1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair 2020, London

Somerset House, London, 8 – 10 October 2020


• 36 international exhibitors from across Europe, Africa and North America will showcase work by more than 110 artists at the Somerset House fair and via 1-54 Online Powered by Christie’s
• Christie’s also to host a 1-54 pop-up exhibition at the Duke Street Gallery at its London headquarters throughout the week of the fair
• Special free exhibition by late French-Moroccan photographer Leila Alaoui in collaboration with Somerset House
• Fifteenth edition of 1-54 Forum curated by Contemporary And (C&), titled “I felt like a Black guy from New York trapped in Peru” inspired by the productive networks of creatives of the Global Diaspora
• Visitors will be also able to explore, connect with, and collect from all the galleries and artists online 7 – 22 October at artsy.net/1-54.

Nonzuzo Gxekwa, The Queen – THK Gallery

1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair has announced 36 exhibitors from 17 countries participating in a new blended online and offline model for the upcoming London fair taking place 8-10 October 2020 (preview days on Thursday 8 and Friday 9 October). All exhibitors will showcase their works at 1-54 Online Powered by Christie’s, with 29 exhibitors also bringing physical presentations to an intimate eighth London edition at Somerset House.

1-54 London 2020 will showcase the work of more than 110 emerging and established artists from Africa and its diaspora, working in a wide variety of mediums and from a range of geographical backgrounds. Three solo exhibitions have been announced: DuduBloom More (Berman Contemporary), Anya Paintsil (Ed Cross Fine Art) and Ekene Maduka (Polartics).

Richard Mudariki, Passport Size Photo I – Gallery Delta


Christie’s has partnered with 1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair and will be creating and hosting an innovative platform that will power the fair’s online presence, extending the fair’s capabilities for showcasing an extensive range of artworks by participating galleries. Running from 5-12 October 2020 (5 and 6 October are VIP Days), 1-54 Online Powered by Christie’s will offer virtual booths that feature 30 works from each gallery, as well as providing a spotlight series on individual artists, all of which will be globally accessible. A curated pop-up exhibition including one seminal work from each exhibitor will take place in the Duke Street Gallery within the company’s Headquarters at King Street, on view to the public from 6-12 October 2020.

Sungi Mlengeya, At the end of the evening – Afriart

1-54 Forum

The eighth edition of 1-54 London will once again be accompanied by 1-54 Forum, the fair’s extensive talks programme with international artists, curators, art historians and cultural producers. This year, 1-54 Forum is curated by Julia Grosse and Yvette Mutumba (Contemporary And (C&) and Contemporary And América Latina (C&AL) and is titled “I felt like a Black guy from New York trapped in Peru.” Taking place both at Somerset House and online over three afternoons, 1-54 Forum will be engaging with creative Afro-Latin American, Caribbean and African perspectives, asking questions such as: Why is it important to bring together and discuss shared histories and experiences as well as the differences? How can cultural production be generated around these issues? What impact has visibility, or rather invisibility, had on Afro-Latin American creatives and their work within their respective scenes? How have the art scenes in the Caribbean positioned themselves within the growing “hype” around their historical and recent artistic production?

Robert Charlotte 2016 Serie “sous influence” – Rouge

Leila Alaoui Exhibition at Somerset House

Somerset House will present the first major UK retrospective of works by the celebrated late French-Moroccan photographer, video artist and activist Leila Alaoui, which will debut during 1-54 and run through to January 2021. A series of photographic works created between 2008 and 2014 will be presented alongside Leila Alaoui’s final unfinished video work. Acclaimed for capturing and preserving the unseen stories of individuals and communities displaced by conflict and unrest, Leila Alaoui offers an intimate portrait into the rich cultural identities and resilience of societies facing difficult and uncertain realities. The subjects of Alaoui’s works are pictured across the contemporary Mediterranean-landscape and beyond, from Syrian refugees fleeing civil war in Lebanon to young North Africans seeking an alternative future in Europe. Tragically, Alaoui was killed whilst working on a photography project for a women’s rights campaign for Amnesty International in Burkina Faso in 2016. She was critically wounded during a terrorist attack in Ouagadougou, passing away from her injuries shortly afterwards at the age of 33.

Anya Paintsil, Shackles the Snake – ross Fine Art


Visitors will be also able to explore, connect with, and collect from all the galleries and artists online 7 – 22 October at artsy.net/1-54.

Founding Director of 1-54, Touria El Glaoui, commented: “Given the incredible challenges and uncertainty posed by the global COVID-19 pandemic, we are delighted to have been able to find a way to welcome visitors back to our spiritual home at Somerset House in London this October whilst also amplifying our online presence in partnership with Christie’s to ensure that art lovers from all over the world will be able to join us too. Having organised fourteen fairs across three continents in the past eight years, this has certainly been the most demanding planning process yet. We are incredibly grateful to all our exhibitors and partners who have demonstrated great commitment, desire and flexibility to help make this fair happen. It’s very exciting to think that soon we will be opening our doors both online and at Somerset House and I look forward to welcoming new and old friends to the fair… from a safe distance of course!”

Benji Reid, Moon on a Cloud – October Gallery

List of participating exhibitors at 1-54 London at Somerset House and 1-54 Online

31 project (Paris, France), 50 Golborne (London, United Kingdom), Addis Fine Art (Addis Ababa, Ethiopia), Afikaris (Paris, France), Afriart (Kampala, Uganda), Atelier Le Grand Village (Massignac, France), Berman Contemporary (Johannesburg, South Africa), Boogie Wall (London, United Kingdom), De Buck Gallery (New York, USA), Ed Cross Fine Art (London, United Kingdom), espace d’art contemporain 14°N 61°W (Fort de France, Martinique), Galerie Eric Dupont (Paris, France), Galerie Ernst Hilger (Vienna, Austria), Galerie Number 8 (Brussels, Belgium), Gallery 1957 (Accra, Ghana), Gallery Delta (Harare, Zimbabwe), Guns & Rain (Johannesburg, South Africa), Jack Bell Gallery (London, United Kingdom), Luce Gallery (Turin, Italy), Nil Gallery (Paris, France), October Gallery (London, United Kingdom), Polartics (Lagos, Nigeria), Sakhile & Me (Frankfurt, Germany), Sulger-Buel Gallery (London, United Kingdom), TAFETA (London, United Kingdom), The Gallery of Everything (London, United Kingdom), This is Not a White Cube (Luanda, Angola), THK Gallery (Cape Town, South Africa), Ubuntu Art Gallery (Cairo, Egypt)

Evans Mbugua, Who’s that girl? – Grand Village

List of exhibitors participating in 1-54 Online

Claire Oliver Gallery (New York, USA), Galleria Anna Marra (Rome, Italy), Loft Art Gallery (Casablanca, Morocco), Mindy Solomon (Miami, USA), Montague Contemporary (New York, USA), OOA (Madrid, Spain), SMO Contemporary Art (Lagos, Nigeria), Spier Arts Trust (Cape Town, South Africa)