1-54 Art Fair to Bring a Diverse Set of African Perspectives Together in New York

April 23, 2018

Founded by Touria El Glaoui in 2013, 1-54 is a leading art fair dedicated to contemporary art from Africa and its diaspora. The title of the fair itself references fifty-four countries that constitute the African continent. Having annual editions in London, New York and Marrakech, 1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair has created a sustainable and dynamic platform that is engaged in contemporary dialogue and exchange.

Returning to New York this May for its fourth edition, 1-54 anticipates welcoming more than 8,000 visitors across 4 days. Once again, the fair will promote contemporary art from a diverse set of African perspectives.

This year, the fair will welcome 21 international exhibitors and the artworks of over 60 artists from Africa and its diaspora. The exhibition program will be complemented by an extensive experiential program of Special Projects and 1-54 FORUM program of talks curated by Omar Berrada.

In a relaxed atmosphere, the fair will offer a unique opportunity to enjoy contemporary African art in a range of mediums including painting, sculpture, photography, video and installation, with a cross-section of works from across the continent.

Joana Choumali - Ça va aller #3, 2016
Joana Choumali - Ça va aller #3, 2016. Courtesy 50 Golborne

1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair 2018 Exhibitors

The fourth edition of 1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair in New York will bring together a diverse and global mix of galleries that are dedicated to supporting and promoting African art and artists from across the world.

Entrenched in the African art scene and the diaspora, a total of 21 exhibitors coming from the United Kingdom, South Africa, Ghana Tunisia, France, Nigeria, and Ivory Coast will collectively exhibit the work of more than 45 artists. Besides returning exhibitors, the fair will welcome seven newcomers that will contribute to further diversifying the exposition.

The impressive roster of artists will include both internationally renowned figures such as Derrick Adams and Yinka Shonibare and emerging talent such as Kudzanai-Violet Hwami and Lebohang Kganye.

Be sure not to miss booths by AFRONOVA GALLERY from Johannesburg, a polyphonic platform for African contemporary expressions; Catinca Tabacaru Gallery from New York and Harare, focusing on work that celebrates the deepening of voices over time; Gallery 1957 in Accra, which will be showing works by Gideon Appah; a part of independent arts structures currently thriving in Ghana; 50 Golborne from London, interrogating a world which is changing fast and in which the African continent plays a dynamic and significant role; and Galerie Cécile Fakhoury from Abidjan, giving visibility to creativity and contemporary artistic diversity in Africa, among others.

The List of Exhibitors

Special Projects

Once again, the fair has prepared an exciting line-up of Special Projects for the New York 2018 edition. As the Founding Directors of the fair, Touria El Glaoui stated, this year's projects are extremely timely and will bring to the city fresh perspectives on art and culture from Africa and its diaspora.

The highlights of the program include a major installation by South African artist Ralph Ziman, a special presentation of works by artist Phoebe Boswell, a 1-54 Lounge designed by Azikiwe Mohammed, in partnership with Pioneer Works, the screening of Jumoke Sanwo’s Lagos at Large and Van Lagos’ Home presented by Retro Africa, and the Red Hook Labs and Nataal presenting New African Photography III, among others.

The Casspir Project, the progress
The Casspir Project, the progress

The FORUM

For the fourth year in a row, 1-54 New York will be accompanied by FORUM, the fair’s extensive talks and events program, curated by Omar Berrada. The program will include artist talks, keynote lectures and panel discussions with international curators, artists and art professionals.
Taking place over three afternoons, FORUM will explore the political potentials of intimacy. Honoring black feminist traditions, the program will explore the politics of African and diasporic bodies as expressed in practices of language, ritual, protest, craft, and care.

Some of the speakers, contributors and performers are Derrick Adams, Sophia Azeb, Leilah Babirye, Hatim Belyamani, Phoebe Boswell, Aruna D’Souza, Emmanuel Iduma, NIC Kay, and Lawrence Lemaoana, among others.

The Location of 1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair

Practical Information

1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair 2018 will take place at Pioneer Works in New York from May 4th until May 6th, 2018.

The Press Preview will be held on Thursday, May 3rd, between 9 a.m. to 12 p.m., VIP Preview (by invitation only) will be held between 9 a.m to 6 p.m, while the Vernissage will be held from 6 to 10 p.m. The doors of the fair will be open from 12 to 8 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and from 12 to 6 p.m. on Sunday. The price of the Day ticket will be $20, while the price of the concession ticket will be $10.

For more information, visit the official website of the fair.

Gouider Triki - Le silence, 2015, Thameur Mejri - Consume your heritage, 2017; 154 international fair also takes place in marrakech
Left: Gouider Triki - Le silence, 2015. Courtesy of Elmarsa / Right: Thameur Mejri - Consume your heritage, 2017. Courtesy of Elmarsa

Uche Okpa-Iroha - New and Old, 2011-2012; the work was on view at 154 fair in marrakech
Uche Okpa-Iroha - New and Old, 2011-2012. Courtesy Retro Africa

Baya - Woman and peacock, 1973; the news covered the 154 marrakech edition
Baya - Woman and peacock, 1973. Courtesy of Elmarsa

Senzeni Marasela - Waiting for Gebane, Kaffir Sheet, 2017; the work was on view in marrakech as well
Senzeni Marasela - Waiting for Gebane, Kaffir Sheet, 2017. Courtesy of Afronova Gallery

Soly Cissé - Untitled 8 (Black Book Project 1), 2016
Soly Cissé - Untitled 8 (Black Book Project 1), 2016. COurtesy of Sulger-Buel Lovell

Safaa Erruas - Breaking News, 2017.
Safaa Erruas - Breaking News, 2017. Courtesy Officine dell’Immagine

Sanlé Sory - Untitled
Sanlé Sory - Untitled. Courtesy Yossi Milo Gallery

Kudzanai-Violet Hwami - Dance of Many Hands, 2017, Omar Victor Diop - Nanny et Quao, Jamaîque, 1720
Left: Kudzanai-Violet Hwami - Dance of Many Hands, 2017. Courtesy Tyburn Gallery / Right: Omar Victor Diop - Nanny et Quao, Jamaîque, 1720, 2016. Courtesy MAGNIN-A

Anton Kannemeyer - In God We Trust
Anton Kannemeyer - In God We Trust. Courtesy of Galerie Huberty & Breyne

Pieter Hugo - Mallam Galadima Ahmadu with Jamis and Mallam Mantari Lamal with Mainasara, Nigeria, 2005
Pieter Hugo - Mallam Galadima Ahmadu with Jamis and Mallam Mantari Lamal with Mainasara, Nigeria, 2005. Courtesy Yossi Milo Gallery

Malala Andrialavidrazana - Figures 1838, atlas élémentaire, 2015
Malala Andrialavidrazana - Figures 1838, atlas élémentaire, 2015. Courtesy Afronova Gallery

Ibrahim El Salahi - Flamenco, 2010
Ibrahim El Salahi - Flamenco, 2010. Courtesy Vigo Gallery

Malick Sidibé - Un Yé-yé en position, 1963
Malick Sidibé - Un Yé-yé en position, 1963. Courtesy MAGNIN-A

Mahi Binebine - Untitled, 2017
Mahi Binebine - Untitled, 2017. Courtesy of Katharina Maria Raab

Derrick Adams - Floater No.28 (unicorn), 2016; also on view in marrakech
Derrick Adams - Floater No.28 (unicorn), 2016. Courtesy Vigo Gallery

Babajide Olatunji - Tribal Marks Series III #21; 154 fair was also in marrakech
Babajide Olatunji - Tribal Marks Series III #21. Courtesy of TAFETA

Featured images: Rachel Monosov and Admire Kamudzengerere - Before long travel. Courtesy of Catinca Tabacaru; Rachel Monosov and Admire Kamudzengerere - Domboshawa, Aug. 6, 1972. Courtesy of Catinca Tabacaru; Rachel Monosov and Admire Kamudzengerere - A. with his first son on Friday afternoon, Aug 31, 1972. Courtesy of Catinca Tabacaru; Phumzile Khanyile - Plastic Crowns, edition of 8, 2016. Courtesy of Afronova Gallery; Yinka Shonibare - The American Library Collection (Detail), 2017. Courtesy James Cohan Gallery; Uthman Wahaab - Languishing. Courtesy of Sapar Contemporary; Terrence Musekiwa - Vakomana vechimhanjemhanje (Today's Youth), 2017. Courtesy of Catinca Tabacaru; Terrence Musekiwa - Vakomana vechimhanjemhanje (Today's Touth), 2017. Courtesy of Catinca Tabacaru. All images courtesy of 1-54.