The 11th edition of Art Dubai, an international art fair with roots in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia opens in four weeks, that is March 15th, 2017. The acclaimed global and innovative fair feature modern and contemporary art sections, and a programmes list offering audiences the opportunity to discover diverse art through histories and across geographies.

For the 2017 edition, 78 galleries will present well-curated solo or group shows in the Contemporary halls. Audiences will be able to discover artists from galleries spanning across the world from Sao Paulo to Melbourne, including the largest exhibition of contemporary art from the UAE region.

Art Dubai Modern, now in its fourth edition will present museum-quality works by masters from the Middle-East, South Asia and Africa, whose work has been influential throughout the 20th century. The section will showcase 15 galleries with solo or two-person exhibits including London-based African gallery, TAFETA. The well-known gallery is showing the works of two Nigerian masters, Ben Osawe and Muraina Oyelami.

The sculptor Ben Osawe was one of the most outstanding artists of his generation. Like several of his Nigerian contemporaries, Osawe brought traditional Nigerian influences together with the formal language of European classical modernism. He was initially taught by his father, who at the time was a sculptor at the court of the king of Benin, Oba Eweka II. In his 20s he moved to London to study at the School of Graphic Art (1956-59) and the Camberwell School of Arts and Crafts (1960-65). In 1965, he was selected to represent Nigeria at the Commonwealth Festival in Glasgow. He returned to Lagos, Nigeria in 1966 before moving to Benin City in 1979, where he worked in a variety of media including cement, wood, clay and metal.

Described by many as a poetic painter with a romantic touch, Muraina Oyelami’s works are a representation of his experiences, stories, folktales and landscapes. He is one of the pioneer members of the famous Oshogbo Art Movement whose works reflect composition and meaning. His work has been shown at different prestigious art institutions including Smithsonian Institute, Washington DC; Staatlichen Kunsthalle, Berlin; Studio Museum in Harlem, New York;  Museum of African Art, and Institute of Contemporary Arts, London.

Muraina Oyelami, Immortal, 1972, Oil on paper, 47.5x35cm, Courtesy of the Artist and TAFETA

Muraina Oyelami, Immortal, 1972, Oil on paper, 47.5x35cm, Courtesy of the Artist and TAFETA

TAFETA is a private art dealership specialising in 20th Century and Contemporary African Arts. It is one of the leading purveyors of important 20th-century artists of African extraction such as Ben Enwonwu MBE, Ablade Glover, Susanne Wenger, Muraina Oyelami, and Gebre K. Desta. TAFETA also represents young contemporary artists.

Art Dubai will take place from March 15 – 18, 2017.