1-54 Art Fair Returns to London For its 11th edition

1 54 london 2022 image courtesy of jim winslet 1024x681 1

Somerset House in London is set to welcome back the renowned 1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair for its 11th consecutive year, from October 12 to 15, 2023. This year, the fair is gearing up to be bigger and more diverse than ever before, featuring a staggering 62 international exhibitors and introducing 14 new galleries to its roster. The event promises a captivating showcase of contemporary African and diasporic art, spanning various mediums such as painting, sculpture, mixed media, and installation.

Founded in 2013 by Touria El Glaoui, 1-54 has been a pioneering force on the global stage for contemporary African art. It stands as the singular international fair dedicated to this genre, with events recurring in London, New York, Marrakech, and a pop-up in Paris. In this way, 1-54 has emerged as the premier worldwide art fair championing contemporary African and diasporic art.

Beyond its role as an art exhibition, 1-54 has become a hub for nurturing a diverse community of viewpoints, elevating evolving interpretations of the diasporic journey. The fair presents distinguished international galleries specializing in contemporary African art. Alongside these exhibitions, 1-54 hosts artist talks, panel discussions, and a Special Projects program. The fair’s name, “1-54,” pays homage to the fifty-four countries constituting the African continent, symbolizing unity in diversity and amplifying the voices, narratives, and creativity of contemporary African art across the globe.

One of the most anticipated artworks of this edition is the collaborative masterpiece, “Illuminate the Light,” by Moroccan artist Amine El Gotaibi in partnership with MCC Gallery. This work features twelve geometric sculptures inspired by pomegranate seeds, symbolizing Africa’s diversity and illuminated by light. In challenging Western stereotypes of the “dark continent,” these sculptures metamorphose into luminous installations as daylight fades, embodying the philosophy that “out of darkness, light emerges.”

The fair continues its steadfast partnership with Christie’s, dedicated to showcasing contemporary African art worldwide. This partnership is manifested in the 1-54 London House exhibition at Somerset House this year. Additionally, their collaboration with Artsy allows visitors to virtually explore, connect with, and collect artworks during the art fair.

This year’s 1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair promises to be a celebration of creativity, diversity, and unity, reaffirming its status as a global platform for contemporary African and diasporic art. Art enthusiasts, collectors, and cultural enthusiasts alike are eagerly anticipating the vibrant and dynamic showcase set to unfold at Somerset House this October.

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