works along with two new installation pieces. What you first notice with Evans Mbugua his how he’s unafraid to use colours. His works are bold and striking “Pop Art” pieces, creating unique print designs (from his graphic design background).


In this new body of work, Mbuguaexplores ‘Dance’ and the way in which the human body communicates through movement – creating expression, showcasing feelings and inspiring varying degrees of emotion in the observer. The interplay between each dance move creates a “dialogue” – a universal language all individuals can relate to.

“I wanted to create some sort of conversation between their different fields of contemporary dancing through my work. I built this series of works as if it were one contemporary dance performance. I find that through the art pieces, from one body expression to another, a dialogue is created. In painting these contemporaries, I invite the spectator to look at their world in a colourful way.”


Omenka Gallery 

‘Dear Nigeria, Dear Friends’

25th November 2017 – 7th December 2017

From November 25 to December 7, 2017, the Literacy Integration and Formal Education (LIFE) Foundation in collaboration with Alliance Française will present Dear Nigeria, Dear Friends, an exhibition of recent works by leading contemporary Nigerian artists Fidelis Odogwu, George Edozie, Alex Nwokolo, Gerry Nnubia, Francis Uduh and Abraham Uyovbisere.

Featuring a diversity of Nigerian art, the exhibition will hold at the Omenka Gallery, Lagos, to fund LIFE Foundation’s literacy projects in Makoko, the economically disadvantaged community on the lagoon beside Yaba, Lagos.

According to founder and president of the LIFE Foundation, Elvira Salleras, “In the last two years, with the invaluable support of sponsors and volunteers, we have executed various projects in that community, including rebuilding a primary school, facilitating 2 medical missions, organising seasonal parties, equipping a school library and distributing books, teaching aids and 1,000 pairs of sandals to school children.”

El Anatsui


25th November – 20th December 2017

Goodman Gallery Johannesburg presents Meyina (meaning ‘I am going’ in Ewe), curated by independent curator and the Director of CCA Lagos Bisi Silva, presents a portrait of El Anatsui by bringing together disparate fragments that form a whole. Alongside seven large-scale sculptural installations, there will be a collection of archival objects on exhibit from Anatsui’s studio, study and library in Nsukka, Nigeria.

This is the first solo exhibition in South Africa of El Anatsui – one of the most influential contemporary artists working today.


Lagos Photo festival

“Regimes of Truth”: The 8th Edition of LagosPhoto Festival

24th November – 15th December 2017

Renowned British-Nigerian fashion designer and art collector Duro Olowu is curating the 8th edition of the Lagos Photo festival. This is a big deal if you have any idea how Duro Olowu has wooed the world with his prints and patterns. Themed Regimes of Truth, this edition explores the pursuit for and presentation of truth in contemporary society, gleaning inspiration from the writings of some of the 19th and 20th centuries’ most influential literary realists and intellectuals.

Lagos photo 2_Duro Olowu_TheGlowingColours

From the curator’s statement:

“The 2017 edition of LagosPhoto Festival calls to reflect on these regimes of truths and beliefs, and the fading relevance of the quest for reality in our time. Contemporary photography is the new repository of the fading quest for reality, not by virtue of its supposed freedom, but because it embodies the synthesis and unmasks the contradictions of the knowledge society and its imperative for creativity. It is our point of interdependence and the most democratic tool for social engagement today in the sense that almost everyone can make pictures and share using smart phones.”

LagosPhoto 2017 Artists include:
Lubabetu Abubakar (Nigeria)
James Barnor (Ghana)

Joana Choumali (Ivory Coast)
Kadara Enyeasi (Nigeria)
Samuel Fosso (Cameroon)
Hassan Hajjaj (Morocco/UK)
Nicola Lo Calzo (Italy)
Bas Losekoot (Netherlands)
Mohau Modisakeng (South Africa)
Zanele Muholi (South Africa)
Marilyn Nance (USA)
Jackie Nickerson (USA)
Logor (Nigeria)
Ruth Ossai (Nigeria)
Leonce Raphael Agbodgelou (Benin)
Tabiso Sekgala (South Africa)
Daniele Tamagni (Italy)
Stephen Tayo (Nigeria)

Osaretin Ugiagbe (Nigeria/USA) Giya
Makondo-Wills (UK/South Africa)
Amina Zoubir (France/Algeria)
Liz Johnson Artur (Russia/Ghana)

We’re in for a treat with these incredible African art exhibitions

Save the Date – Lagos Photo 2017 :24th November – 15th December 2017

Victor Ehikhamenor


24th November 2017 – 20th January 2018

We’ve seen some images from the opening of “In the Kingdom of this World” and it’s a must see.The exhibition draws its title from a work of historical fiction by Cuban novelist Alejo Carpentier, who suggested that “man finds his greatness, his fullest measure, only in The Kingdom of This World.” The novel uses Carpentier’s distinctive mode of “marvellous realism” to explore colonial and post-colonial history through the prism of different cultural perspectives, challenging the boundary between reality and narrative.

Ehikhamenor’s new work considers themes of colonial and religious hierarchies and the interaction of people, palace and society across the intersecting histories of the Benin Kingdom and the British Empire. As in Carpentier’s novel, the official history and its supposed reality is subverted by the outlandish and the surreal. The exhibition is now open at Tyburn gallery London.


Njideka Akunyili Crosby


18th NOVEMBER 2017 – 25th FEBRUARY 2018

Prospect.4, is a citywide exhibition that opens November 16-19, 2017 in New Orleans. There are so many reasons why you should know about Njideka Akunyili-Crosby – surreal! You can also find her works across the world in the following hot spots:

  • Prospect.4, New Orleans, from 18 Nov
  • Predecessors, Tang Teaching Museum, Saratoga Springs, NY, until 30 Dec
  • Counterparts, Baltimore Museum of Art, until 18 MarchNjideka Akunyili Crosby_Prospect_TheGlowingColours

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