The fifth London edition of 1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair, the leading international art fair dedicated to contemporary African art, is taking place at Somerset House, 5 – 8 October, with a VIP & Press preview on 4 October 2017.
1:54 strives to promote a diverse set of African perspectives from around the world and has carefully selected 41 leading galleries specialising in contemporary African art from 18 countries across Europe, Africa, the Middle East and North America: Algeria, Côte d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, France, Ghana, Italy, Kenya, Morocco, Mozambique, Nigeria, Portugal, South Africa, Spain, Switzerland, Tunisia, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom and the United States.
Among the exhibitors this year are 18 galleries from Africa: Addis Fine Art, AFRONOVA GALLERY, AGorgi Gallery, Arte de Gema, ARTLabAfrica, Barnard Gallery, Circle Art Gallery, El Marsa, Galerie 127, Galerie Cécile Fakhoury, Gallery 1957, Gallery MOMO, L’Atelier 21, Selma Feriani Gallery, SMAC Gallery, SMO Contemporary Art, VOICE Gallery and WHATIFTHEWORLD.
The fair will showcase the work of more than 130 emerging and established African and African diaspora artists, working in a wide variety of mediums and from a spread of geographical backgrounds comprising 32 countries: Algeria, Angola, Benin, Botswana, Cameroon, Canada, Côte d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Egypt, Ethiopia, France, Ghana, Haiti, Italy, Kenya, Madagascar, Mali, Morocco, Mozambique, Nigeria, Portugal, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Africa, Togo, Trinidad, Tunisia, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, the United States and Zimbabwe.
Eight solo exhibitions have been announced: Nidhal Chamekh (Selma Feriani Gallery), Safaa Erruas (L’Atelier 21), Ahmed Keshta (Ipsum Galeria), Atta Kwami (Beardsmore Gallery), Nelson Makamo (Gallery of African Art GAFRA), Ndikhumbule Ngqinambi (Barnard Gallery), Abe Odedina (Ed Cross Fine Art) and Zineb Sedira (Plutschow Gallery).
Several artists will be presented at the fair for the first time, including: Cameroonian photographer Samuel Fosso, recognised as a master of studio portrait photography; Somali-Swedish mixed-media artist Ayan Farah, celebrated for her formally minimal, yet materially complex paintings; South African artist Buhlebezwe Siwani, who places the body at the centre of her performance, sculpture and installation works; and French-Algerian artist Zineb Sedira whose photographic and video work explores the consequences of cultural displacement and migration.
Accompanying the edition will be Special Projects, providing a platform for nonprofit cultural organisations to realise project-based presentations.
The fair will also see a collateral exhibition programme in Somerset House, and host FORUM, the fair’s extensive talks and events programme, including artist conversations, film screenings and panel discussions with international artists and cultural producers. FORUM is curated by Koyo Kouoh, Artistic Director of RAW Material Company, Dakar. The full programme will be announced in September.