All Eyes on ART X LAGOS 2019


Yinka Olatunbosun

As the gates at the Federal Palace Hotel and Casino open today to art connoisseurs, ART X LAGOS will reaffirm its place as West Africa’s Premier Art Fair. Starting with the VIP previewand opening today, the general public will be able to access the venue on Saturday November 2 and Sunday November 3 to experience unique art forms that include media arts, performance, paintings, sculptures and the conversation segment called, “Art X Talks”. Excitement is promised with three performance art projects namely “Water Work” by Eca Eps, “Mirror Mirror” by Taiwo Aiyedogbon and “If Not For A Child” by Ngozi Schommers.

The VIP opening is usually a night of surprises. Last edition, the rediscovered Ben Enwonwu’s masterpiece, “Adetutu” was loaned by Access Bank for the opening. As the suspense heightens, THISDAY had a brief chat with Ugoma Adegoke of Bloom Art on the contribution of Art X to the Art scene in Lagos.

“ART X Lagos has become an important annual event that continues to garner the attention, and subsequently, presence of international artists, cultural producers, collectors, to the Nigerian art scene, especially with the steadily growing interest in African art. This fosters cultural and idea exchange between Nigerians and other nationals.

With the presence of a fair, more people become aware of and appreciate the business potential of the art sector. They also become more exposed to the various interpretations and expressions artists adopt in creating their works. In this, lies the subtle opportunity to faze out the bias and prejudice many Nigerians may have against art, making them understand that art is important, dynamic, and of course multi-dimensional,” she said.

Bloom Art gallery has been a regular gallery at the Art X space which is dedicated to pushing the boundaries of modern African culture by working with experimental artists with unique techniques.

“We are passionate about documenting both contemporary and modern art stories through curated and dynamic exhibitions and talks all which are accompanied by publications – adding to the canon of archival material which we hope will reference points for decades to come,” Adegoke added.

For her, showing Nigerian artists on a strong platform such as Art X is one way to champion the growth of art in Nigeria.
Founded in 2016 by Tokini Peterside, ART X Lagos was designed to showcase the best and most innovative contemporary and modern art from the African continent and its diaspora. Art X Talks had featured leading international artists of Nigerian origin such as Bruce Onobrakpeya, Njideka Akunyili-Crosby and Yinka Shonibare.