Gallery 1957 is a new gallery dedicated to contemporary art, opening on 6 March 2016 in Accra, Ghana.
Founded by Marwan Zakhem, the gallery has evolved from over 15 years of private collecting. With an initial curatorial focus on contemporary Ghanaian art, the gallery will present a programme of exhibitions, installations and performances by the region’s most significant artists under the creative direction of Nana Oforiatta Ayim. The 140 sq. metre space is located within the newly built Kempinski Hotel Gold Coast City, and is named after the year Ghana gained independence.
Gallery 1957 will open with a performance and installation by Ghanaian artist Serge Attukwei Clottey. Clottey is the founder of Ghana’s GoLokal performance collective and the creator of Afrogallonism, an artistic concept commenting on consumption within modern Africa through the utilisation of yellow gallon containers. Gallery 1957’s upcoming programme will include collaborations with Zohra Opoku, Jeremiah Quarshie, Yaw Owusu, and other artists currently bridging the gap between local and international practices. In the future, the gallery will also exhibit younger and older generations of Ghanaian artists, alongside artists from the Diaspora and wider international artistic communities. The introduction of Gallery 1957 strengthens the presence of existing independent structures thriving currently in Accra, including Accra dot Alt, FCA, the Nubuke Foundation, and ANO.
The gallery offers an ideal location for both local audiences and international visitors to discover new artists, and to gain a deeper understanding of the breadth of their practice through curated exhibitions; furthermore Gallery 1957’s exhibition programme will also strive to expand outside the gallery walls into public places.
Marwan Zakhem’s private collection of contemporary West African art is displayed throughout the Kempinski Hotel Gold Coast City. Gallery 1957 will build a permanent collection for the hotel as well as commissioning new site-specific installations for the space, working with artists such as Ibrahim Mahama.
Marwan Zakhem, the gallery’s Founder comments; “I first started collecting contemporary art when I moved to Africa. The work I encountered in Senegal and Ghana had a real aesthetic power to it whilst reflecting the society of our time. I got to know many of the artists working across the region and have been collecting ever since. Many of the artists the gallery is working with are increasingly gaining a presence internationally in museums and biennales, but opportunities to reach new audiences at home are limited due to the lack of existingart infrastructure here. There is an abundance of talented artists from West Africa who are deserving of increased visibility.”
- Serge Attukwei Clottey, Awaiting (Europe in the Eyes of Africa Series), 2013, ©the artist, courtesy Gallery 1957, Accra