LONDON — Though Touria El Glaoui is the daughter of Hassan El Glaoui, the celebrated Moroccan figurative painter who died in June, she never thought she would end up working in the art world. In fact her father tried to steer her, and her three older sisters, away from the creative sector because he knew how hard it was to make a career in visual arts.
It worked for a while. After Ms. El Glaoui completed an M.B.A. in New York, she worked first in banking and then moved to London, traveling between the Middle East and Africa on business development projects. But after organizing and cocreating a few exhibitions of her father’s work, including a major retrospective in Casablanca in 2010, she got the inspiration to create an art fair focused around contemporary African art.
This year marks the fifth anniversary of the founding of 1-54 in London, which will take place during Frieze Week at London’s Somerset House with over 40 galleries from the African continent, Europe and the United States. 1-54 is also now an annual event on New York’s art calendar (it also runs in tandem with Frieze New York in May) and in February this year the inaugural 1-54 Marrakesh opened at the five-star La Mamounia hotel.
Ms. El Glaoui, 43, who was raised in Morocco, talked over lunch about the fair. The conversation has been edited and condensed.
NAIROBI, Kenya — The artists who make up the art collective Brush Tu are a convivial bunch, trading jabs and funny anecdotes in the midmorning sun on the back patio of their studios and exhibition space in the neighborhood of Buruburu. But Michael Musyoka, a painter and co-founder of the group, said that being introduced at family weddings as an artist could be a bit tricky. Read more
COPENHAGEN — While many companies across the globe have art collections and some even hold art exhibitions within their public spaces, what is happening at Denmark’s Aquaporin is unique. Since June, the water technology purification company — in collaboration with the Danish artistic, curatorial and research collective Diakron — has hosted Primer, an exhibition space that is within its open-plan factory, laboratory and offices. Read more
JOHANNESBURG — Unlike many professional artists who know from an early age that art is their calling, Nandipha Mntambo never thought seriously about it as a future profession.
She grew up in South Africa during apartheid, and her father was a Methodist pastor (he is now a bishop). Though her family is black, they lived in white communities because of her father’s job. That experience has played into much of her art, the concepts of identity and the fluidity of persona. Read more