The fair will present an opportunity to discover and appreciate contemporary African art in mediums including painting, sculpture, photography and installation with a cross-section of works from across the continent. Highlights of artists (and their galleries) include:
- Otobong Nkanga (In Situ / Fabienne Lecerc) – an Art Review FutureGreat.
- Sammy Baloji (Axis Gallery, New York) – designing an in-situ installation for the gallery at the fair.
- Ibrahim El Salahi (Vigo Gallery, London) – one of the leading figures that launched Tate modern’s outlook on African and Arab modernism with his inaugural exhibition “A Visionary Modernist”.
- Athi-Patra Ruga (In Situ / Fabienne Lecerc) – winner, 2015 Standard Bank Young Artist of the Year Award for Performance Art
- Edson Chagas (Al Palazzo) – winnner of the Golden Lion with the Angolan Pavillion at the 55th Venice Biennale and soon to exhibit at MoMa.
- Other highlights of this year’s fair inlcude: Aboudia (Galerie Cecile Fakhoury), Abu Bakarr Mansaray (Magnin-A), Boris Nzebo (Jack Bell Gallery), Godfried Donkor (ARTCO Gallery), Gonçalo Mabunda (Jack Bell Gallery), Ibrahim Mahama (Vigo Gallery), Meschac Gaba (In Situ / Fabienne Lecerc), Romauld Hazoumè (October Gallery), Sokari Douglas Camp CBE (October Gallery), Virginia Chihota (Tiwani Contemporary) and many more.
As well as 32 galleries, 1:54 will feature three special projects and two solo shows including a unique lounge area designed by Hassan Hajjaj’s Morrocan based Larrache Studio. The individual shows include Kapwani Kiwanga’s Flowers for Africa, an exhibition celebrating the independence of the 54 African countries through the reproduction of flower arrangements and a Kinshasa street life photography exhibition by Congolese artist Kiripi Katembo.
Over the past three years, 1:54 has established itself as a leading voice on contemporary African art. 1:54 will host its hugely popular FORUM programme – a three-day critical conversations series comprising of artist talks, panel discussions and film screenings curated by Koyo Kouoh, Artistic Director of RAW Material Company and curator of 2016 EVA International, the Ireland’s Biennial. With a focus on North Africa this year, discussion topics will include the current trajectories of contemporary African artistic production and practice. The conversations will explore the cultural diversity of artistic traditions that form the rich universe of the African experience.
The fair will be designed by award-winning architectural and design studio RA Projects (Rashid Ali). RA Projects will insert a series of richly coloured sculptural interventions across the South, East and West Wings of Somerset House.
Online platform Artsy will be producing an extensive digital catalogue of the fair at Artsy.net and on the Artsy iPhone app making it possible to experience the fair around the world.