1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair to proceed, Oct. 8-10

Left: Roméo Mivekannin, ‘Le Modèle noir, d’après Félix Valloton,’ acrylic on tablecloths, 251 x 254 cm, courtesy Galerie Eric Dupont, Paris. Right: Robert Charlotte, ‘Sans Titre 2, Série Sous Influence,’ 2016, print on photopaper mat 200g, 60 x 50 cm, Ed. /5, Courtesy of espace d’art contemporain 14N 16W

LONDON – 1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair has announced its 8th London edition will go ahead at Somerset House on Oct. 8-10. Over the past seven years, 1-54 has established itself as a leading voice in the global discussion on contemporary African art. A scaled-down fair will see around 20 international galleries representing a selection of the best contemporary African artists on show at Somerset House as well as online in partnership with Christie’s.

The fair will once again be accompanied by 1-54 Forum, its extensive program of artists’ talks, film screenings and panel discussions that will be curated by Julia Grosse and Yvette Mutumba from C& and take place both at Somerset House and online.

1-54 is implementing, in collaboration with Somerset House and compliance with all national regulations, strict sanitary measures to ensure everyone’s health and security, including a one-way circuit through the fair, time-slot ticketing and VIP access system (to be pre-booked online), hand sanitizer, cleaning measures, hands-free systems and capacity-controlled at all times. Full details of the safety measures and visitor experience will be announced in September.

1-54 Online Powered by Christie’s will be an innovative online platform that enhances the program of 1-54 by providing a virtual experience where visitors will encounter additional works displayed by participating galleries as well as highlights from the fair itself. The partnership with 1-54 demonstrates Christie’s commitment to showcasing contemporary African art to their global client base, in addition to partnering with this fair to enhance exposure to an even greater extent internationally. Selected works from the fair will be exhibited in Christie’s King Street galleries throughout October.

Touria El Glaoui, founding director of 1-54, commented: “We are thrilled that 1-54 will be able to go ahead this October at our spiritual home Somerset House in London where it all began eight years ago. Following close consultation with our galleries and partners, the strength of their commitment and desire to be part of a physical fair even in these incredibly challenging times made us realize the importance of making it happen. As well as the scaled-down physical fair and 1-54 Forum, we are delighted to announce an enhanced digital offer with 1-54 Online Powered by Christie’s that will enable art lovers from all over the world to see and buy works by some of the best artists from Africa and its diaspora as well as take part in interesting talks organized with Christie’s Education. We just can’t wait to welcome new faces and old friends to Somerset House in October.”

Dirk Boll, president, Europe, Middle East and Africa, Christie’s, commented: “1-54 has become a definitive moment in London’s art calendar, and we are delighted and proud to partner with this fair. Together we will provide a ground-breaking platform that allows participating galleries to showcase more artists and more artworks, thus continuing the fair’s ever-expanding capabilities for bringing the very best contemporary African art to an international audience.”

1-54 will announce a full list of galleries and 1-54 Forum program along with booking and visitor information in September.