“Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time.”
– Thomas Merton
There’s a feeling art brings that’s hard to put into words. From brushstrokes of paint to lines made by graphite to art installations. Art lives and breathes and infects all who behold it with a sense of awe and amazement. The Lagos art scene has seen a steady rise over the past few years with increased awareness of the immeasurable value of beautiful artworks. New artists are bursting on the scene, and the consumer base of art in Lagos is growing rapidly. Top-notch exhibitions are being held week in week out at classy galleries that create the perfect viewing experience. If you love art and live in Lagos, these 7 art galleries should be on your must-see list.
Rele Gallery, Onikan
This quaint art gallery located on the Lagos Island is right at home amidst some of Nigeria’s longstanding art houses including the National Museum. Always buzzing with a slight crowd of young and vibrant art lovers, the Rele experience is one not so quickly forgotten.
This space is an unprecedented, unconventional, contemporary art space that offers first-rate African contemporary art for public consumption. The art on display is constantly pushing boundaries and redefining art as we know it challenging us to find meaning beyond the most apparent.
Omenka Gallery, Ikoyi
Ikoyi has its fair share of fine architecture and art evident in everyday structures. This means your sensibilities are already heightened before you even step into Omenka. This leading art gallery in Nigeria with its fine selection of established and emerging contemporary Nigerian and international artists working in diverse media continues to serve up a treat every time you visit.
The gallery is located within the home of celebrated Nigerian artist, Ben Enwonwu MBE, NNOM (1917-94) which lends to its historical and cultural significance. It consists of an exhibition area and a second space, housing one of the finest collections of the artist’s works.
Nike Gallery, Lekki
As soon as you walk into the Nike Gallery, you are immersed into a world of colour and culture. Lagos is her muse and the intricate sculptures, batiks and paintings that litter the gallery tell the story of the lively, chaotic fast-moving city. No one would ever use words like “pleasant” or “relaxing” in reference to the commercial capital of West Africa and the artworks capture the essence of the city: the order in chaos.
Whether you are a specialist in the arts, an enthusiast of African arts or merely interested in a brief immersion in a new culture, Nike offers the opportunity to see Nigeria with fresh eyes.
Terra Kulture, Victoria Island
Since its establishment in 2004 by respected businesswoman and art connoisseur, Bolanle Austen-Peters to promote the richness and diversity of Nigerian Languages, Arts and Culture, Terra Kulture has become the premier recreational destination for those looking for an immersive and definitive Nigerian cultural experience.
Located in the heart of Victoria Island’s buzzing business district, Terra Kulture serves as the recreational and cultural hub of the neighbourhood, as it attracts a diverse crowd from near and afar who come to experience the wide range of unique services that it has to offer. The art gallery has tantalising artworks that are quite refreshing and educational.
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Mydrim Gallery, Ikoyi
Art is more than just beauty. Mydrim celebrates the artist’s liberty to express real, surreal and abstract situations. It provides stimulating and educating pieces that embody nature and the essence of art in human life. You’re welcomed into the gallery by relief sculptures on the border walls that subtly guide you to the richer art experience that awaits inside the building.
The richness of African culture captured in high-quality works of art are plastered all over the walls. Passion, wealth and beauty come together in a superb blend that’s mesmerising to take in. It’s an art lover’s delight.
Red Door Gallery, Victoria Island
A distinctly marked red door welcomes you to Red Door Gallery (that’s kinda obvious isn’t it) and after that point, it’s best to let your aesthetic senses take over. Founded and driven by the belief that art is the ultimate form of expression of man’s innermost thoughts, the art on show strives to give an insight into the mind of its creators.
An overflow of creativity that’s uninhibited by the ramifications of “predictable art” is the hallmark of the gallery and you’re bound to be intrigued by this unique collection. One of the largest private art gallery spaces in Nigeria, Red Door serves collectors, consultants, artists and art enthusiasts alike.
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Nimbus Gallery, Ikoyi
Nimbus is nestled above the new Bogobiri Art House and boasts a contemporary space and terrace for weekly art exhibitions. The gallery and terrace are the ideal places to view exciting new art while enjoying a quiet drink in the most serene atmosphere well away from the madding crowd of the Lagos metropolis.
The modern art gallery, outdoor restaurant and live music stage attracted talented artist and musicians from all over the world. The unending list of famous visitors to the Nimbus includes ; Tony Allen, Jeremy Vine, Richard Quest, Damon Albarn, Asa, Dbanj, Tola Wewe, Ben Osawe and many other leading artists and musicians in Nigeria.
You can also purchase some of the art on display if you want to spruce up your home. Of course, the design of your home is crucial in fitting art into it. You don’t just want the art hanging on a wall, you want it to command attention and add a dash of colour and vibrancy to your decor. Don’t let this stop you from fully enjoying the viewing experience – buying can come later.