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Renowned contemporary Moroccan artist Amine El Gotaibi to introduce his latest sculptural work inspired by light and the West’s perception of Africa for the courtyard installation in collaboration with MCC Gallery

Amine El Gotaibi, From the Mountain to the Desert and from the Desert to the Mountain, 2022. Stale model for a monumental installation, corten steel and copper, 60 x 70 x 20cm. Courtesy of the artist and MCC GALLERY.

1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair is delighted to return to Somerset House for the 11th consecutive year over four days from 12 – 15 October 2023 (Press Preview 12 October). As the leading international art fair dedicated to contemporary art from Africa and the African diaspora, 1-54 London 2023 will host over 60 international exhibitors, its largest number to date, representing 31 countries.

Of the 62 international exhibitors, one third are from the African continent and 14 galleries will participate at the fair’s London edition for the first time. Newcomers to the fair include Affinity Gallery (Lagos, Nigeria), Efie Gallery (Dubai, United Arab Emirates), Asfalto (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil), Krystel Ann Art (Lisbon, Portugal), Hannah Traore Gallery (New York, USA), and The African Art Hub (London, UK), among others.

New and returning exhibitors will present over 170 artists working across an array of mediums from painting and sculpture to mixed media and installation. Works from established artists such as Joana Choumali, Ibrahim El Salahi and Soly Cissé to young and emerging artists including Josué Comoe, Anya Paintsil and Edozie Anedu will be on view.

Specially commissioned for the Edmond J. Safra Fountain Court at Somerset House, the Moroccan artist Amine El Gotaibi presents his most ambitious work to date: Illuminate the Light in collaboration with MCC Gallery in Marrakech, Morocco. The artist presents twelve individual geometric sculptures inspired by the seeds of a pomegranate that vary widely in shape and colour, to represent the diversity and abundance of the African continent. Wielding light as a solid medium within the sculptures, El Gotaibi also uses light as a metaphor to foster positive stories of Africa to counter the West’s frequent stereotypes of the “dark continent.” At dusk, the sculptures transform into luminous installations, underscoring the artist’s philosophy that “out of darkness, light emerges”.

“We are delighted to welcome more galleries than ever before with a significant number of galleries based on the continent” says Founding Director Touria El Glaoui. “Alongside our established artists you will encounter emerging artists who we are proud to present at the start of their careers. Over the past 11 years, numerous artists have had their international debut at our fair and are now established figures in the art market, and we hope to continue this as we enter our next decade. As a French Moroccan, I am personally excited to see such a strong connection to Morocco this year. Our wonderful courtyard artist Amine El Gotaibi is one of the country’s most exciting contemporary artists, and I can’t wait to see his project transform the beautiful courtyard at Somerset House.”

Now in its fourth consecutive year, 1-54’s continued partnership with Christie’s signals the fair’s strong and dynamic relationship with the global auction house. The collaboration also demonstrates Christie’s commitment to showcasing contemporary African art to its global client base and enhancing exposure for the fair internationally. This year’s collaboration will also see Christie’s host the second iteration of 1-54 Presents, a new programme of pop-up exhibitions by 1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair, from 9-14th October at their London space.

1-54 is also pleased to announce a new creative partnership with Infiniment Coty Paris, a high-end fragrance collection which will be launched globally in 2024 by Coty Inc., one of the world’s largest beauty companies. The brand will introduce its first Infiniment Coty Paris Art Gallery featuring dedicated artworks from across Africa, and reveal in avant-première the 14 fragrances from the upcoming collection through a dedicated installation. Follow Infiniment Coty Paris on Instagram.

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 from 12 – 29 October at artsy.net/.

List of Participating Galleries

  • (S)ITOR (Paris, France)
  • 193 Gallery (Paris, France)
  • 50 Golborne (London, United Kingdom)
  • AFIKARIS (Paris, France)
  • Affinity Gallery (Lagos, Nigeria)
  • Afriart (Kampala, Uganda)
  • albertz benda (New York, United States of America)
  • Asfalto (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)
  • Berman Contemporary (Johannesburg, South Africa)
  • BKhz (Johannesburg, South Africa)
  • Christophe Person (Paris, France)
  • Circle Art Gallery (Nairobi, Kenya)
  • DADA Gallery (Lagos, Nigeria / London, United Kingdom)
  • Doyle Wham (London, United Kingdom)
  • Eclectica Contemporary (Cape Town, South Africa)
  • Efie Gallery (Dubai, United Arab Emirates)
  • Eric Dupont (Paris, France)
  • Foreign Agent (Lausanne, Switzerland)
  • Galerie Carole Kvasnevski (Paris, France / New York, United States of America)
  • Galerie Gomis (Brussels, Belgium)
  • Galerie La La Lande (Paris, France)
  • 110 Véronique Rieffel (Paris, France)
  • Galleria Anna Marra (Rome, Italy)
  • Gallery 1957 (Accra, Ghana / London, United Kingdom)
  • Gallery Nosco (Brussels, Belgium)
  • Guns & Rain (Johannesburg, South Africa)
  • Hannah Traore Gallery (New York, United States of America)
  • Kalashnikovv Gallery (Johannesburg, South Africa)
  • Kanbi Projects (Rickmansworth, United Kingdom)
  • Kristin Hjellegjerde Gallery (London, United Kingdom / Berlin, Germany / Nevlunghavn,
    Norway / Miami, United States of America)
  • Krystel Ann Art (Lisbon, Portugal)
  • L’Atelier 21 (Casablanca, Morocco)
  • La Galerie 38 (Casablanca / Marrakech, Morocco)
  • Loeve&Co (Paris, France)
  • Loft Art Gallery (Casablanca, Morocco)
  • Luce Gallery (Turin, Italy)
  • Maāt Gallery (Paris, France)
  • MCC Gallery (Marrakech, Morocco)
  • Montresso* Art Foundation (Marrakech, Morocco)
  • MOVART (Lisbon, Portugal / Luanda, Angola)
  • Nil Gallery (Paris, France)
  • October Gallery (London, United Kingdom)
  • Perve Galeria (Lisbon, Portugal)
  • Portas Vilaseca Galeria (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)
  • Primo Marella Gallery (Milan, Italy / Lugano, Switzerland)
  • Richard Saltoun Gallery (London, United Kingdom / Rome, Italy)
  • Sakhile&Me (Frankfurt, Germany)
  • SEPTIEME Gallery (Paris, France / Cotonou, Benin)
  • SMO Contemporary Art (Lagos, Nigeria)
  • So Art Gallery (Casablanca, Morocco)
  • TAFETA (London, United Kingdom)
  • The African Art Hub (TAAH) (London, United Kingdom)
  • The Gallery of Everything (London, United Kingdom)
  • THIS IS NOT A WHITE CUBE (Lisbon, Portugal / Luanda, Angola)
  • THK Gallery (Cape Town, South Africa)
  • UBUNTU Art Gallery (Cairo, Egypt)
  • Unit London (London, United Kingdom)
  • Versant Sud (Marseille, France)
  • Vigo Gallery (London, United Kingdom)
  • WHATIFTHEWORLD (Cape Town, South Africa)
  • HOA Galeria (São Paolo, Brazil)
  • Wunika Mukan Gallery (Lagos, Nigeria)

For more information, please visit 1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair.

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