Rele Gallery has announced the opening of their third location, in Mayfair, London on 22nd February 2024. Marking nearly a decade of growth for the gallery, at home and internationally, the gallery’s third space will be located at 5-7 Dover Street, London.
The curatorial programme for this location builds on the gallery’s vision for showing pioneering projects from African artists, as well as showcasing the gallery’s expanding roster of artists to a prominent international platform. Rele, London will occupy approximately 3,000 sq ft over two floors, with the main exhibition space on the ground level and a ceiling height of 3.1 metres. This will be complemented by a further gallery space upstairs allowing for simultaneous programming. A boardroom, private viewing room and offices will also be in the building.
The inaugural exhibition will be dedicated to a solo show of Peju Alatise, a Glasgow-based Nigerian artist with her latest body of work advocating for children’s rights, running from 22nd February – 23 March 2024. This will be Peju Alatise’s first solo exhibition with the gallery since curator and founder of Rele Gallery, Adenrele Sonariwo curated Alatise’s presentation at the Venice Biennale in 2017. It is also an exciting follow-up to Alatise’s successful exhibition at the Venice Architecture Biennale, 2021.
Adenrele Sonariwo explains:
Since the gallery’s inception in Lagos in 2015, I have worked closely with artists with the central aim of allowing their work to grow both in terms of production of projects and of the making of exhibitions. A location in London allows the gallery to continue growing its programme and identity alongside its roster of emerging international artists. The space will allow for pioneering presentations, matching their energy and output.
Mayfair is home to the world’s most prominent art galleries and opening our third space in this city will provide increased opportunities and collaborations for our artists. Peju Alatise is an artist who has developed her career significantly in recent years and I’m delighted she will be presenting her first solo exhibition at the new gallery, forming an important next step in the gallery’s future.
The gallery will foster new global encounters while promoting cultural exchange with the local community. The establishment of the artist residency programme and Foundation affirms the gallery’s artist-centric approach, expanding on its strong reputation as an incubator while offering a nurturing environment for emerging and established artists to present and develop their practice. The Rele Arts Foundation was founded in 2016 and serves as both a dedicated studio space for the gallery’s artists and a research hub for artistic exploration.
Rele, Los Angeles recently reopened in a new 3,500 sq ft space on 711 N Western Ave, to further expand the discourse of African art to both the local audience and international audiences that the city of LA attracts yearly. The gallery opened with a group show titled What’s In A Name featuring Marcellina Akpojotor, Ameh Egwuh, Iyunola Sanyaolu, Chidinma Nnoli and Neec Nonso.
Alessandra Olivi has been appointed as the Director of the London gallery outpost, and another exhibition from Lagos-based artist Marcellina Akpojotor will run in the gallery from 4th April – 11th May 2024
Rele Gallery is a dynamic contemporary art gallery with 3 locations between Lagos, Nigeria, Los Angeles, USA and London, UK, founded to act as a critical interface between the African and international art worlds. It dedicates its programme to representing and exhibiting emerging and established artists working across diverse media in Africa and its diaspora.
Established in 2015, the gallery is focused on promoting a larger appreciation and engagement of African art, making it accessible to both a local and global audience. Rele Gallery’s latest London space provides a further platform for artists to build dialogues with its growing network of international collaborators.
In keeping with its mission of situating art and artists from Africa in broader, international contexts, Rele Gallery participates in global art fairs and established a non-profit in 2016, The Rele Arts Foundation, which hosts a yearly residency program.
The Rele Arts Foundation established in 2016 is a non-profit initiative that engages and drives the practice and reception of contemporary art in Africa while exploring the role of art as a tool for social change and positive impact. The foundation runs a residency program, a yearly Young Contemporaries exhibition at Rele Gallery and more recently, the R2 Space Arts Residency for mid-career artists.
The Young Contemporaries is a residency program for early-career artists from Africa to guide and refine their work through a series of rigorous mentoring, seminars and exhibitions. Established in 2016 and thanks to the continuous support of the Ekiti state government and other organisations such as Africa No Filter, the Rele Young Contemporaries program has supported over 100 early-career artists from all over Africa who have gone on to have established careers. Some of the alumni include Chidimma Nnoli, Marcellina Akpojotor, Tonia Nneji, Sejiro Avoseh, Dipo Doherty, Stephen Tayo, Eloghosa Osunde, Osaru Obaseki, Logor Olumuyiwa, and Fidelis Joseph among many others.
Adenrele Sonariwo is a gallerist and cultural advisor who lives and works between Lagos and Los Angeles. As founding director of Rele Gallery in 2015 and Rele Art Foundation in 2016, she has curated and overseen numerous successful high-profile art exhibitions within art world capitals, most notably steering the inaugural Nigerian pavilion at the 57th Venice Biennale, in 2017.
She often advises State Governments and private and Public Institutions on cultural projects. Her accolades include The Future Awards Africa Prize for Arts, Apollo’s 40 under 40 list, and New African’s 100 Most Influential Africans of 2022 list. She has been featured on CNN African Voices, The New York Times and The Financial Times amongst other publications
Alessandra Olivi joins Rele Gallery as Director of the new London space with 15 years of experience in the art industry in the UK and internationally, having devised and delivered art and cultural projects by a diverse range of artists.
Her career has spanned established commercial galleries in London, such as Maureen Paley, and more recently two major galleries spearheading African art, Tyburn Gallery and Gallery 1957. Prior to that, she led the private art museum Il Giardino dei Lauri in Italy and worked in collection management, art writing and the publishing industry. Alessandra holds an MA in Contemporary Art Theory from Goldsmiths College, University of London, and further postgraduate qualifications from Christie’s Education and Sotheby’s Institute of Art. @aleolivi