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1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair, a leading transnational platform dedicated to promoting Africa and African-related art practices and projects, will return to New York from May 6 – 8, 2016, with press and collector previews on Thursday, May 5, 2016. The second U.S. iteration of the fair will take place at the 25,000 square-foot manufacturing warehouse Pioneer Works in Red Hook, Brooklyn, where the New York edition of 1:54 launched in 2015, and will coincide with Frieze Art Week.

AA Newsletter May5 154Contemporary11:54 New York 2015 © Sasha Arutyunova. Image taken from 1:54’s website.

A reference to the fifty-four countries that constitute the African continent, the title of 1:54 establishes the parameters of the fair’s ethos: as a platform that strives to represent multiplicity and showcase the diversity of contemporary African art and cultural production on an international stage. 1:54 was initiated by Touria El Glaoui in 2013 in London. Born and raised in Morocco, Touria El Glaoui is the daughter of one of the most revered living Moroccan artists, Hassan El Glaoui. She has organised and co-curated significant exhibitions of her father’s work, including a major retrospective in Casablanca and ‘Meetings in Marrakech’, a joint exhibition with Winston Churchill’s paintings hosted in Leighton House, London.

 May 2016 marks the second edition of 1:54 New York, while 1:54 London will return for the fourth consecutive year from the 6-9th of October 2016 at Somerset House.The 2016 New York edition of 1:54 will showcase 17 galleries from 9 countries, in addition to an impressive selection of works by over 60 artists working in various artistic mediums and who come from a unique blend of geographical backgrounds, comprising 27 countries: Angola, Belgium, Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, France, Gabon, Ghana, Italy, Kenya, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Madagascar, Malawi, Morocco, Mozambique, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Africa, Togo, Tunisia, United Kingdom, USA and Zimbabwe.

AA Newsletter May5 154Fair2Monsengo Shula, detail of Sans titre, 2015. 129 x 129 cm. Image courtesy of Galerie MAGNIN-A, Paris.

The fair’s unique lecture series and panel discussions, curated by Koyo Kouoh, founding Artistic Director of RAW Material Company (Dakar) and Curator of the 37th edition of EVA International – Ireland’s Biennial, helps brings visibility to emerging and established talents from Africa and the African diaspora. Past speakers and panelists include: Rujeko Hockley (Assistant Curator of Contemporary Art at the Brooklyn Museum, New York), Naima J. Keith (Associate Curator at The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York), Julie Mehretu (Artist), Franklin Sirmans (Director, Perez Art Museum Miami), and Hank Willis Thomas (Artist). 

This year, Kouoh welcomes Adrienne Edwards (Performa, New York and Walker Art Center, Minneapolis), Ugochukwu-Smooth C. Nzewi (Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College), and Dexter Wimberly (independent New York-based curator) to the programme as collaborators. The fair’s 2016 Special Projects will include ‘TRANSMISSIONS’ (in collaboration with Dak’Art, Biennale de l’Art Africain Contemporain and 1:54 PERFORMS), this year’s performance section co-presented with Performa and curated by Adrienne Edwards, Curator at Performa and Curator-at-Large at the Walker Art Center.

AA Newsletter May5 154Fair4Aida Muluneh, detail of The World is 9 (The Morning Bride), 2016. Digital Photograph Printed on Sunset Hot Press Rag 310GSM. 80 x 80cm. Edition of 7.

With contributions from a rising generation of cultural entrepreneurs and producers, the discussions and artist talks for 1:54 FORUM will pivot around a number of key themes, including the African art market, curating in the digital age, and contemporary forms of dissemination. 1:54 has also fostered a partnership with the Dakar Biennale (Dak’Art – Biennale de l’Art Africain Contemporain) for the fair’s special project TRANSMISSIONS. To celebrate the concurrence of the biennale’s opening week with 1:54 in New York, 1:54 is screening daily highlights from the Dakar Biennale in a dedicated projection room at Pioneer Works during the fair. Simultaneously, daily highlights of the fair will be screened in Dak’Art during the biennale. Fostering a cultural exchange between 1:54 and the current artistic activity in Dakar, the collaboration aims at mapping out the points of convergence between the two platforms.

“We are thrilled to be back at Pioneer Works for the second New York edition of 1:54 this year,” notes fair Founder, Touria El Glaoui. “The energy, interest, and overall success of the inaugural US fair in 2015 has lead us to return this May in hopes of broadening our reach and expanding the art world’s knowledge of Africa and the ever- evolving African art market.”

AA newsletter-May5 154Contemporary3Armand Boua, detail of Les ZINZINS, 2016. Acrylic and asphalt on cupboard paper, 210 x 210 cm. Courtesy of Jack Bell Gallery.

Additional Special Projects and Events include: 

  • 1:54 Bookstore focusing on specialized publications at Pioneer Books
  • Presentation and book signing with artist Mickalene Thomas for her latest publication, Muse: Mickalene Thomas Photographs (Aperture, 2015)
  • 1:54 Lounge designed by Stephen Burks with a site-specific lounge installation
  • Pop-up restaurant by Senegalese Chef, Restaurateur, and Author, Pierre Thiam, in the garden of Pioneer Works throughout the duration of 1:54 NY. 

Participating Galleries include: 

 Afronova (Johannesburg, South Africa) 

 APALAZZOGALLERY (Brescia, Italy) 

ARTLabAfrica (Nairobi, Kenya)

Art Bärtschi & Cie (Geneva, Switzerland) 

Axis Gallery (New York, USA)

Galerie Anne De Villepoix (Paris, France)

Galerie Cécile Fakhoury (Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire)

In Situ / Fabienne Leclerc (Paris, France)

Jack Bell Gallery (London, United Kingdom)

Magnin-A (Paris, France)

Mariane Ibrahim Gallery (Seattle, USA)

Officine dell’Immagine (Milan, Italy)

Richard Taittinger Gallery (New York, USA)

Sabrina Amrani Gallery (Madrid, Spain)

(S)ITOR / Sitor Senghor (Paris, France)

TAFETA (London, United Kingdom)

David Krut Projects (Johannesburg, South Africa & New York, USA)

 Some of the artists included this year are Derrick Adams (USA), ruby onyinyechi amanze (Nigeria), Joel Andrianomearisoa (Madagascar), Sammy Baloji (DRC), Edson Chagas (Angola), Ayana V. Jackson (USA), William Kentridge (South Africa), Otobong Nkanga (Nigeria), and Billie Zangewa (South Africa).

AA newsletter-May5 154Contemporary2Omar Ba, Les Autres, 2015, Oil and pencil on corrugated cardboard, 200 x 200 cm / 78.74 x 78.74 in, Courtesy of Art Bärtschi & Cie and 1:54 Contemporary.


 Press Preview: Thursday, May 5, 12–2 pm

 To register, please email: andrew@suttonpr.com

*Please include name, address, phone number, and affiliation.

 VIP and Collector’s Previews: Thursday, May 5

 Private Viewing Vernissage


Opening Hours:

 Friday, May 6: 12pm – 8pm

Saturday, May 7: 12pm – 8pm

Sunday, May 8: 12pm – 8pm

*Pioneer Works’ monthly event Second Sunday will take place from 4-8pm on Sunday, May 8, in collaboration with 1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair.



 Day Ticket: $20 (tax included)

Concession Day Ticket: $10 (tax included)



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