The contemporary art scene in Africa is vibrant, with many artists producing masterful pieces in relative obscurity. Contemporary arts funding is inadequate, but you can help support artists by buying their work. A bright canvas by Kenyan artist Moses Nyawanda is surely a better souvenir than a carved 6 ft giraffe. A list of Contemporary art galleries in Africa (with web sites) follow below. There are many galleries that don't have web sites, African Colors is a great resource to find more.
Also check the lobbies of five star hotels, French Cultural Centers, Goethe Institutes, or Embassies when you travel in Africa.
African Art Festivals, and more sources and sites are listed at the bottom of this page.
Art Galleries in North Africa
L’Appartement 22, Rabat - Founded by Dr. Abdellah Karroum, L'appartement 22 is an independent, collaborative project, based in Rabat, Morocco. It is the first such space in Morocco, and has since inspired a number of artist-run spaces and collectives.
Matisse Art Gallery, Marrakech - Matisse Art Gallery presents works by Moroccan and international artists. It also develops projects that serve as a platform for contemporary artists.
Galerie Rê, Marrakech - The Galerie Rê is exclusively devoted to contemporary art and shows the work of established and emerging artists from Morocco and the Mediterranean.
The Safar Khan Gallery, Cairo houses some of Egypt's finest contemporary art.
The Gallery features regular exhibit openings for Cairo's art scene and they've recently opened a second gallery in El Gouna, on Egypt’s Red Sea Coast.
Townhouse Art Gallery, Cairo - One of the leading independent art spaces in the region exhibits artworks by contemporary Arab artists. The three-floor building also stages weekly film screenings, experimental theater performances, music and public lectures.
Al Mashrabia, Cairo - The gallery showcases modern Islamic art, exhibits include artists from north and west Africa as well as contemporary Egyptian artists.
L'Atelier Alexandrie, Alexandria, Egypt
The Atelier of Alexandria is one of the most vital and active resources for contemporary culture and art in Egypt.
Galerie el Marsa, Tunis - The gallery presents a variety of shows featuring emerging and recognized artists who reflect the historical and cultural diversity in the region.
Le Violon Blue, Tunis - The gallery artists are included in the public collections of institutions such as the Museum of Modern Art, New York and The British Museum, London.
Art Galleries in East Africa
Ethiopian Contemporary Art Gallery, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia - a new artists’ cooperative dedicated to the promotion of contemporary arts in Ethiopia.
Gallery Watatu, Nairobi - Gallery Watatu aims to promote contemporary African art, paintings and sculptures. Gallery Watatu is home to the largest collection of originals of Tanzanian E. S Tingatinga.
Kuona Trust, Nairobi- artists studios, workshops, exhibits and more can be enjoyed at the Kuona Trust headquarters, one of the leading supporters of visual arts in East Africa.
RaMoMa, Nairobi - The Rahimtulla Museum of Modern Art exhibits contemporary art in a spacious new building.
Banana Hill Art Gallery, Nairobi - studios and living space in this village/art gallery for a number of important Kenyan contemporary artists.
AfriArt Gallery in Kampala (Uganda) - a focal point of Kampala's artistic community and provides a wonderful space to showcase the exquisite art of Uganda.
Art Galleries in West and Central Africa
Omenka Lagos, Nigeria - Through solo exhibitions, group shows and large themed exhibitions, the gallery examines in an experimental and research-minded way, modern and contemporary art developments and discourses in Nigeria.
Pendulum Art Gallery, Lagos, Nigeria - The gallery focuses on original works of art by young and seasoned artists many who of whom are artists in residence.
Exhibits include painting, sculpture, decorative arts, and graphic arts.
Hour Glass Gallery, Lagos, Nigeria - The Gallery carries the art of some of the most prominent Nigerian and Ghanaian artists.
Mus'art Gallery, Cameroon - Musa Heritage Gallery shortened Mus'Art is a museum named in memory of Cameroonian artists Daniel Kanjo Musa and his eldest son John, to preserve wood sculptures by these departed artists. Over the years, Mus'Art Gallery has been expanding to diversify its collection.
Art Galleries in Southern Africa
First Floor Art Gallery, Harare, Zimbabwe - a new industrial space designed as an opportunity for emerging artists to experiment, to show their new work to their peers and audiences and to share skills and experiences with fellow artists.
Goodman Gallery, Johannesburg and Cape Town - The Goodman Gallery is at the forefront of contemporary art in South Africa. Its focus is on artists – from South Africa, the greater African Continent, and other countries – who engage in a dialogue with the African context.
Gallery MOMO, Johannesburg - Gallery MOMO represents a prominent selection of local and international artists, including artists from the Diaspora, who work across disciplines.
João Ferriera Gallery, Cape Town - The gallery was established in 1998, and has gained a reputation for being one of the country's leading galleries for artists and art collectors.
WhatiftheWorld, Cape Town - Whatiftheworld acts as a platform for a new generation of emerging South African contemporary artists.
Contemporary Art Festivals in Africa
- Da'kart Biennale festival of art, Senegal.
- Jo'burg Art Fair, Annual art fair, South Africa
- Harare International Festivals of the Arts, Annual fair, Zimbabwe.