A new art gallery, ‘ko’ will debut in Lagos, Nigeria on September, 25th, 2020, with an inaugural exhibition by Kadara Enyeasi to kickstart the event. ko‘ is the baby of Kavita Chellarams, an art collector, and founder of Arthouse Contemporary also located in Lagos.
Kavita in her announcement said, ko’ is dedicated to promoting modern and contemporary art and will be run as a separate and unique gallery entity, as against Arthouse project, according to her, “This will allow us to create focused exhibitions on a regular basis, delve more deeply into artists and art historical topics, generate research and publications, and continue to promote Nigerian art on the global stage”.
ko’ is a derivative of the Yoruba word for “gather”, or to “collect”, it can also be used loosely as an English word for collective. In this instance it is used according to Kavita as, as a verb “to gather” or “to build” which is still acceptable.
There is no doubt the great role Kavita has played in Nigeria art scene in recent years, albeit the continent of Africa to support the creativity of contemporary art in Africa by providing a platform to communicate, share and grow the sector. She has developed projects with numerous modern African masters, including Ben Enwonwu, Yusuf Grillo, Bruce Onobrakpeya, Demas Nwoko, Uche Okeke, Simon Okeke, Emmanuel Odita and Oseloka Osadebe, among many others. She also also had the privilege of working with many of Nigeria’s most celebrated contemporary artists, including Peju Alatise, Nnenna Okore, Sokari Douglas Camp, George Osodi, Eva Obodo and Diseye Tantua.
kó’s focus will be two-fold, in championing Nigeria’s leading artists from the modern period and celebrating emerging and established contemporary artists across Africa and the Diaspora. While explaining the reason for the birth of ko’, Kavita said, ‘It is certainly unexpected to open an art gallery during a global pandemic, though now is a better time than any to embrace the connective powers of art to bring together our community. After six months of lockdown, we are all yearning for a sense of normalcy
She also announced that, a busy schedule for the gallery lies ahead for the rest of the year, kó will participate at the Frieze Masters with a solo presentation of Ben Enwonwu, in their Spotlight section, which highlights pioneering artists of the 20th century. ko’ will also participate in Art X Lagos and present exhibitions with Thebe Phetogo, Edozie Anedu, Joseph Obanubi and Stephen Tayo, who all completed artist residencies with the Arthouse Foundation in 2020. They will also present an exhibition by Yadichinma Ukoha-Kalu, who kó nominated for Art Dubai’s Residency Programme earlier this year.
The ongoing pandemic will also play a role in the attendance of the inaugural exhibition which will be strictly by appointment, hence management will book appointments in one hour slots, with a maximum of 4 visitors at a time. All visitors are required to book an appointment in advance by submitting the online booking form here.