Prince Gyasi, The 12 Powers. 56 x 75cm, Ed of 10+4 artists proofs. Courtesy of Nil Gallery.

1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair Collaborates with Christie’s in Paris

1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair, the leading international art fair dedicated to contemporary art from Africa and the African diaspora, is delighted to announce its first-ever fair in Paris set to take place over four days from the 20th to 23rd of January 2021, with a press preview on Wednesday the 20th of January 2021.

1-54 Paris at Christie’s will take place at the auction house’s city HQ at Avenue Matignon and online featuring 19 international exhibitors. Galleries taking part include Galerie Cécile Fakhoury (Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire / Dakar, Senegal), Galerie Lelong & Co. (Paris, France), MAGNIN-A (Paris, France), Galerie Nathalie Obadia (Paris, France), Gallery 1957 (Accra, Ghana / London, United Kingdom), Loft Art Gallery (Casablanca, Morocco), Luce Gallery (Turin, Italy), among others.

Chéri Samba, Merci, merci je suis dans la zone verte, 2020. Acrylique et paillettes sur toile, 135 x 200cm. Courtesy of Galerie MAGNIN-A.Chéri Samba, Merci, merci je suis dans la zone verte, 2020. Acrylique et paillettes sur toile, 135 x 200cm. Courtesy of Galerie MAGNIN-A.

Following the postponement of the 2021 Marrakech edition due to COVID-related challenges, 1-54 has decided to take this unique opportunity to advance beyond its established model and partner with Christie’s to hold a new physical fair in Paris.

This special edition will not only welcome galleries from across Africa and Europe, but also 1-54 Forum, the fair’s multi-disciplinary programme of talks, screenings, performances, workshops and readings. The all-digital programme will be curated by LE18, a multi-disciplinary art space in the Marrakech medina, and will see some events take place during the Paris fair followed by more throughout the month of February.

1-54 online, powered by Christie’s will provide a virtual experience allowing visitors globally to encounter all works displayed by participating galleries. The partnership with Christie’s Paris follows the success of collaboration for the 2020 London fair that saw Christie’s host a display of selected works from the fair at its King Street galleries as well as the full online fair at Christies.com. It demonstrates Christie’s commitment to showcasing contemporary African art to its global client base and enhance exposure for it internationally.

JP Mika, Bwania (La Sagesse), 2019. Acrylique sur tissu, 160 x 130cm. Courtesy of Galerie MAGNIN-A.JP Mika, Bwania (La Sagesse), 2019. Acrylique sur tissu, 160 x 130cm. Courtesy of Galerie MAGNIN-A.

For this edition, 1-54 has also collaborated with Convelio, a fine-art shipping company who will handle all of the fair’s shipping needs, and who have also developed an API tool to integrate onto the online platform. This will be used alongside 1-54 online powered by Christie’s to provide collectors with instant quotes for collection, crating, freight and customs, to front-door or white-glove delivery. This is a first in the industry and a unique service offer for 1-54’s global collector base.

Thanks to 1-54’s long-standing partnership with Artsy, visitors are also able to explore, connect with, and collect from all the galleries and artists online 20-31 January at artsy.net/1-54. Given the ongoing global pandemic, 1-54 is implementing, in collaboration with Christie’s Paris and compliance with all national regulations, strict sanitary measures to ensure everyone’s health and security, including a time-slot ticketing and VIP access system, hand sanitiser, cleaning measures, hands-free systems and limited capacity-controlled at all times.

Prince Gyasi, The 12 Powers. 56 x 75cm, Ed of 10+4 artists proofs. Courtesy of Nil Gallery.Prince Gyasi, The 12 Powers. 56 x 75cm, Ed of 10+4 artists proofs. Courtesy of Nil Gallery.

Touria El Glaoui, Founding Director, 1-54, commented: “Whilst we’re sad not to be able to go ahead with the fourth edition of 1-54 Marrakech in February as hoped, we are incredibly excited to have the opportunity to be in Paris this January with our first-ever fair on French soil thanks to our dedicated partners Christie’s. 1-54’s vision has always been to promote vibrant and dynamic contemporary art from a diverse set of African perspectives and bring it to new audiences, and what better way of doing so than to launch an edition somewhere completely new. Thanks to the special Season of African Culture in France, 2021 is already set to be a great year for African art in the country so we are excited to be playing our part and look forward, all being well, to welcoming our French friends to Christie’s and many more from around the world to our online fair in January.

Julien Pradels, General Director of Christie’s France, commented: “Christie’s is delighted to announce our second collaboration with 1-54, the Contemporary African Art Fair, following a successful edition in London this October. Paris, with its strong links to the continent, is a perfect place for such a project and the additional context of the delayed Saison Africa 2020 makes this partnership all the more special. We hope this collaboration will prove a meaningful platform for the vibrant African art scene and we are confident that collectors will be as enthusiastic to see the works presented, as we are.

1-54 will announce a full list of galleries and 1-54 Forum programme in January.