Afr-i-can Contemporary Art gallery, an informal and unconventional viewing experience, has its grand opening in the iconic American Cement Building on Wednesday, May 24, 2017 and the viewing will remain open until June 30, 2017.
The inaugural show, Presentation 001, will highlight the works of nine contemporary Nigerian artists including Sam Ebohon, whose richly colored brushstrokes create kaleidoscope-like works; Obinna Makata, who was trained as a sculptor and integrates traditional fabrics with ink and acrylic to ex-plore daily life, social issues, and cultural identity in Nigeria; Joshua Nmesirionye, whose textured paintings depict the current state of Northern Nigeria fifteen years after the rise of Boko Haram; and Art X Lagos award-winning photographer David Dosunmi.
The exhibit also includes work by Diseye Tantua whose dynamic and figurative style has been de-fined as Afro-Pop Art; Kehinde Sanwo who is known for his documentation of old Lagos architecture, uses oil, watercolor, charcoal, pastel, or abstract photography to render his environment; oil painter Emeka Nwagbara whose work is composed of quotidian life that captures the movement and expression of the human experience; watercolorist Olufemi Oyewole who captures quiet in-between moments of life with meticulous attention to the play of light on his subjects; and Olusegun Adejumo who is an acclaimed and prominent Nigerian artist.
The exhibition is curated by social entrepreneur and founder of Afr-i-can Contemporary Art, (ACA) Olufemi Ibitayo. “After first moving to Los Angeles,” Ibitayo recounts, “I found myself in beautiful houses, perfectly decorated — except for the lack of art. Art that actually reflected the owners’ identities,” he explains. “It just wasn’t there. I realized it was an issue both of lack of accessibility and lack of exposure.”
Each presentation will be on view within Ibitayo’s loft at the iconic midcentury American Cement Building. The loft was designed in partnership with Modloft, an international furniture and design company that works with a hand-selected team of designers from across the world to create inno-vative pieces that are stylish, sophisticated, and carefully crafted.
“I’ve always enjoyed viewing art in the context of a living space rather than in a gallery or museum,” said Ibitayo “There’s so much more intimacy seeing art in a home, and it is where artwork really comes alive — it is in those moments, for example, while having a cup of tea, that you have the chance to really live with a piece, to let it unfold over time and experience its facets. This is the kind of contact with art that I want to share with people, especially considering how rare it is to encounter contemporary African art. “
By presenting art in the context of an actual living space, ACA seeks to challenge the status quo of how art is traditionally exhibited, with the particular intention to help new and established collectors visualize how they might live with Contemporary African Art.
ACA will exhibit emerging, mid-career, and established African artists creating contemporary works on paper, paintings, fine art photography, encaustic and assemblage. By focusing on various medi-ums of art, Afr-i-can Contemporary Art aims to create a visual portal to the continent and diaspora.
ACA will officially be located at 2404 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles California by appointment and invitation only.