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1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair announces details of 9th London edition
Mohammed Hamidi, Untitled (4), 2021, Cellulose paint on canvas, 150 x 200 cm. Courtesy of La Galerie 38.

LONDON.- 1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair will return to Somerset House from Thursday 14 - Sunday 17 October 2021 for its 9th London edition. Since its inception, 1-54 has established itself as a leading voice in the global discussion on contemporary African art and has been at the forefront of the African art market with annual editions across three continents. As part of the programme of 1-54 Special Projects, the fair will once again be 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.

From Thursday 14 – Sunday 31 October 2021, 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.

1-54 brings together a diverse set of perspectives from around the world and has carefully selected 47 leading international galleries from 19 countries across 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.

Of the 47 exhibitors, 13 galleries will be welcomed to the London fair for the first time: 31 PROJECT, Bubble’n’Squeak, EBONY/CURATED, Galerie Atiss Dakar, Galerie Carole Kvasnevski, Galerie Dominique Fiat, Galerie Le Sud, HOA Galeria, La Galerie 38, LouiSimone Guirandou Gallery, Nuweland, Richard Saltoun Gallery and Yamamoto Keiko Rochaix.

The fair will showcase the work of more than 150 emerging and established artists, working in a wide variety of mediums and from a range of geographical backgrounds comprising of other countries not already mentioned.

The fair will be 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, and will take place both online and at Somerset House. Entitled Continental Drift, 1-54 Forum will gather 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.

1-54 Online Powered by Christie’s will return, enhancing the programme of 1-54 by providing a virtual experience where visitors will 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.

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, and a continued special collaboration with Christie’s who will host an exciting exhibition at its Duke Street space curated by Christine Eyene. We are delighted to be working with Dr.Omar Kholeif on the 1-54 Forum talks programme and can’t wait to announce further details of our special projects in the coming months.”

Isabel Millar, Associate Specialist, Christie’s, commented: “The ongoing partnership with 1-54, established in October 2020, has brought our global clients closer to this pioneering fair, both digitally and physically. The exhibition at our headquarters in London last year showcased the exceptional artists and leading galleries that participated in 1-54. This year, we are delighted to work with Christine Eyene whose vision will shape the presentation in our Duke Street galleries while those who are unable to visit in person will have the opportunity to explore every aspect of the fair via our online viewing rooms. The response from collectors to the collaboration has been resoundingly positive and we look forward to welcoming them back to 1-54 Online Powered by Christie’s and our galleries in London.”

1-54 will announce a full list of Special Projects and the 1-54 Forum programme along with booking and visitor information in August.

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