Installation view, 1:54 New York 2016 © Katrina Sorrentino


WHAT BEGAN AS A POP-UP is turning into an annual event. After its debut in 2015, and return in 2016, the 1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair is staging its third edition in New York. This year, the fair is May 5-7 at Pioneer Works in Red Hook, Brooklyn, its usual venue.

International interest in contemporary African art is finally on the rise on a wide scale, beyond a focused group of artists who have enjoyed global recognition for decades, such as the late photographers Seydou Keita and Malick Sidibe, and more recently El Anatsui, Ibrahim El-Salahi, and a new generation of U.S.-based artists, Wangechi Mutu and Njideka Akunyili Crosby, among them. Three African nations debuted at the Venice Biennale in 2015 (Mozambique, Mauritius and the Seychelles), and several African artists were invited to participate in the international exhibition curated by Nigerian-born Okwui Enwezor. African artists are receiving prestigious awards, major exhibitions, and in May, Sotheby’s is holding its first-ever auction dedicated to modern and contemporary African art.

Meanwhile, U.S. interest in the contemporary African art market appears to be strong. Galleries and artists participating in the 2017 edition of 1:54 New York were recently announced and the fair’s director emphasized the event’s enthusiastic reception in 2016.

“We’re very eager and excited to return to New York this May,” 1:54 Founding Director Touria El Glaoui said in the announcement. “The fair was a huge success for our many participating galleries and partners last year, so we’re excited to return to Pioneer Works for another edition this year.”

“We’re very eager and excited to return to New York this May. The fair was a huge success for our many participating galleries and partners last year.”
— Touria El Glaoui, 1:54 Founding Director

THE 1:54 FAIR WAS LAUNCHED in London in 2013 and expanded to New York two years ago. Nineteen galleries, from Angola, Cote d’Ivoire, France, Ghana, Italy, Kenya, Morocco, South Africa, the United States and UK, will be featured this year, up from 17 last year. Nine galleries are showing at the fair for the first time. It’s a modest-sized fair, so the newcomers represent a fresh staging of the fair. Work by more than 60 artists will be on view.

The following galleries are debuting at the fair this year: 50 Golborne (London,UK), Ed Cross Fine Art (London, UK), Gallery 1957 (Accra, Ghana), MOV’ART Gallery (Luanda, Angola), ROOM Gallery & Projects (Johannesburg, South Africa) Rosenfeld Porcini (London, UK), Taymour Grahne Gallery (New York, USA) Tyburn Gallery (London, UK), and Vigo Gallery (London, UK).


MOHAU MODISAKENG, “Inzilo 1,” 2013 (injet print on Epson Hot Press Natural). | Photo via Tyburn Gallery


London’s Tyburn Gallery is featuring work by Mohau Modisakeng, who is representing South Africa in the upcoming Venice Biennale. Voice Gallery of Marrakesh, Morocco, is presenting a solo show of works by Laila Alaoui, the French Moroccan photographer who died in January 2016. She was fatally injured in a terrorist attack in Burkina Faso.

In addition to El-Salahi (Sudan), Sidibé (Mali), Keïta (Mali), this year’s roster also includes artists Aida Muluneh (Ethiopia), Billie Zangewa (Malawi), Cheikh Ndiaye (Senegal), Lebohang Kganye (South Africa), Omar Victor Diop (Senegal), Romuald Hazoumè (Benin), and William Kentridge (South Africa). Baltimore-born, New York-based artist Derrick Adams is also participating. Adams is the winner of the Studio Museum in Harlem’s 2016 Joyce Alexander Wein Artist Prize.

The art fair coincides with Frieze New York and a number of other satellite fairs. Beyond the gallery exhibitions, 1:54 New York will feature talks and related events, along with a series of special projects, to be announced. CT

Full List of Participating Galleries:
(S)ITOR, Sitor Senghor (Paris, France)
50 Golborne (London,UK)
AFRONOVA (Johannesburg, South Africa)
ARTLabAfrica (Nairobi, Kenya)
David Krut Projects (Johannesburg, South Africa, and New York, USA)
Ed Cross Fine Art (London,UK)
Galerie Cécile Fakhoury (Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire)
Gallery 1957 (Accra, Ghana)
Jack Bell Gallery (London,UK)
MAGNIN-A (Paris, France)
MOV’ART Gallery (Luanda, Angola)
Officine dell’Immagine (Milan, Italy)
ROOM Gallery & Projects (Johannesburg, South Africa)
Rosenfeld Porcini (London,UK)
TAFETA (London,UK)
Taymour Grahne Gallery (New York, USA)
Tyburn Gallery (London,UK)
Vigo Gallery (London,UK)
VOICE Gallery (Marrakech, Morocco)

Full List of Participating Artists (subject to change), including country of birth:
Adeniyi Olagunju (Nigeria)
Aida Muluneh (Ethiopia)
Antoine Tempé (France)
Armand Boua (Côte d’Ivoire)
Babajide Olatunji (Nigeria)
Ben Enwonwu MBE (Nigeria)
Benon Lutaaya (Uganda) Billie Zangewa (Malawi)
Boris Nzebo (Gabon)
Cheikh Ndiaye (Senegal)
Chéri Samba (Democratic Republic of Congo)
Derrick Adams (USA)
Diane Victor (South Africa)
Dimitri Fagbohoun (Benin)
Emo de Medeiros (Benin)
Ernest Düku (Côte d’Ivoire)
Filipe Branquinho (Mozambique)
Houston Maludi (Democratic Republic of Congo)
Ibrahim El-Salahi (Sudan)
Ihosvanny (Angola)
J.D. ‘Okhai Ojeikere (Nigeria)
Jeremiah Quarshie (Ghana)
Jodi Bieber (South Africa)
Joël Andrianomearisoa (Madagascar)
JP Mika (Democratic Republic of Congo)
Kimathi Donkor (UK)
Kura Shomali (Democratic Republic of Congo)
Laila Alaoui (Morocco)
Lawrence Lemaoana (South Africa)
Lebohang Kganye (South Africa)
Mack Magagane (South Africa)
Malala Andrialavidrazana (Madagascar)
Malick Sidibé (Mali)
Marcia Kure (Nigeria)
Maurice Mbikayi (Democratic Republic of Congo)
Mbali Mdluli (South Africa)
Modupeola Fadugba (Togo)
Moffat Takadiwa (Zimbabwe)
Mohamed Melehi (Morocco)
Mohau Mokadiseng (South Africa)
Monica De Miranda (Portugal)
Ndidi Emefiele (UK)
Nontsikelelo Veleko (South Africa)
Nu Barreto (Guinea-Bissau)
Olalekan Jeyifous (Togo)
Omar Victor Diop (Senegal)
Paul Onditi (Kenya)
Romuald Hazoumè (Benin)
Senzeni Marasela (South Africa)
Serge Attukwei Clottey (Ghana)
Seydou Keïta (Mali)
Seyni Awa Camara (Senegal)
Sikhumbuzo Makandula (South Africa)
Steve Bandoma (Democratic Republic of Congo)
Temitayo Ogunbiyi (Nigeria)
Vincent Michéa (France)
William Kentridge (South Africa)
Wura-Natasha Ogunji (USA)
Zak Ové (UK)


Aerial view, 1:54 New York 2016 © Katrina Sorrentino


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