LOS ANGELES - As Los Angeles's international cultural profile has risen over the past decade, galleries from more established art capitals have opened outposts here. Next month, however, will be the first time that a contemporary gallery from Africa will place roots in the city. On February 1, Rele Gallery from Nigeria will open the doors to its new space on swanky Melrose Avenue in Beverly Grove. The gallery, which already has two locations in Lagos, will debut with Orita Meta - Crossroads, featuring work by three contemporary Nigerian female artists: Marcellina Akpojotor, Tonia Nneji, and Chidinma Nnoli. The title comes from a book and painting by fellow Nigerian artist Peju Alatise, and is loosely translated from a Yoruba phrase meaning "a junction where three roads meet."
"I really just love LA as a city," gallery founder Adenrele Sonariwo told Hyperallergic via email. "It's such a strong, vibrant community of individuals that care deeply about the arts, especially African Art, which I've experienced first hand." Just last year, weeks before the pandemic shutdown, the gallery had a booth in the 2020 LA Art Show.