The First Art Newspaper on the Net    Established in 1996 Tuesday, May 17, 2022

1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair returns to New York
Nicholas Coleman, Portrait of Adam Clayton Powell. Photo: Courtesy Long Gallery Harlem.

NEW YORK, NY.- 1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair, the leading international art fair dedicated to contemporary art from Africa and the African diaspora, announced its in person return to New York after two years, set to take place over four days from 19 – 22 May 2022 (Press Preview 19 May). The return of 1-54 New York will see an international line-up of 25 galleries from across Africa, Europe, and the Middle East, including galleries from New York, such as Cierra Britton Gallery, Fridman Gallery, Hannah Traore Gallery, Medium Tings, Long Gallery, Montague Contemporary, and Superposition Gallery, among others.

1-54 New York will be accompanied by a series of events, and 1-54 Forum, the fair’s acclaimed program of talks, performances, and screenings that explore the work and practice of artists from Africa and its diaspora. Novella Ford, Associate Director for Public Programs and Exhibitions at Harlem’s Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, has been selected as Curator Novella Ford states: “This year’s 1-54 Forum take their inquiry from Harlem Renaissance writer Countee Cullen and his poem “From the Dark Tower” where he writes: We shall not always plant while others reap. Cullen acknowledges a legacy of Black labor that has not always benefited communities directly connected to and impacted by that labor. We will root current ideas and creative production by artists of African descent within a lineage of Black political, cultural, and intellectual engagement that has cultivated a present day Black cultural renaissance. This exploration situates Harlem’s historical relevance to the interlocking histories of people of African descent, with the spirit of famed Harlem Renaissance salons that offered a cross-pollination of ideas between artists, academic and independent scholars, entertainers, and critics.”

Now in its third consecutive year, 1-54’s continued partnership with Christie’s signals the fair’s strong and dynamic relationship with the global auction house. The collaboration also demonstrates Christie’s commitment to showcasing contemporary African art to its global client base and enhancing exposure for the fair internationally.

Special Project: Micha Serraf Hope Is a Dry Colour

1-54 will present work by Micha Serraf, the recipient of the Ritzau Art Prize 2021. This special project, organised by ISCP, is generously supported by Tauck Ritzau Innovative Philanthropy. In pursuit of identity and a place to call home, Zimbabwean artist Micha Serraf's uncanny photographs and hand- sewn tapestries are motivated by drifting nostalgia for personal and ancestral experiences. The evocative presence of people of colour is foregrounded throughout the project, symbolised by the ancestral totemic monoliths in the tapestries and by the anonymous figures of the photographs. The African landscapes depicted here are now inaccessible military bases or restricted nature reserves owned and operated by families of colonial descent, although they are all places that would have been passed through freely by the artist’s ancestors. Most of the works were conceived while Serraf was in residence at the International Studio & Curatorial Program in New York in 2021. The residency is a collaboration between Tauck Ritzau Innovative Philanthropy, International Studio & Curatorial Program, and 1-54.

Special Project: NFT project with Christie’s & Code Green

1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair are partnering with Christie’s and Code Green for the selection of NFTs to be presented at the Trespassing auction taking place in July. The proceeds of the fundraiser auction will go to the Great Green Wall initiative - humanity’s most audacious climate initiative growing an 8000km natural wonder of the world across Africa.

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