Efie Gallery, the Dubai-based dealership specialising in contemporary African art, will make its debut at Art Dubai (1-5 March), displaying works by El Anatsui, Isshaq Ismail, Abdoulaye Konaté, Aïda Muluneh, Naïla Opiangah and Slawn.

In parallel, an exhibition at the gallery on Al Khayat Avenue presents a new body of blue monochromatic works by Ghanaian painter Isshaq Ismail (28 Feb-29 May), which he is currently producing in residency with the gallery. 

Isshaq Ismail’s new monochromatic series explores the idea of repetition and question notions of beauty, depicting figures with complex, ambivalent moods placed against a series of serene, utopian backdrops. Born in Accra in 1989, Ismail is interested in advocating for the masses, inspired by the moods of people he observes on the streets of Ghana, but depicting figures that are universal and anonymous. His gritty, non-conformist approach is evident in his thick and emotive impasto-style application of paint. 

And on the gallery:

Since its inception in 2021, and the opening of its permanent space in 2022 in Dubai’s Al Quoz Creative Zone, Efie Gallery has been establishing itself as a global platform for some of Africa’s most significant artists, working with the likes of El Anatsui, Maggie Otieno, Aida Muluneh, Yaw Owusu and Slawn. It is the only Black-owned platform dedicated to African contemporary art in the UAE, where it is creating a more vibrant ecosystem for African artists in the region, e.g. through their dynamic artist residency programme.

Based between Dubai, Accra and London, the gallery’s founders (Valentina, Kwame and Kobi Mintah) are committed to fostering dialogue between African artists and the wider world. Brothers Kwame and Kobi represent a new generation of art dealers championing African art on the global market.