1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair returns to New York with 1-54 Online, powered by Christie's, 17 - 23 May

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1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair returns to New York with 1-54 Online, powered by Christie's, 17 - 23 May
Katlego Tlabela, Ikoyi Lagos (study), 2020, Acrylic, ink and collage on canvas, 49.5 x 39.5cm. Courtesy of Ebony Curated.

NEW YORK, NY.- 1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair, the leading international art fair dedicated to contemporary art from Africa and the African diaspora, will hold its seventh edition of the fair in New York, which will take place online with Christie’s from May 17 – 23, 2021, with a VIP Preview May 17 – 18 and Knotted Ties, an exhibition at Christie’s in Rockefeller Center. From May 19 – June 6, works from 1-54 will then be available to purchase and view on Artsy for an extended period of time following the close of the official show and providing an even larger online audience for the artwork.

The fair welcomes 26 international exhibitors: 50 Golborne (London, UK); AFIKARIS (Paris, France); Afriart Gallery (Kampala, Uganda); De Buck Gallery (New York, USA); Duane Thomas Gallery (New York, USA); EBONY/CURATED (Cape Town, South Africa); espace d’art contemporain 14N 61W (Fort-de-France, Martinique); Fridman Gallery (New York, USA); Galerie Atiss Dakar (Dakar, Senegal); Gallery 1957 (Accra, Ghana; London, UK); Hafez Gallery (Jeddah, Saudi Arabia); HOA Galeria (So Paulo, Brazil); Jack Bell Gallery (London, UK); Kristin Hjellegjerde Gallery (London, UK; Berlin, Germany; Nevlunghavn, Norway); LatchKey Gallery (New York, USA); Loft Art Gallery (Casablanca, Morocco); LouiSimone Guirandou Gallery (Abidjan, Cte d’Ivoire); Luce Gallery (Turin, Italy); Nil Gallery (Paris, France); Nuweland (Oosterzee, Netherlands); October Gallery (London, UK); OOA Gallery (Barcelona, Spain); POLARTICS (Lagos, Nigeria); Retro Africa (Abuja, Nigeria); ROSS-SUTTON Gallery (New York, USA); Sulger-Buel Gallery (London, UK). Amongst the 90+ artists whose work will be shown at the fair, over 40 artists will be exhibiting at the fair for the first time.

Drawing together the works of female artists using textiles, Knotted Ties contemplates the pluralism of the medium as well as narratives portrayed and expressed through fabric and thread. The exhibited works illustrate both the power and strength of textile work and its capacity to convey humanity’s entangled histories, challenging social landscapes, and complex realities. These works instigate debate while also offering the idea of mediative resolve through resilience, reminding us of the importance of community nurturing and constructive dialogue as we create futures through uncertain times.

Knotted Ties is free to visit from 15 – 26 May 2021 at Christie’s Rockefeller Plaza. Hours are Monday-Saturday 10am-5pm and Sunday 1-5pm. All viewing is by appointment only.

This edition also marks the return of the Ritzau Art Prize, an award supporting extraordinary artists from the African continent with three-month career-enhancing residencies at ISCP in New York City. The residency award, developed by the ISCP in collaboration with 1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair and supported by Tauck Ritzau Innovative Philanthropy, will afford global visibility and invaluable professional development opportunities to a chosen artist. The Ritzau Art Prize winner will be announced the week of 1-54 New York Online 2021.

The Prize will be open to late emerging to mid-career artists whose work is being exhibited at the fair, and who have expressed interest in being considered and meet the selection criteria. The selection criteria looks for excellence of work, and potential for impact on the artist and their greater community. The annually rotating jury will be comprised of distinguished contemporary African artists and specialists.

For the seventh consecutive year, 1-54 New York will be accompanied by 1-54 Forum, the fair’s acclaimed program of talks, performances and screenings that explores the work and practice of artists from Africa and its diaspora. Additional details on the Forum series and other special projects will be announced in the coming weeks.

Touria El Glaoui, Founding Director of 1-54, commented: “The global pandemic has meant that regretfully we have had to cancel our physical edition of 1-54 in New York for the second year in a row. Although we are sad not to be returning to our usual format, we are elated that our continued partnership and relationship with Christie’s has meant that we can once again exhibit the work of artists from Africa and its diaspora online via the auction house. In addition to this, we will be curating a special exhibition with our galleries which will be on show in the Lobby Gallery at Christie’s in the Rockefeller Center. We are very much looking forward to safely welcoming visitors to the show in May and are thrilled that people will be able visit the fair online from across the world.”

Bonnie Brennan, President, Christie’s Americas, said: “This is now Christie’s third global collaboration with 1-54, and we continue to discover new synergies together in the virtual presentation of this important event. While the COVID-19 pandemic continues to disrupt business travel and physical gathering, Christie’s is delighted to offer its digital platform and convening power within the art world to help present the fair online, and to support 1-54 in its dedication to contemporary artists from Africa and the African diaspora. We also look forward to welcoming local audiences to Rockefeller Center this May to see the curated exhibition “Knotted Ties” as an in-person element of this exciting fair.”

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