Huge increase in art fair attendance numbers

Art 14 which ran through into March, saw an improvement on numbers of visitors compared to last year’s fair. Fuelled by an impressive media campaign, Art 14 had over 30,000 visitors a 22% rise on last year’s numbers. Nigerian gallery Art house – The space, exhibited a selection of prominent African artists including Sokari Douglas-Camp, Victor Ekpuk, Kainebi Osahenye, George Osodi and Victoria Udondian.

March also sees the return of the bi annual Battersea art fair which will be running from the 13th-16th of March. A popular fair for novice collectors the fair has a cut off price of £4000.

There was another chance to see The Stuart Hall Project at the Institute of Contemporary Arts, London. A portrayal of cultural theorist Stuart Hall by John Akomfrah; Hall, a Jamaican-born cultural theorist and sociologist who lived and worked in the United Kingdom from 1951, was one of the founding figures of the school of thought that is now known as the British Cultural Studies. The film soundtrack features music predominantly from Miles Davis.

The Institute of Contemporary Arts, London will also put on a symposium discussing the work of Amiri Baraka who died earlier this year. Baraka is one of the most respected and widely published black writers of the second half of the 20th century.

The Saatchi Gallery, London is gearing up for Pangaea: New Art from Africa and Latin America, which will open in April. The Saatchi gallery is as controversial as it is influential.  Saatchi having made his name with the YBA’s has an uncanny knack of taking talent and positioning it not only in the centre of the Art Market but in the lives of the everyman, a conversation with any London Black cab driver can confirm this. However in the spirit of no publicity is bad publicity that hopefully an examination of new African and Latin art by such a household name will be nothing but a positive development for the African contemporary art market.

Finally El Anatsui one of the most notable contemporary African artists whose work has been shown in the top international galleries and commands record prices for his pieces at auction; will be exhibiting at the CCA gallery in Lagos. Essentially a retrospective of Anatsui’s work CCA has approached the exhibition from an academic perspective creating a show which aims to show the workings and process behind the works and essentially dissecting the man that has become Africa’s most successful contemporary artist.

Ed Cross, Africa art expert and founder of Ed Cross Fine Art, gave a positive review of the current art market expressing that it was a 'no-brainer that the value of art and culture from Africa will appreciate substantially' see below for full article. READ REPORT

Pierre Ambouche Jours au Benin Tranquilles  
El Anatsui