Art

1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair returns to Somerset House for 9th London edition

Self-established as a leading voice in the global discussion on contemporary African art, and with annual editions across three continents, this year’s 1-54 collects pieces from 48 international galleries who represent artists from the African diaspora.

Touria El Glaoui, Founding Director, 1-54, commented: “It has been an incredibly challenging 18 months for many industries including the art world but we were pleased to have been able to put on the very first 1-54 Pop-up in Paris, and a more intimate edition of the London fair last October. It’s my absolute pleasure to announce that we are able to welcome back our usual number of galleries to Somerset House for our 9th edition in the city. It’s an especially notable year for us, with a record number of galleries exhibiting from the African continent…

Luce Gallery – February James, Water Me and Call Me Rose copy

1-54 curates a diverse set of perspectives from around the world and has carefully selected leading international galleries from 23 countries: Europe, Africa and North America: Angola, Belgium, Brazil, Ivory Coast, Egypt, France, Germany, Ghana, Italy, Kenya, Morocco, Netherlands, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, Switzerland, Uganda, the United Kingdom and the United States.

Among the exhibitors this year are 20 galleries from Africa, a record number of galleries from the continent: Addis Fine Art, Afriart Gallery, Berman Contemporary, Circle Art Gallery, DADA Gallery, EBONY/CURATED, Galerie Atiss Dakar, Gallery 1957, Guns & Rain, Kalashnikovv Gallery, La Galerie 38, Loft Art Gallery, LouiSimone Guirandou Gallery, Mashrabia Gallery, Retro Africa, SMO Contemporary Art, THIS IS NOT A WHITE CUBE, THK Gallery, UBUNTU Gallery.

EBONY CURATED – Zemba Luzamba, Men of Influence

With 14 galleries being welcomed to the London fair for the first time, and with 150+ emerging and established artists working in a wide variety of mediums and from a range of geographical backgrounds not aforementioned, this year’s fair is not one to miss. 

Montague Contemporary Magadi Portrait

As part of the programme of 1-54 Special Projects, the fair is partnering with Christie’s to present an exhibition at the Duke Street space curated by art historian and art critic Christine Eyene and to deliver an online edition 1-54 Online Powered by Christie’s. 

This virtual experience will allow visitors to encounter additional works displayed by participating galleries as well as highlights from the fair itself. The partnership with 1-54 demonstrates Christie’s commitment to showcasing contemporary African art to their global client base, in addition to partnering with this important fair to enhance exposure to an even greater extent internationally.

Vigo Gallery Salah Elmur The Innocent Prisoner

The fair is accompanied by 1-54 Forum, its extensive programme of artists’ talks, film screenings, panel discussions, performances and readings that will be curated by Dr.Omar Kholeif, Director of Collections and Senior Curator at Sharjah Art Foundation, which are taking place both online and at Somerset House. Entitled Continental Drift, 1-54 Forum gathers artists and audiences; mediators and narrators, to collectively delve into themes of legacy, philanthropy, and digitality. Exploring this interstitial moment in history, 1-54 Forum explores the concept of the drift as a moment for gradual reflection.

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