Touria El Glaoui on Contemporary African Art, on 1-54 Art Fair, the Visibility of Art and Changing the NarrativePRESS October 17, 2019
ART BREATH - INTERVIEW
Touria El Glaoui on Contemporary African Art, on 1-54 Art Fair, the Visibility of Art and Changing the Narrative
If you missed out on this year's 1-54 art fair, fear not it'll be back. First in Morocco in February, then in New York in spring and back again to London next autumn. You may though be distressed on the idea that you missed out on so much great art. Luckily there are pictures and it'll give you an idea but nothing does enough justice to the brilliant art on display, than experiencing it in person.
Each year, at each fair, the art takes on the sensitivities of the world, the political and social notions and issues we need to discuss and know about. Through the images, the drips of colours, the threads or the sculpted, those conversations are to be found there, in the art. And amongst the layers of art, the brushstrokes, the installations, the hustle, the bustle, the corridors, the stairs, you will find the passion and integrity of the art and the galleries. The path leads back to the passion of the founder of 1-54, a passion for art that shines out of Touria El Glaoui and for the reasons behind the fair: to showcase contemporary African art and in turn change the narrative of the History of Art (as is currently being taught). Our conversation started by talking about how it all began...
milleworld features Mohamed Lekleti in '5 North African Artists to Watch at 1-54'PRESS October 6, 2019
Mille World - ART
5 North African Artists to Watch at 1-54
By Amina Kaabi POSTED 1 October, 2019
The annual acclaimed contemporary African art fair is here. London is buzzing with contemporary African art this week, and for once it hasn’t been looted (looking at you, British Museum). It’s all thanks to the art world’s most anticipated African art fair, 1-54.
Since its founding in 2013, no platform has championed African artists as ethically as 1-54. And its seventh edition is gearing up to open this week, and by the looks of it, it might be their most exciting year yet.
For this year’s edition, which is set to take place at Somerset House on October 3, 45 international galleries will head to the British capital to exhibit the work of over 140 artists from across the globe, with a strong focus on a new wave of contemporary North African artists.
“We are delighted with the exciting line-up of galleries for our seventh edition in London,” says Touria El Glaoui, the fair’s founder and director in a statement.
If you’re heading over to London, these are the North African artists you need to keep an eye out for.
Apollo Magazine features Péju Alatise in 'Frieze week highlights: dried cod and the crispness of Caulfield'PRESS September 28, 2019
Apollo Magazine - ART MARKET
Frieze week highlights: dried cod and the crispness of Caulfield
By Samuel Reilly POSTED 27 September 2019
With hundreds of exhibitions and events vying for your attention in London during Frieze week, Apollo’s editors pick out the shows they don’t want to miss.
‘Péju Alatise: Memoirs of the Forgotten’ at Sulger-Buel Gallery (until 31 October)
Alatise’s recent sculptures are at once elegiac and defiant, lamenting the gradual decline of Yoruba traditions while offering hope of reverse, and renewal. This small but powerful solo show centres upon If Nigeria will not Wear her Own Cloth She Deserves to go Naked (2019) – a monumental frieze of acrylic on canvas, granite, and scorched wood. Reading from left to right, the geometric designs, referencing traditional textiles and vividly rendered in acrylic, are pared away to expose a barren, broken world – but read the other way, they tell a tale of redress. Work by the Nigerian artist will also be on show at Sulger-Buel’s stand at 1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair.
First Issue of BizArt Magazine features Vivien Kohler 'Found Objects'PRESS July 1, 2019
Business and Arts South Africa - BIZART_ZA - Issue_01 - Winter/Spring 2019
FOUND OBJECTS: The Figurative Works of Vivien Kohler
I am fascinated both by the ability of the human spirit to transcend ‘the conceptual decay’, and the unique liminality of the post-apartheid South African city. My works illuminate the contrasts of lived experiences by showing people mentally cocooned from, yet physically enveloped by, life’s detritus. I incorporate, cast and paint discarded, packaging material as a signifier of transience, migration and displacement of people on the ‘periphery’.
— Vivien Kohler
Experimental mixed media painter, Vivien Kohler, makes art that is infused with South African complexity. Socio-political ripples and reflections are inherent in his work but rise from the pieces rather than being the point of them. At the simplest level Kohler takes found objects and transforms them into something new. His work ranges from figurative snapshots of urban South Africa through to the abstract and metaphorical. His mid-career work features sleeping human forms surrounded by their stuff. The forms look like the cardboard Kohler has found in the throwaway corners of the city but they are actually realistically painted images of those finds. As such they offer neatly re-contextualised snapshots of the shrouded figures most South African encounter every day in their peripheral social vision.
Zim artists' pavilion marvels thousands in VenicePRESS June 24, 2019
ZBC News Online - Entertainment and Arts
Zim artists' pavilion marvels thousands in Venice
Zimbabwean visual artists who recently attended the Venice Bienale Arts Exhibition have returned home after acquiring fresh ideas on how to come up with internationally rated artworks.
While in Venice, Italy, the Zimbabwean Pavilion left various visitors amazed at the narrative that was being exhibited.
Based on the theme: “Soko Risina Musoro”, derived from the late nationalist Hebert Chitepo’s poems, the Zimbabwean exhibition marveled those who passed through the stand at the showcase.
Neville Starling and Georgina Maxim said attending the Venice Bienale left them yearning to start working hard being exposed to various ideas and knowledge from other international artists.
“It was a great experience and getting to see the ideas behind other artists’ work was mind blowing,” said Starling.
“Art is a beautiful thing and it gets even better when you interact with other international artist whom you can learn one or two things from and incorporate it into your work,” said Maxim.
Al Arab Magazine reviews the Group Exhibition 'YMA (Young Moroccan Artists)'PRESS June 12, 2019
Al Arab Magazine
Contemporary art transcends the tradition of skill, style and rules of the continent
By Dr Charafdine Majdouline PUBLISHED 12 June 2019 (Page 15)
Translated from Arabic with Google Translate
Art is linked to an emergency cultural perception connected to the exploits of the consuming society and the chaotic market system
Human creativity and art are no longer dependent on the identity of the identity, but rather on a common denominator, especially with the emergence of the global citizen, following the spread of globalization that created similar societies. Thus, an art that does not place its first bet on identity within its traditional borders appears to be trying to evade all that hinders its universality and its dimensions, issues and methods.
In his book on contemporary art, British historian and art historian Julian Estelabras used a comparative comparison between contemporary art, the market economy and the globalized system, where freedom is irrational and unchecked.
Slipstream News feature Soly Cissé 'Men and Lives'PRESS June 12, 2019
Slipstream - UK - Arts Press
SOLY CISSE: Men and Lives – Sulger Buel Gallery
By Eddie Saint-Jean POSTED 10 June 2019
Senegalese painter and sculptor Soly Cissé presents a body of work which drives expressive channels through figurative subjects – with a tilt towards abstraction. Humour, irony and, of course, colour are underscored emphatically.
The work is an examination of human relations and the human psyche. His subjects are herded in conversation, yet set apart in individual worlds with the inevitable overlap displayed through this ‘Expressive’ use of colour.
Sulger-Buel Gallery, 51 Surrey Row, Unit 2 La Gare, London SE1 0BZ. Exhibition runs 06 June – 31 July 2019.
ARTcapital Ghana features 'Soly Cissé: Probing The Psyche'PRESS June 5, 2019
In addition, there are thick layers or blobs of paint, chaotic brushstrokes and script - letters and numbers which serve to transmit tension and intrigue while possibly telegraphing arcane hermetic messages.
"I think and reflect a lot about humans and their relationships. Relationships between humans, the confrontation between humans and nature, humans and religion and then I challenge myself and experiment", he explains.
Cissé came of age after violent political unrest had hit Dakar and a new future was being negotiated in a piecemeal manner.
Elite Living Africa features Soly Cissé 'Men and Lives'PRESS June 4, 2019
Elite Living Africa - Connoiseur
Soly Cissé’s ‘Men and Lives’ exhibition set to open in Sulger-Buel Gallery
04 June 2019
Bright and bold, Senegalese artist Soly Cissé’s latest exhibition ‘Men and Lives’ will debut in London’s Sulger-Buel Gallery.
Born in 1969, the Senegal-born artist has carefully crafted his career as a painter, draughtsman and sculptor. Influenced by the vibrant culture of his hometown in Dakar, Cissé uses graphic imagery to create fantastical worlds filled with surrealism, cramped space and total disarray. His work has featured in galleries across the globe, including France, Italy, Germany, Switzerland and Spain.
Within ‘Men and Lives’, each picture explores the darker elements of the human experience, embodied with warped faces, deranged silhouettes and startling lack of social interaction between figures. However, Cissé’s playful use of colour provides an undeniable flair to his art, bringing the precariousness of human experience to the forefront with a whirlpool of similar, yet unmerged forms.
Bringing this disharmony to light, Cissé goes so far as to divide some of his canvases in two, providing onlookers with two different perspectives in a manner which is, in equal parts, separate and wholly together.
Elite Living Africa features 'YMA (Young Moroccan Artists)'PRESS May 27, 2019
Young Moroccan Artists exhibition to visit London gallery
Elite Living Africa
An eclectic collection of different concepts and mediums, the YMA (Young Moroccan Artists) exhibition is coming to London’s Sulger-Buel Gallery this month with the support of the Embassy of the Kingdom of Morocco in the UK.
London’s Sulger-Buel Gallery has been responsible for collecting and studying African art since 2014, with its creator Christian Sulger-Buel gaining experience in the field over more than 30 years. With this in mind the travelling YMA exhibition encapsulate the wide range of art being created by upcoming Moroccan artists, with each artist taking inspiration from their unique environments and upbringing for a vast and extensive visual journey.
Among the artists featuring in the exhibition is Nafie Ben Krich. Born in 1988 in the northern city of Tetouan, Nafle is a connoisseur of the absurd and tragic, poking fun at modern consumerism through his drawings and sculptures. One of his strangest and most mesmerising works, Chicken Ball II (pictured above), utilises chicken feathers and gold leaf on polyester mould to create headless and wingless hens: a careful blend of ridiculous and luxurious which is, in equal parts, beautiful and very strange.
Al Araby TV Network Interviews curator Madiha Sebbani about 'YMA (Young Moroccan Artists)' Group ExhibitionPRESS May 22, 2019
Al Araby TV Network - Shubak Program
Al Araby TV Network Interviews curator Madiha Sebbani about 'YMA (Young Moroccan Artists)' Group Exhibition
Aired Live on Al Araby TV Network - 20 May 2019, 17:00 GMT
The YMA is a travelling group exhibition that represents young Moroccan artists working in different media and concepts that are inspired by their own unique environments. The exhibition commences at the Sulger-Buel Gallery in London in May 2019 with the support of the Embassy of the Kingdom of Morocco in the United Kingdom and will then be transported to the KFW-DEG Bank in Cologne in June 2019 as part of their cultural program which had invited Morocco as the feature country this year.
The exhibition aims at fostering a young Moroccan contemporary art scene through a multidisciplinary exhibition of artists from the same generation. The goal of the exhibition is to showcase young creative talent and the artist's sensibilities as both African and global citizens.
Georgina Maxim mentioned by The Art Newspaper: "Venice Biennale 2019: the must-see pavilions around the city'PRESS May 13, 2019
The Art Newspaper - REVIEW - VENICE BIENNALE 2019
Venice Biennale 2019: the must-see pavilions around the city
By Julia Michalska, Hannah McGivern, Ben Luke, Eddy Frankel and Tim Cornwell POSTED 10 May 2019, 17:49 BST
An indoor beach, Mongolian throat singing and ceramic vaginas-where to go beyond the Arsenale and Giardini
Soko Risina Musoro, Neville Starling, Kudzanai-Violet Hwami, Georgina Maxim, Cosmos Shiridzinomwa
Venue: Istituto Provinciale per l'Infanzia, Santa Maria Della Pieta
The theme of the Zimbabwean Pavilion is the corrosion of family life as economic and political pressures force a growing number of people to live estranged lives abroad. Dominating the space are show-stopping paintings by UK-based Kudzanai-Violet Hwami. At 26, Hwami is one of the youngest artists in the Biennale but is already a rising star (she will have her first institutional show at London's Gasworks this autumn). Her work reflects the challenges of diasporic life and the loneliness that accompanies the separation from the native land. Another artist, Georgina Maxim uses handed-down items of clothing to pay tribute to the role that relatives can play in the fortunes of an individual.
Middle East Monitor features 'YMA (Young Moroccan Artists)' curated by Madiha SebbaniPRESS May 8, 2019
Middle East Monitor - Africa, Article, Europe & Russia, Morocco, Opinion
While Europe looks at Moroccan art, Moroccan art looks at Africa
By Naima Morelli POSTED 07 May 2019 at 4:50pm
Art institutions all around the world are paying increasing attention to emerging Moroccan artists.
Today more than ever Morocco is at the centre of political and economic interests. It's not surprising, then, that art institutions all around the world are paying increasing attention to emerging Moroccan artists. These contemporary practitioners are indeed moving in the footstep of a boundless cultural tradition, while also incorporating the fears, hopes and desires for the future of the whole country.
European galleries in particular are not missing the opportunity to let these artists take over their spaces. Enter the Young Moroccan Artists, a group of young talents identified recently by London's Sulger-Buel Gallery through their new exhibition. The show aims to foster a young, contemporary Moroccan art scene displaying the work of artists from the same generation. Working in different media and concepts, their practices are closely tied to their environment, which is at one both peculiarly African and global. A demonstration of Europe's interest in Morocco is that while the exhibition starts in London this month, it will then be transported to the KFW-DEG Bank in Cologne in June as part of its cultural programme, which has Morocco as the featured country this year.
Contemporary And (C&) features 'Georgina Maxim: When Patience Becomes Artistic Currency'PRESS May 2, 2019
Contemporary And (C&) - VENICE 2019
Georgina Maxim: When Patience Becomes Artistic Currency
By Martha Kazungu POSTED 2 May 2019
Zimbabwean Artist Georgina Maxim’s artistic career is soaring exponentially. She was accepted for a master’s degree at Bayreuth University. Then she was nominated, with two other artists, for the prestigious Henrike Grohs Art Award. And now she has been named as one of the four artists whose work will be shown at the Zimbabwe Pavilion at the Venice Biennale. With Ugandan curator Martha Kazungu, she speaks about the patience her stitch art requires, about an artistic haven in Harare, and about the biennale.
Georgina Maxim’s personality and work can be a beautiful mesh, and her energy is always captured in her tapestries. She transforms used and found garments belonging to close relatives and friends into gigantic stories of stitches, memory, and healing. Like a painter using brushstrokes, Maxim avoids using a machine to sew and represent her impulses: She perceives stitches and hand movements as her unique mode of expression.
Diptyk 'African Lights: Advocacy for African radiance'PRESS April 17, 2019
DIPTYK - NEWS
African Lights: Advocacy for African radiance
By Emmanuelle Outtier POSTED 17 April 2019
Translated from French using Google Translate
Initially set up in Paris during COP 21, the traveling exhibition "Lumières d'Afriques" visits Rabat to raise awareness of the energy challenges facing the African continent.
"How is it that this continent is in darkness while the sun is shining all the time? " The paradox raised by the Nigerian artist Emeka Okereke is at the heart of the exhibition" Africas Lights "which brings together around the issue of access to energy, 54 artists, each representing a country on the continent. At the origin of this traveling exhibition initiated by the French NGO African Artists for Development (AAD), there is one observation: Africa has the lowest electrification rate in the world. Only 42% of its population has access to electricity, according to the 2016 World Bank report.
So, how to educate the international audience? With the COP 21 in Paris in 2015, the occasion was too good for Matthias and Gervanne Leridon, founders of AAD and also great fans of contemporary African art. The couple, whose personal collection includes more than 3,000 works, has made use of its network and its friendships made over the course of its acquisitions to convince young designers to lend themselves to the game of ordering and exhibition melting pot .
Art'nBox feature Mohamed Saïd Chair ahead of DESSIN(19)PRESS March 26, 2019
MOHAMED SAÏD CHAIR: DRAWING IN ACTION
By Elora Weill-Engerer
Hemingway dreamed of a contest for the best writer fisted on. So why not a cartoonist fight on a ring? Presented by the Sulger-Buel Gallery of London at the seventh edition of DDESSIN , Mohamed Saïd Chair exhibits a series of gray shades. Produced in the graphite mine, these figurative and satirical works are devoted to the ecosystem of boxers, this athletic universe of contemporary gentlemen clubs where they live.
A gym, empty. The design is structured by the horizontal and vertical lines of the poles, ropes of the ring, punching bags, heavy in the evacuated space. Everything seems hygienic and honest. Open on the outside, the platform gives no possibility to dissimulation and the circle. Yet, in many ways, this calm Olympian does not deceive: a beast slumbers inevitably. Proof of this is the strong underlying narrativity. The stability of the bag contains in power all the possibilities of its setting in motion: straight-punch, uppercut, overhand-punch or hook-punch. The fight will begin, or just concluded. Miss the only protagonists. In these environments, the gray shades of Mohamed Saïd Cher reflect the play of lights on things. Everything shines to welcome the scuffle. And what a presence! Listen, you'll see the thin lace-up shoes on the glossy floor.
Bubblegum Club features 'What is South Africa, even? Vol 2'PRESS February 27, 2019
BUBBLEGUM CLUB - ART & CULTURE
'What is South Africa, even? Vol 2.' // exploring history and nationhood
By Christa Dee
"One of the things I am trying to do with this project is reflect on what it means to be part of this nation, especially one that has so much growing up to do. Considering that ideas of the nation in the past have relied heavily on exclusion, and South Africa's difficulty in coming to terms with the end of colonialism and apartheid, the aim is to try and bring new light to the circumstances that influence our sense of belonging here. I also want to write our history - we know that there are many gaps and that the experiences of everyday people are not always present in historical narratives, the exhibition serves as a way to think through 'historical loss' and also serves as a way to include. The project is really about inclusion."
Hi-Fructose Magazine Feature Slimen El KamelPRESS February 23, 2019
The Multilayered Paintings of Slimen El Kamel
By Andy Smith
Slimen El Kamel’s transcendent paintings are informed by both memory and folklore. The Tunisia artist uses acrylics, embroidery, and other media to craft these multilayered works, each inviting the viewer to unpack his crowded visions. His painting have been said to question “social constraints and the absurdity of violence.”
“His more recent work considers the links between the human body and everyday consumable objects,” Sulger-Buel Gallery says. “El Kamel considers the ways in which virtual and lived reality hinge upon visual and auditory channels of communication. Through figurative, symbolic and abstract forms he creates at once a narrative unfolding on the canvas and a subtle critique of the effects of mass culture on traditional ways of life.”
DIPTYK '1-54 Marrakech: What to collect'PRESS February 22, 2019
DIPTYK - NEWS
1-54 Marrakech: What to collect
By Marie Moignard and Emmanuelle Outtier POSTED 22 February 2019
Translated from French using Google Translate
1-54 Marrakech is an opportunity to (re) discover the diversity of contemporary African creation. Diptyk offers you our selection.
Mythology of strangeness
Singular anthropomorphic creatures haunt the work of Soly Cissé. Trained at the Beaux-Arts in Dakar, the artist quickly freed himself from all academicism and developed a plastic language in which color and material effects reign supreme. His expressionist gesture brings out of the canvas hybrid beings straight out of an unusual and personal mythology. Cissé exhibits regularly abroad. In 2005, he participated in the exhibition "Africa Remix" curated by Simon Njami. Recently, his installation Cotton field presented off the Biennial Dakar 2018 was welcomed by critics.
Mutual Art publishes: 'Women to Collect Now: 1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair Marrakech'PRESS February 18, 2019
MUTUALART - ARTICLE
Women to Collect Now: 1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair Marrakech
By Kemi Olateju POSTED 18 February 2019
This week, 1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair opens its 2019 Marrakech edition. Using data from our new MA Intelligence tool, analyst and MutualArt member Kemi Olateju gives insight into the women to watch at this year's event.
1:54 is an annual art show of African art founded by Touria El Glaoui in 2013. Deriving its name from the 54 countries that constitute the African continent, the art fair is dedicated to contemporary art from Africa and its diaspora with annual editions in London, New York, and Marrakech.
The 2019 calendar kicks off in Marrakech with VIP views beginning on February 21st. Works from 18 international galleries and over 60 established and emerging artists will be presented.
40% of the countries in Africa are represented at this year’s fair. The majority of artists hail from Morocco, Nigeria, and South Africa. This makes for a diverse range of style, media, and subject, though there is perhaps a slight under-representation of East African nations.
The number is still low, but women artists are becoming increasingly represented in contemporary African Art. Almost 25% of the artists on show at this year's Marrakech fair are female-identifying. While this is still far from parity, it does offer a strong balance between established and emerging female artists from diverse backgrounds, working in various media. Here are some prominent examples.
Plataforma de Arte Contemporáneo features Mohamed Saïd ChairPRESS February 12, 2019
PLATAFORMA DE ARTE CONTEMPORÁNEO
Mohamed Saïd Chair at The Nomad Creative Projects
By Séverine Grosjean
Mohamed Saïd Chair is a young Moroccan painter whose work is characterized by the characters "put in a box". In fact, it was during a walk in 2015 that he was first attracted to the cardboard boxes children wear on their faces. The echo of this famous expression "put someone in a box" evokes a state of immobility rather than that of movement. A person is put in a box, frozen and cannot move. Actually, this is used as a metaphor to talk about someone who can not replicate or cope. It is also a reference of the need to classify a certain "normality", a homogeneous reality.
Mohamed Saïd Chair covers the heads of his characters with a cardboard box and manages to capture ordinary scenes of life that reflect human decadence. On the cardboard that replaces the canvas, "a perverse social order produces individuals of the same level, instead of real people with disparate characters". These characters are icons of consumption and "massive conditioning".
SABC News interview provides insight into 'What is South Africa even? Vol 2'PRESS February 15, 2019YOUTUBE - SABC DIGITAL NEWS
What is South Africa even? Vol 2, explores the notion of a country coming to terms with itself as a diverse and complex society. The exhibition aims to reflect on the outdated philosophies of the nation. It features work by Jasmin Valcarcel, Thina Dube, Ronald Muchatuta, Vivien Kohler, Neo Gilder, Andrew Ntshabele and Simphiwe Buthelezi. The exhibition asks what South Africa signifies, for those living in the country in terms of our shared experiences as human beings.
Featured by Obatala as one of "9 contemporary African art exhibitions not to miss in London"Press January 29, 2019
An Arty start to 2019: 9 Contemporary African Art exhibitions not to miss in London
The consistent, upward trajectory of the African Art market shows no signs of abating. If anything, 2019 is promising to be yet again another record-breaking year after an extraordinary 2018.
Despite the dynamism of African cities such as Lagos and Cape Town, London where the leading Contemporary African Art fair 1:54 was launched in 2013, remains for now, one of the most important cities within that segment of the art market.
This year is off to a flying start with a lineup of exciting African Art exhibitions. They are showcasing the vibrant African art scene along with the wide variety of styles and preoccupations of artists hailing from the continent and its diaspora.
Take your diaries out; here are 9 contemporary African art shows not to miss.
Modern Ghana features 'Disarticulations'PRESS January 11, 2019
Wilfred Clarke shares his enthusiasm for 'Disarticulations', a two-person exhibition featuring Mohamed Said Chair & Jean David Nkot which opens on Tuesday 15 January 2019 at Sulger-Buel Gallery.