Retro Africa is a contemporary art gallery based in Abuja, Nigeria, that was created in 2015 as a community of art enthusiasts, curators and collectors, headed by founder and creative director Dolly Kola-Balogun.
Retro Africa's curatorial program continues to highlight the depth and breadth of contemporary African art within Nigeria and the international art scene. With an emphasis on exhibitions, international art fairs and intra-gallery curatorial collaborations in cities such as New York, Cape Town, Marrakech, Lagos and London, our ethos is centred on a desire to explore local stories, re- contextualise the African individual in the modern era, retrieve lost communitarian heritage and highlight the ever overlooked African narrative within history and within the afro-futuristic imagination Our aim is to spread awareness and encourage a cycle of growth and learning within African art in our quest to provide a platform for emerging and established contemporary artists.
Retro Africa equally organises public outreach programs, workshops and residencies in collaboration with our partners in the industry, aimed at sensitising the younger generation to the merits of visual arts, their career options and potential global influence.
These established and emerging artists are contributing to the remarkable evolution of the continent’s creative industry. Africa’s contemporary art scene is being paved by an extraordinary list of ingenious creatives whose aesthetic, innovation and intellect has shaped the industry for a future generation. Through visual arts they have been empowered to interpret and portray Africa’s socio-political realities, economic challenges, rich history, traditions and diverse beauty, these leading and emerging artists continue to influence the evolution of contemporary art in Africa.
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The Institute of Contemporary African Art & Film (ICAAF) in Ilorin, Nigeria, is to be a purpose-built cultural museum of visual and cinematic arts, with post-production studios, facilities and screening room, art galleries and studio workshop. The foundation of ICAAF marks a historically significant moment in Nigeria as the first visual art institution of international significance in Nigeria. ICAAF is founded under the advisory of Dolly Kola-Balogun, Founder and Creative Director of Retro Africa gallery and Co-Founder of Atelier Hotels, Dolly is the first Gallery Director to successfully plan and execute a visual art institution of this significance in Nigeria from the ground up. The project is currently on site at 60% completion and set to launch in spring 2022.
Nigeria has been the cultural powerhouse of West Africa for decades, but now its makers have begun to receive attention on the global stage. The country's artists are reaching fresh audiences through the five-year-old Art X Lagos fair each fall and at expos overseas, while performers such as Wizkid and Burna Boy are bagging Grammys Stateside with their infectious Afrobeats. Nigeria's enormous film industry, a.k.a. Nollywood, is also receiving international acclaim. Here's a snapshot of the scene right now.
The Kwara State has revealed that the Institute of Contemporary African Art & Film (ICAAF) is 60 percent complete and scheduled to launch in Nigeria in spring 2022. ICAAF is a purpose-built museum for visual and cinematic arts in Ilorin, featuring post-production studios, a film screening room and lecture hall, and co-working spaces. The museum will house art galleries for curated exhibitions, as well as a café, sculpture garden, and bookshop selling books about art, culture, film and architecture.