The 8th Edition Of 1-54 Is Almost Here

by GRIOT - Published on 03/10/2020
Nate Lewis, Signalling 31, 2020, Hand sculpted ink-jet print, ink, frottage, graphite, 135x79 cm. Courtesy Galleria Anna Marra

Over 30 exhibitors from 17 countries will participate in a new blended online and offline model for the upcoming 1-54 London fair. Among them, 27 exhibitors will display physical presentations in an intimate setting at Somerset House, for this edition of 1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair London. All exhibitors will showcase work at 1-54 Online Powered by Christie’s (which will be available from 7 to 12 October 2020; 5 and 6 October are VIP Days). 1-54 London 2020 will showcase the work of more than 110 emerging and established artists from Africa and its diaspora, working in a wide variety of mediums and from a range of geographical backgrounds. Three solo exhibitions have been announced: DuduBloom More (Berman Contemporary), Anya Paintsil (Ed Cross Fine Art) and Ekene Maduka (Polartics).

Alexia Fiasco, Anna My Grand-Mother, The Saudade Woman, Edition of 10, 2011, photography, pigment inkjet print on fine art paper, Courtesy Galerie Number 8
Yoan Sorin, Gloves, 2018, boxing gloves embroidered with bells, 30 × 25 × 15 cm. Courtesy of espace d’art contemporain 14N 61
Kimathi Mafafo, Reflections II, 2020, Machine & Hand Embroidery on Fabric, 113 x 105 cm. Courtesy Nando’s in partnership with Spier Arts Trust

1-54 Online Powered by Christie’s will offer virtual booths that feature up to 30 works from each gallery, as well as providing a spotlight series on individual artists, all of which will be globally accessible. A curated pop-up exhibition including one seminal work from each exhibitor will take place in the Duke Street Gallery within the Christie’s Headquarters at King Street, on view to the public from 6 to 12 October 2020.

1-54 FORUM

This year, 1-54 Forum is curated by Julia Grosse and Yvette Mutumba of Contemporary And (C&) and Contemporary And América Latina (C&AL) and is titled “I felt like a Black guy from New York trapped in Peru”. Taking place both at Somerset House and online across three afternoons, 1-54 Forum will be engaging in critical discussion and exploring Afro-Latin American, Caribbean and African perspectives. Read more about the programme here.


Leila Alaoui, Crossings, 2013. Three channels video installation, edition of 5 + 1 A.P. 6 minutes. Courtesy of the artist and VOICE gallery

1-54 is delighted to once again be partnering with Somerset House to present the first major UK retrospective of works by the celebrated late French-Moroccan photographer, video artist and activist Leila Alaoui, which will debut during 1-54 and run through to 28 February 2021. A series of photographic works created between 2008 and 2014 will be presented alongside Leila Alaoui’s final unfinished video work. Acclaimed for capturing and preserving the unseen stories of individuals and communities displaced by conflict and unrest, Leila Alaoui offers an intimate portrait into the rich cultural identities and resilience of societies facing difficult and uncertain realities. Tragically, Alaoui was killed whilst working on a photography project for a women’s rights campaign for Amnesty International in Burkina Faso in 2016. She was critically wounded during a terrorist attack in Ouagadougou, passing away from her injuries shortly afterwards at the age of 33.

1-54 is implementing, in collaboration with Somerset House and compliance with all national regulations, strict sanitary measures to ensure everyone’s health and security, including a one-way circuit through the fair, cleaning measures, hands free systems, limited capacity control at all times and an allocated pre-booking online portal.

Discover the full programme of 1-54.

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