As interest in African Modern and contemporary art continues to rise globally, the second edition of AKAA (Also Known As Africa) opens in Paris this week (10-12 November) with galleries from five more countries in the continent exhibiting: Angola, Angola, Ivory Coast, Senegal, Tunisia and Uganda.
Out of the 38 galleries at Carreau du Temple, a former indoor market near Place de la République, 20 are first-time exhibitors. With 28 countries represented–22 from Africa and six from Europe–AKAA is catching up with 1:54, the fair dedicated to African art which has expanded from the London original to New York, and now debuts in Marrakech in February 2018. AKAA features a section on African design, while workshops, talks, book signings and a project by the South African artist, Lady Skollie, are in the lower level.
With 150 artists exhibited, AKAA takes place against a backdrop of heightened commercial and institutional interest in African art. This summer, Fondation Louis Vuitton held exhibitions on South African artists and Jean Pigozzi’s collection of art from the continent, and Musée Dapper presented a show on Soly Cissé, the Senegalese multimedia artist. Currently, Fondation Cartier has an exhibition on the late Malian photographer Malick Sidibé (until 28 February). Sotheby’s London also held its first sale dedicated to Modern and Contemporary African art in May this year, which totalled $3.61m with fees. Read more