Highlights from conversations at 1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair in London, October 2013. | Video by 1:54 Art Fair


NEXT WEEK, THE SECOND EDITION of 1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair opens at Somerset House in London (Oct. 16-19, 2014). Emphasizing that Africa is not a monolith, but rather a diverse continent composed of 54 countries, the fair coincides with Frieze London and features a robust schedule of talks, film screenings and a panel discussion. In anticipation, of 1:54, the links below offer a primer on the fair and the state of contemporary African art.


1:54 Gains Traction
For the Financial Times, Emma Crichton-Miller reports on the hesitation of some to participate in the inaugural edition of 1:54 which turned out to be a success in terms of connections, exposure and sales and returns this year with more galleries (27, 11 of them from Africa) and artists (113). READ ARTICLE


1:54 Joins Forces with Artsy
1:54 announced a partnership with Artsy on August, a collaboration that brings the London art fair online to reach a global audience. On Artsy, visitors can read editorial related to contemporary African art and browse images and find galleries and artists participating in 1:54. EXPLORE SITE


Contemporary African Art at Auction
In May, Bonhams held its annual Africa Now sale of contemporary African art in London. The auction house reported that sales for the 120 lots totaled more than $1.26 million, Nigerian and Ghanaian artists garnered top bids, and record prices were achieved by more than 10 artists. VIEW SALES RESULTS


Okwui Enwezor is Changing the Art World
For WSJ: The Wall Street Journal Magazine, Zeke Turner recently profiled Okwui Enwezor, detailing how the Nigerian-born curator “changed the art world.” Director of the Haus der Kunst museum in Munich and artistic director of the 2015 Venice Bienniale, the first African to hold the post, Enwezor founded of Nka: Journal of Contemporary African Art and is co-editor of “Contemporary African Art Since 1980,” an illustrated tome. READ PROFILE


Dak’Art Brings African Art to World Stage
For CNN African Voices, Teo Kermeliotis reports on the 11th edition of the Dakar Bienniale (May 9 – June 8, 2014). Dedicated to African contemporary art, Dak’Art is the oldest biennial in Africa. READ ARTICLE


Dispatch from Dak’Art
For Artforum, Cathryn Drake shares a dispatch from 2014 Dakar Bienniale, declaring “by all accounts, this was the best Dak’Art exhibition yet.” READ ARTICLE

(The October 2014 print edition of Artforum features a review of Dak’Art 2014 by Chika Okeke-Agulu, co-editor of Nka Journal)


Inaugural Orisha Prize
In September, the Orisha Prize for Contemporary African Art announced a shortlist of six nominees—Dineo Seshee Bopape, Gopal Dagnogo, Kifouli Dossou, Ori Huchi Kozia, Mame-Diarra Niang, and Boubacar Touré Mandémory. On Oct. 2, Kifouli Dossou was declared the winner of the first edition and $12,000, awarded by a jury that included Touria El Glaoui, founder of the 1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair. WATCH VIDEO (FRENCH)


African Author Lauds Contemporary African Art
For CNN African Voices, Chibundu Onuzo, the Nigerian-born author of “The Spider King’s Daughter” opines about female curators and the thriving African contemporary art market. READ ARTICLE


Major Artists to Know
A number of African-born contemporary artists have developed critically regarded practices and forged successful international careers, El Anatsui, Julie Mehretu, Zwelethu Mthethwa, Wangechi Mutu, Odili Donald Odita, Toyin Odutola and Malik Sidibe, among them. Click links to WATCH VIDEOS. CT


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