The evolution of the contemporary art scene in the continent of Africa is immense. Over the years, the industry has continuously churned out enthusiastic and dynamic individuals who use their works to showcase the depth of African culture, heritage and tradition. In this write up, we preview some of the top contemporary art centres on the continent and their locations
First Floor Gallery, Harare, Zimbabwe: First Floor Gallery, Mercury House, 24 George Silundika Avenue, Harare, Zimbabwe, +263 4 251 502
The First floor gallery was founded in 2009 and is the first gallery run independently by emerging artists in the country. It is situated in the centre of the country’s capital city Harare and has become a well-known centre for fine arts, film, poetry, and music events. For artists, the gallery is known to organize lots of art classes, workshops and interactive events to provide an avenue for local and international artists to network. Local artists such as Moffat Takadiwa, Wycliffe Mundopa, and Mavis Tauzeni are known to exhibit their works regularly at this gallery.
Eureka Galerie (Ivory Coast): Eureka Galerie, Rue Marconi, Zone 4C, Abidjan, Ivory Coast, +225 21 35 08 08
The Eureka Galerie displays sculptures, paintings, antique masks, traditional fabrics etc from different countries with particular emphasis on the local industry in the Ivory coast. This gallery is situated in the bustling city of Abidjan. Over the years, the gallery has displayed local works such as Salif Diabagaté and Djédjé Mel, works from the continent such as that from the distinguished Ghanaian painters Gabriel Eklou and Samkobee and international works an example of which is Jean Claude Heinen.
Matisse Art Gallery, Marrakech, Morocco (Matisse Gallery, 61 Rue Yougoslavie, Passage Ghandouri, Marrakech, Morocco, +212 524 448 326)
This is another prime gallery to visit on the continent. The gallery is named after one of the greatest artist in history “Henri Matisse”. It is known for its exquisite and unique design thus making it easy visitors to navigate their way around the gallery. It is one of the oldest and most sophisticated art galleries in the country. The gallery endeavours to promote budding and popular Moroccan artists such as Farid Belkahia and Hassan El Glaoui, and calligrapher Noureddine Daifallah. To enhance its reputation, the gallery owns a website where interested persons can visit to learn more of the site (http://www.matisseartgallery.com).
Goodman Gallery, Johannesburg and Cape Town, South Africa Goodman Gallery, 163 Jan Smuts Avenue, Parkwood, Johannesburg, South Africa, +27 11 788 1113, Fairweather House (3rd Floor), 176 Sir Lowry Rd, Woodstock, Cape Town, South Africa, +27 21 462 7573
Amongst the plethora of art galleries in the country, the Goodman gallery definitely stands out. Established in 1966, the gallery has continuously provided an avenue for local and international artist to portray their work. The credibility of this gallery was particularly enhanced during the apartheid period when stringent laws to curb the display of artwork were enacted. The gallery particularly stuck to its ethos during this period by continually providing opportunities for different people across the world to showcase their work.
Omenka Gallery Lagos Nigeria (Omenka Gallery, 24 Modupe Alakija Crescent, Lagos, Nigeria, +234 1 818 45 53331)
The exquisite Omenka Gallery is situated in the commercial city of Lagos. The gallery showcases the best of local artist in Nigeria such as Abass Kelani, Okhai Ojeikere and other international artists like Owusu-Ankomah. The collections of one of the country’s finest painters Ben Enwuonwu can also be found in the gallery. The gallery organizes exhibitions regularly to provide opportunities to young and established artists to showcase their work.
Galerie El Marsa, La Marsa, Tunisia Galerie El Marsa, 2 al-Marsa 2070,Tunisia, +216 71 74 05 72
The El MArsa was established in 1994 with the specific aims of creating interest in Arab art, encouraging discussions among top personalities in the industry and to foster relationships with the world. The gallery showcases features which amplify the rich culture and heritage of the region. It has participated in notable exhibitions across the world such as Paris, Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Marrakech, and Miami, amongst others. The gallery recently set up a branch in Dubai thus highlighting the importance it places on international collaborations. Its proximity to the shoreline makes visitors to this gallery thrilled.
Banana Hill Art Gallery, Nairobi, Kenya Banana Hill Art Gallery, Banana Raini Road, Nairobi, Kenya, +254 711 756 911
The Banana Hill Art Gallery was founded by Rahab and Shine Tani in 1994 to provide an avenue for Kenyan artistes who hitherto didn’t have a platform to showcase their work. Steadily, this gallery has risen starting with an initial member base of twelve artists to over seventy as at 2012. What started as a platform for local artists has also gradually embraced participants from the region and the continent at large. The gallery describes the art works displayed at their facility as full of life. It gives participants the free will to exhibit their works without any hindrance. The facility is located on the outskirts of Nairobi and provides a perfect spot for vacationists and art lovers.
Zoma Contemporary Art Centre, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (ZCAC, P.O.Box 6050, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, +251 91 124 9374)
The facility was named after Zoma Shifferaw a young Ethiopian artist who died of cancer in 1979. It was founded by Elias Sime, a contemporary artist himself of Ethiopian origin. The centre aims to facilitate multidisciplinary exchange of contemporary art, promote international collaborations and instil in Ethiopians the art culture. The centre was listed in 2014 by the New York Times as one of the top places to visit in Addis Ababa. It has two locations, one in Addis Ababa and other in the small Harla town.