1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair returns
This weekend sees Somerset House open its doors to the leading art fair dedicated to the promotion of contemporary art from Africa and its diaspora, the 1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair.
Returning to London for its eighth edition, 1-54 will see 29 international exhibitors from across Europe, Africa and North America showcase work by more than 110 artists at the Somerset House fair, and 37 exhibitors showcase work via 1-54 Online, powered by Christie’s.
Over the past seven years 1-54 has established itself as a leading voice in the global discussion on contemporary African art and this year is no different, with galleries from 17 countries representing a selection of the best contemporary African artists.
The Somerset House fair will bring together emerging and established artists, working in a wide variety of mediums and from a range of geographical backgrounds. Four solo exhibitions will celebrate DuduBloom More (Berman Contemporary), Stephen Towns (De Buck Gallery), Anya Paintsil (Ed Cross Fine Art) and Ekene Maduka (Polartics).
Somerset House will also host the first major UK retrospective of works by late French-Moroccan photographer, video artist and activist Leila Alaoui, in collaboration with 1-54.
Acclaimed for capturing the unseen stories of individuals and communities displaced by conflict and unrest, Rite of Passage showcases three of Alaoui’s series of photographic works created between 2008 and 2014. It offers an intimate portrait into the resilience of societies facing uncertain realities across the contemporary Mediterranean-landscape and beyond. Tragically, Alaoui was killed while working on a project for a women’s rights campaign for Amnesty International in Burkina Faso in 2016.
In addition to the physical presentation, Christie’s has partnered with 1-54 to create and host an innovative platform to give the fair a much-needed online presence during the time of coronavirus. Running until 12 October, 1-54 Online offers virtual booths that feature up to 30 works from each gallery, as well as providing a spotlight series on individual artists, all of which are globally accessible.