This spring, New York-based painter Kehinde Wiley (of Obama portrait fame) opened Black Rock Senegal. Attracting visitors from around the world, the live/work space, touting 20-foot double doors atop an ocher cliff, opened visitors' eyes to Dakar's rich and modern art scene.
As locals know, Senegal's capital city has become a destination for contemporary African art with events including the Biennial of Dak'Art and the Parcours, becoming staples on the global art calendar. Here, 6 art galleries to visit next time you are in Dakar.
Loman Art House
Loman Art House was founded in 2011 by Loman Pawlitschek, a self-taught artist born in Cape Town. Upon moving to Dakar, she was struck by the city’s bold public art and artists. She opened her home for art exhibitions by local artists with a focus on urban pop and included her own work. The space has been transformed into an art gallery that showcases the multifaceted culture of Dakar and the surrounding communities. New works include 3-D, interactive designs, home furnishings, and accessories.
Oh Gallery is an essential place for contemporary art in the Senegalese capital. The gallery hosts numerous exhibitions, artists and unique events with a confidential address, revealed only by appointment. The secrecy surrounding the space adds to its allure and gives each visitor an opportunity to spend a special moment in the gallery, and have a customized experience.
Galerie Arte was established by art veteran Joëlle le Bussy, and is centered around the owner's personal culture, a mixture of African and European heritage. Displayed works include handcrafted jewelry, conceptual home decor, furniture, and more with a focus on recycled material. The gallery also houses a cabinet-making workshop.
La Galerie Antenna
Claude Everle founded La Galerie Antenna
in 1972. It was the first art gallery in Senegal and a noted first for sub-Saharan Africa. The gallery is dedicated to vintage African tribal art as well as new takes on the medium. With a focus on the evolution of the West and Central African regions, it also holds space for young artists at the Dakar School of painting and sells antiques such as 18th Century glass beaded necklaces.
Galerie Cecile Fakhoury
Galerie Cecile Fakhoury tells the story of an expansive and diverse Africa through paintings and sculptures in a minimal setting. The gallery collaborates with other art spaces from across the continent through its programming which includes solo shows and participation at international art fairs. Branches of the gallery can be found in the Ivory Coast and Paris.
Maison Ousmane Sow
Maison Ousmane Sow Art is dedicated to the works of the late Senegalese art giant, Ousmane Sow. The space, opened to the public in 2018, doubles as a studio and gallery, inviting visitors to put themselves in the Sow’s shoes. Sow is celebrated for his ability to bring African stories to life through sculpture and his heavy, expressive figures. The art gallery features small Nuba sculptures, original works, and unfinished works.
Writer - Quiana Lawrence-Ivey
Quiana Lawrence-Ivey is a New Jersey-based writer.