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Art in London: 2013 preview

The shows and exhibitions set to rock the scene in 2013

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The coming year will be blessed with the usual blockbuster shows, sure, but will also be chock-full of talented artists and trends that you won't find in most major museums. Here are five horizon-broadening dates for your diary.

Jack Bell Gallery

Art Galleries St James’s

London is only now warming to contemporary African art. Tate Modern has dedicated a new strand of its collection to the continent and will be showing new acquisitions of Beninese artist Meschac Gaba alongside Sudanese painter Ibrahim El-Salahi this summer. There is a strong rumour of a dedicated art fair – entitled 1:54, after the 54 sovereign countries that make up Africa – opening this October at Somerset House, while the new Art13 fair taking place at the beginning of March features galleries from Cape Town and Johannesburg. But it’s a young gallery based here, run by Aussie expat Jack Bell, that is flying the flag for sub-Saharan African artists such as the Ghanaian coffin sculptor Paa Joe and Gonçalo Mabunda from Maputo, who sculpts furniture from decommissioned guns. Ivorian political painter Aboudia Abdoulaye Diarrassouba is the subject of Bell’s next show, January 22-February 24.

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