Touria El Glaoui – The art enthusiast projecting African culture to the world

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Touria El Glaoui, born and raised in Morocco, is one of the leading figures in promoting African culture through art on the international scene.

On relocating to London after completing her education in New York where she also built a career in the banking industry, she began to take interest in art works of her father, Hassan El Glaoui, a Moroccan artist. She did this by organizing co-exhibitions of his works in London and Morocco. 

Fuelled by the abundance of beautiful African art in the continent during her travels and the lack of these arts in the diaspora, she decided to shift attention to their exhibition in Europe.

Then, she established the 1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair in 2013 followed by the creation of New York and another in Marrakech chapter. The fair which occurs three times a year in London, New York and Marrakech is a platform that enables African artists and their art works to get worldwide exposure within the continent and diaspora.

 Year in, year out, the exhibition highlights various works from Africa, describing and telling stories behind them and ultimately getting the global attention it deserves.

In one of her 2017 TED sessions, titled, Inside Africa’s thriving art scene, Touria El Glaoui shared a collection of Senegalese artist, Omar Victor Diop’s gallery titled, ‘Project Diaspora’, Kesh Angels by Hassan Hajjaj as well as Kudzanai-Violet Hwami’s Ego in Red.

Tourai dedicates her art fair towards preserving important and historical figures of art works and galleries by Africans. The result of this is that it has led to increased awareness from collectors and enthusiasts in the diaspora, thereby increasing the value placed on acquiring such artworks.

Following the successive launch of the art fair in London, she established the Marrakech chapter in 2018. A year later, the new chapter had its second edition of the fair with participation of 18 galleries from 11 countries. Seven galleries from Africa including Galerie Cecile Fakhoury in Ivory Coast, Retro Africa from Abuja, Nigeria and Goodman Gallery from Johannesburg and Cape Town in South Africa also participated.

In recognition of her outstanding works, Tourai was included in the 50 person list for top African disruptors.

 In the article posted in August, she was described as “an art vanguard: one of many pushing for Africa to get the seat it deserves on the international cultural scene.”’

She founded the 1-54 contemporary African Art Fair in 2013 to give exposure to more African trendsetters. 

At auctions, African art is fetching ever higher prices and this is accompanied by a stronger movement to have African art that were stolen or otherwise procured under unclear circumstances to be returned to Africa, bolstering collections and serving as foundations for new museums.

Tourai dedicates the name of the fair to represent the 54 nations on the continent to celebrate all of its artists, curators, galleries and museums.

Africh Royale

Africh Royale

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