The leading contemporary African art fair is opening in London

Bertô, El hombre sanado, Hoa Galeria

1-54 London, the leading contemporary African art fair, is finally returning to its pre-Covid scale, presenting 48 leading international galleries from 23 countries at Somerset House from October 14-17, 2021! The ninth and largest edition is marked by a record number of galleries exhibiting from the African continent (20 in total), and by key partnerships with other major players in the art market, including Christie's and Artsy.

Alongside the physical fair at Somerset House, online viewing rooms will be organized in collaboration with Christie’s. The auction house will not only be delivering an online edition “1-54 Online Powered by Christie’s”, but also producing a special exhibition at the Duke Street space curated by art historian and critic Christine Eyene.

The fair will be accompanied by 1-54 Forum, an extensive programme of artists’ talks, film screenings, panel discussions, performances, and readings that will be curated by Dr. Omar Kholeif, Director of Collections and Senior Curator at Sharjah Art Foundation. Entitled “Continental Drift”, 1-54 Forum will gather artists and audiences, mediators and narrators, to collectively delve into themes of legacy, philanthropy, and digitality.

All in all, the fair will showcase the works of more than 150 emerging and established artists, working in a wide variety of mediums and from a range of geographical backgrounds. We invite you to take a look at the deep, colourful and outstanding art right now: go online or attend the fair in person to discover the works of the emerging and renowned artists from Africa and its diaspora!

Salifou Lindou, an artist presented by Afikaris gallery, is a self-taught multidisciplinary artist who founded the Cercle Kapsiki in 1998, alongside Hervé Yamguen and Hervé Youmbi, to provide a platform for the arts in Douala through the organization of exhibitions, projects, and residencies. These events invite artists from around the world to transform the public space, hand in hand with Douala inhabitants. One of the most recognized Cameroonian artists today, he underlines the fragility and vulnerability of human beings through his latest pastel works.

To explore more recent talents, take a look at the artworks of Patrick Bongoy (This Is Not a White Cube gallery), born in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo, and living in Cape Town, South Africa. His works explore the themes of migration, alienation through the loss of homeland, communities with toxic historical narratives, and struggles for natural resources. His fellow artist, Stephané E. Conradie, is also reflecting on social issues using a wide range of media: sculptures, prints, and paintings. Conradie’s work repurposes objects such as brass, wooden figurines, ceramic trinkets, and porcelain display and utility objects from the working and middle-class homes across South Africa. These works reflect on belonging in a society that is undergoing rapid and often unstable change in the context of the home. By sourcing materials from diverse households, Conradie locates the aesthetic threads that tie the often invisible domestic lives of South Africans, who used to be forced to live separately, together.

Many of the exhibiting galleries have already entrusted the shipping of their valuable art pieces to Convelio, the leading digital fine art transport solution. We are more than happy to maintain a strong relationship with this prominent art fair, which has become a leading voice in the global discussion on contemporary African art with annual editions across three continents. Convelio is proud to be listed as a shipping partner in the inaugural 1-54 Annual Book, a substantial endeavour that will include 4 editions of the fair from 2020 – 2021: 1-54 London 2020; 1-54 Paris 2021; 1-54 New York 2021 and 1-54 London 2021.

Create your very own relationship with contemporary African art by visiting Somerset house on October 14-17. We will meet you there!

Key information

Ticket here

VIP & Press previews 10:00 - 18:00 Thursday 14 October 10:00 - 20:00 Friday 15 October

1-54 Public opening hours 10:00 - 20:00 Saturday 16 October 10:00 - 18:00 Sunday 17 October

Somerset House London

October 13, 2021

Anna Kopylova