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10 Top Stories in 2023 that got us talking!

It was a great year for African Art! With so much happening in the Art Industry, African art and artists had extraordinary achievements to celebrate, innovations to admire, and challenges that gave light to new opportunities on the continent and on the international stage.

As African artists, and art became more prominent at exhibitions, museums, fairs, and art spaces, we narrowed down 10 of the top stories that took centre stage in 2023.


Julie Mehretu's 'Walkers With the Dawn and Morning' is an undoubted masterpiece–and resulted in a new auction record for the artist when it sold for $10.7 million at Sothebys New York during the Now Evening Auction, presented in partnership with Samsung U.S.


Lola Mewu, a Nigerian lawyer turned artist, set a new Guinness World Record for the longest painting marathon by an individual. She completed the feat of 82 hours, beating the previous record of 60 hours set by Roland Palmaerts in 2013.

Chris Soap, The branch wants to keep on branding


Ghanaian-born photographer Prince Gyasi became the first African to shoot the Pirelli calendar. The 28-year-old will assemble the esteemed annual Calendar, also known as "The Cal" for the 2024 calendar year.

Alex Burke Library 2008 Library with 144 dolls and a bigger dolls on a basis


Mosope Olaosebikan, the Founder of Art Tech District opened the Discovery Museum, the first West African museum where history and culture are preserved and showcased in a digital format.

Khadija Jayi, The relics of the earth 043, 2023, B ... ed paper, plastic and acrylic, 106x86,5x10 cm


Renowned architect Sir David Adjaye stepped back from some of his public roles, such as his architectural adviser position to the mayor of London after being accused of sexual misconduct by three former employees.


Chiwoniso "Chi" Kaitano succeeded Philip Himberg as the new executive director of MacDowell Artist Residency, the oldest and first artist residency program in the United States. Kaitano is the 10th person and the first Black person to lead the organization since its founding in 1907.

Jill Berelowitz, Gaia Maquette, Bronze, 2022, Edition of 9, 71 x 20 cm.


Fast-rising sculptor, Julien Creuzet, becomes the first French-Caribbean artist to claim the French pavilion, as France's representative for the 2024 Venice Biennale.


The VIA Art Fund named British-Ghanaian Curator and Writer, Osei Bonsu, the VIA Curatorial Fellowship 2023 Recipient, receiving a $25,000 grant to support his curatorial research and travel.


Tate Modern welcomed a monumental installation masterpiece by Ghanian sculptor and, one of the most acclaimed artists in African history, El Anatsui. Best known for his metallic sculptures constructed from thousands of recycled bottle tops, this massive cascading work fuses local aesthetic traditions with the global history of abstraction as well as political, social and environmental concerns around consumption, national identity and trade.


Christie's collaborates with Nigeria's Museum of West African Art (MOWAA) raised funds for the museum and a new creative district in Benin city, among other initiatives.

Artists including Yinka Shonibare CBE, Kehinde Wiley, Tunji Adeniyi-Jones donated artworks which were auctioned off at Christie's 20th / 21st Century: London Evening Sale (13 October, 2023) and the Post-War and Contemporary Art Day Sale (14 October, 2023) during London's Frieze week.

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10 Top Stories in 2023 that got us talking!

December 31, 2023

Art Report Africa

3 min read

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