Apollo
40 Under 40 Africa

Yasmine Berrada 

28 September 2020

Co-founder, Loft Art Gallery, Casablanca

Yasmine Berrada was just 25 when she and her sister Myriem, then aged 28, founded Loft Art Gallery in Casablanca in 2009. Both had a background in finance but had been raised surrounded by art – their father was a keen collector of the work of Moroccan artists. When they decided to open a gallery, the city they had grown up in seemed like a natural choice: their white-cube space in Casablanca’s trendy Triangle quarter soon became a fixture – and a major player – in the economic and cultural capital of Morocco. Initially specialising in contemporary Moroccan art, the gallery has since expanded its roster to include both established and emerging artists from the rest of Africa as well as Europe.

The sisters continue to work together at the gallery, with Yasmine Berrada focusing in particular on developing the wider African and international market for their artists. A sense of Morocco as a historic meeting point between cultures, and the desire to spark further intercultural dialogue, drives her mission of creating a global platform for contemporary Moroccan art – whether through participation at international fairs or via Loft Edition, the publishing arm that the Berradas set up to produce catalogues and other texts. During the pandemic they have also significantly strengthened their online presence, which includes an e-commerce platform and a wealth of online exhibitions. The gallery plans to reopen in October with an exhibition of textile work from Morocco.

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