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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Hailing from Lagos, London-based multidisciplinary artist Ken Nwadiogbu recently graduated from the Royal College of Art with an MA in Painting. On his canvases, stories are superimposed in manifold layers. Nwadiogbu explores weighty themes in unfettered colour, inviting us to address matters from Black representation and identity to displacement and socio-political control. Open now and running until 25 November 2023, Abuja-based gallery Retro Africa presents a collaboratively organised exhibition by the artist at Kristin Hjellegjerde Gallery, London.
An art fair specialising in works from Africa and its diaspora is launching its first Asian project in Hong Kong next March. The London-based 1-54 fair, so called because there are 54 countries in Africa today, announced on Thursday that it would make its first foray into Asia to provide more access to African art there amid growing interest from the region’s collectors.
A series of figures – rendered in a blazing colour palette of red, orange and yellow – emerge from or descend into textured, abstract backgrounds. These are the personal memories of the London-based, Nigerian artist Ken Nwadiogbu – portraits of ephemeral moments that have burnt themselves into his mind and continue to shape his perspective of the world around him. Fragments of reality, Nwadiogbu’s first solo exhibition at Kristin Hjellegjerde Gallery, reflects on the artist’s experiences of adjusting to life in London, of building a sense of community and longing for home. The exhibition is curated by Dolly Kola-Balogun in collaboration with Retro Africa.