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The Rise of the African Art Dealer

The Rise of the African Art Dealer

The African art market is growing and its reach is going far wide and further than the African continent. In this article we discuss some of these dynamic emerging art dealers across sub sahara Africa, their notable artists and markets.

1. Artz Gallery (Kenya)

Located in village market Nairobi, Kenya. Artz gallery is operated by American-based art collector Todd Schaffer and his wife and showcases numerous original African art paintings, ornaments and notable artworks from celebrated and rising East African artists. The Gallery has a large online presence with a noteworthy American market presence. Notable artists represented here include Jane Wanjeri, and sought after Kenyan artist Daniel Njoroge.

2. Addis Fine Art (Ethiopia)

Addis Fine Art is an Ethiopian art gallery founded by Mesai Haileleul and Rakeb Sile in 2013. The gallery showcases modern and contemporary art from Ethiopia and the Ethiopian Diaspora. The gallery has a market presence in Europe and in the middle East, and is the home to the contemporary artist “Tadesse Mesfin”, whose painting “Pillars of Life” sold out at the Art Dubai exhibition in 2019.

3. Gallery 1957 (Ghana)

Gallery 1957 is a Ghanaian art gallery that focus on contemporary Ghanaian art founded by Marwan Zakhem. The gallery hosts a programme of exhibitions, installations and showcases contemporary art by the country’s most significant artists. The market size as described by the founder is 20% Ghanaian and 80%  International, which includes countries such as Hong Kong Singapore and Switzerland. The price range for local contemporary art piece ranges between $3,000 and $30,000 at Gallery 1957.  Godfried Donkor a notable Ghanaian contemporary artist is represented in Gallery 1957.

4. Omenka Gallery (Nigeria)

Omenka Gallery is an art gallery representing a selection of established and emerging native and international Nigerian artists working in diverse media. It was founded in Lagos in 2003 by Oliver Enwonwu whose father “Ben Enwonwu”,  was one of Nigeria’s leading modernist artists. Omenka gallery market includes the Middle East, South Africa, USA and Europe. It has a long list of represented artists with notable ones including; Kimathi Donkor, Nathalie Mba Bikoro, Nnenna Okore, Owusu-Ankomah and James Iroha Uchechukwu

5. Carol Lee Fine Art (South Africa)

Carol Lee exhibitions are always known for attracting much attention. Founded and run by Carol Lee in a semi permanent site at Melville, South Africa. The gallery has been showcasing emerging artists alongside leading painters and sculptors since 2000. At Carol Lee fine art exhibition, you find a broad selection of high quality artworks including sculptures, watercolours, oils and prints. Featured artists include Jaco Benade, Jacque Muller, Zollie Phetshane  and Karlien de Villiers. The main market of Carol Lee Fine art is South Africa,

6. Galerie Arte (Senegal)

The Galerie Arte in Dakar, Senegal showcases art and creations from the African continent while also selling contemporary African artworks, African Crafts and Design. It was founded by Joelle le Bussy in 1996 and presents itself as a large space in which contemporary African art, Design and Artistic craftsmanship coexist. Notable artists include Soly Cissé and Viyé Diba.


From Dakar to Nairobi, across the Sahara the art dealers are emerging in numbers. And with the above list we hope you have an idea of the top art dealers pushing the boundaries in sub Saharan Africa.

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