1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair

4 – 7 October 2018

Somerset House, London


Gallery list announced for sixth London edition of the fair

  • 43 galleries from across Europe, Africa, the Middle East and North America
  • More than 130 artists, including 10 solo shows
  • Ekow Eshun new curator of FORUM talks and events programme
  • Special free exhibition by Athi-Patra Ruga in collaboration with Somerset House
1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair has announced the 42 galleries from 21 countries exhibiting in its sixth London edition, taking place at Somerset House, 4-7 October 2018 (preview on Wednesday 3 October). As part of the programme of Special Projects, 1-54 is partnering with Somerset House to present an exhibition of new and rarely seen works by the internationally renowned South African artist Athi-Patra Ruga, which will run through to 7 January 2019.
Over the past six years 1-54 has established itself as a leading voice in the global discussion on contemporary African art. 1-54 brings together a diverse set of perspectives from around the world, and has carefully selected 42 leading galleries specialising in contemporary art from 21 countries across Europe, Africa, the Middle East and North America: Angola, Belgium, Côte d'Ivoire, Denmark, Egypt, Ethiopia, France, Germany, Ghana, Italy, Kenya, Morocco, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, Spain, Switzerland, Tunisia, the United Kingdom, the United Arab Emirates and the United States.
Among the exhibitors this year there are 16 galleries from Africa: Addis Fine Art, AFRONOVA GALLERY, AGorgi Gallery, ARTLabAfrica, Circle Art Gallery, Galerie Cécile Fakhoury, Gallery 1957, Loft Art Gallery, Mashrabia Gallery of Contemporary Art, MOV'ART Gallery, Retro Africa, Selma Feriani Gallery, SMAC Gallery, SMO Contemporary Art, VOICE gallery, WHATIFTHEWORLD.
Of the 43 exhibitors, 12 galleries will be welcomed to the London fair for the first time: ADN Galeria, Art Bärtschi & Cie, Burning in Water, Galerie Nathalie Obadia, Gallery Nosco, HUBERTY & BREYNE GALLERY, James Cohan, Kristin Hjellegjerde, Loft Art Gallery, MOV'ART Gallery, Retro Africa and Yossi Milo Gallery.

The fair will showcase the work of more than 130 emerging and established artists, working in a wide variety of mediums and from a range of geographical backgrounds comprising 33 countries: Algeria, Angola, Belgium, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, Ethiopia, France, Gabon, Germany, Ghana, Haiti, Italy, Kenya, Madagascar, Mali, Morocco, Mozambique, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, Sudan, Togo, Tunisia, Uganda, the United Kingdom, the Unites States and Zimbabwe.
Ten solo exhibitions have been announced: Omar Ba (Art Bärtschi & Cie), Marion Boehm (ARTCO Gallery), Atta Kwami (Beardsmore Gallery), Esther Mahlangu (Burning in Water), Wonga Mancoba (Galerie Mikael Anderson), Youssef Nabil (Galerie Nathalie Obadia), Ibrahim Ahmed (Gallery Nosco), Anton Kannemeyer (HUBERTY & BREYNE GALLERY), Ailou Diack ((S)ITOR / Sitor Senghor) and Mongezi Ncaphayi (SMAC Gallery).
Building on the success of their expanded programme of non-profit Special Projects for the 2017 edition of the London fair, 1-54 will present a number of collateral exhibitions in Somerset House, including Athi-Patra Ruga’s inaugural UK solo exhibition, Of Gods, Rainbows and Omissions, which brings together three bodies of work, presenting a surreal, mythical utopia filled with vibrant characters. Represented by Cape Town-based gallery WHATIFTHEWORLD, Ruga forms a critique of post-apartheid political, cultural and social systems through drawing, sculpture, film, tapestry and performance, to present a possible humanist vision of the future. The free exhibition is presented in partnership with Somerset House, launching alongside the fair and continuing through to 7 January 2019.
For the sixth year in a row, 1-54 will be accompanied by FORUM, the fair’s extensive talks and events programme, including artists talks, film screenings and panel discussions with international curators, artists and cultural producers. 1-54 FORUM will be curated for the first time, by writer and curator Ekow Eshun, chairman of the Fourth Plinth Commissioning Group and Creative Director of Calvert 22 Foundation. FORUM at 1-54 London 2018 will be sponsored by Christie’s Education.
Founding Director of 1-54, Touria El Glaoui, commented: “We are so proud of how far we have come since our first London fair in 2013. Following the launch of our inaugural Marrakech fair in February and our fourth New York edition in May, we have gone on to develop new audiences for contemporary art from Africa and its diaspora across three fairs and three different continents. The growth and popularity of the fair is a real testament to the shift away from Euro-centric art-historical narratives.”
Press contact

Julia Schouten at Sutton
julias@suttonpr.com | +44 (0)20 6183 3577
Full list of participating galleries
50 Golborne (London, United Kingdom)
Addis Fine Art (London, United Kingdom / Addis Ababa, Ethiopia)
ADN Galeria (Barcelona, Spain)
AFRONOVA GALLERY (Johannesburg, South Africa)
AGorgi Gallery (Tunis, Tunisia)
Art Bärtschi & Cie (Geneva, Switzerland)
ARTCO Gallery (Aachen, Germany)
ARTLabAfrica (Nairobi, Kenya)
Beardsmore Gallery (London, United Kingdom)
Burning in Water (New York / San Francisco, United States)
Circle Art Gallery (Nairobi, Kenya)
Ed Cross Fine Art (London, United Kingdom)
Gallery of African Art (GAFRA) (London, United Kingdom)
Galerie Anne de Villepoix (Paris, France)
Galerie Cécile Fakhoury (Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire / Dakar, Senegal)
Galerie Mikael Andersen (Copenhagen, Denmark)
Galerie Nathalie Obadia (Paris, France / Brussels, Belgium)
Gallery 1957 (Accra, Ghana)
Gallery Nosco (Marseille, France)
HUBERTY & BREYNE GALLERY (Paris, France / Brussels, Belgium)
Jack Bell Gallery (London, United Kingdom)
James Cohan (New York, United States)
Kristin Hjellegjerde (London, United Kingdom)
Lawrie Shabibi Gallery (Dubai, United Arab Emirates)
Loft Art Gallery (Casablanca, Morocco)
Magnin-A (Paris, France)
Mashrabia Gallery of Contemporary Art (Cairo, Egypt)
MOV'ART Gallery (Luanda, Angola)
October Gallery (London, United Kingdom)
Officine Dell'Immagine (Milan, Italy)
Primo Marella Gallery (Milan, Italy)
Retro Africa (Abuja, Nigeria)
Selma Feriani Gallery (Tunis, Tunisia)
(S)ITOR / Sitor Senghor (Paris, France)
SMAC Gallery (Cape Town / Johannesburg, South Africa)
SMO Contemporary Art (Lagos, Nigeria)
Tiwani Contemporary (London, United Kingdom)
Tyburn Gallery (London, United Kingdom)
VOICE gallery (Marrakech, Morocco)
Vigo Gallery (London, United Kingdom)
WHATIFTHEWORLD (Cape Town, South Africa)
Yossi Milo Gallery (New York, United States)
Notes to Editors

About 1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair
With annual editions in London, New York and Marrakech, 1-54 is the leading international art fair dedicated to contemporary art from Africa and its diaspora. Drawing reference to the fifty-four countries that constitute the African continent, 1-54 is a sustainable and dynamic platform that is engaged in contemporary dialogue and exchange.
Initiated by Touria El Glaoui in 2013, October 2018 will mark its sixth consecutive edition at Somerset House, London, having returned from its fourth New York edition in May 2018. The fair was launched in Marrakech, Morocco, in February 2018.
About Touria El Glaoui, Founding Director of 1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair
Touria El Glaoui is the Founding Director of the leading international art fair, 1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair, which takes place in London, New York and Marrakech every year. She was listed among the 100 most powerful women in Africa by Forbes in 2016, the 50 most powerful women in Africa by Jeune Afrique in 2015 and the 100 most influential Africans in business by NewAfrican in 2013.
Born and raised in Morocco, El Glaoui completed her education in New York before beginning a career in the banking industry as a wealth management consultant. After 10 years, she relocated to London, where she initiated 1-54 in 2013. Parallel to her career, Touria has organised and co-curated exhibitions of her father’s work, Moroccan artist Hassan El Glaoui, in London and Morocco. She has spoken widely and chaired numerous discussions on contemporary African art and women in leadership at international organisations.

About 1-54 FORUM

FORUM, 1-54's programme of talks, explores convergences across artistic and cultural production, critical thinking and ideas. FORUM at 1-54 London 2018 is curated by Ekow Eshun (Chairman of the Fourth Plinth Commissioning Group and Creative Director of Calvert 22 Foundation).
About Somerset House
Inspiring contemporary culture
One of the city’s most spectacular and well-loved spaces, Somerset House is a new kind of arts centre in the heart of London, designed for today’s audiences, artists and creatives – an inspirational community where contemporary culture is imagined, created and experienced.

From its 18th Century origins, Somerset House has played a central role in our society as a place where our culture and collective understanding of the world is shaped and defined. In 2000, it began its reinvention as a cultural powerhouse and home for arts and culture today, creating unique and stimulating experiences for the public, bringing them into direct contact with ideas from the greatest artists, makers and thinkers of our time. Our distinctive and dynamic year-round programme spans the contemporary arts in all its forms, from cutting-edge exhibitions and installations to annual festivals, seasonal events in the courtyard including Film4 Summer Screen, Summer Series and Skate, and an extensive learning and engagement programme.

As well as welcoming over 3million visitors annually, Somerset House houses the largest and most diverse creative communities in the country – from one-person start-ups to successful creative enterprises including MOBO, British Fashion Council, Dance Umbrella, Improbable Theatre, Hofesh Shechter Company, and Dartmouth Films.

In 2016 we launched Somerset House Studios – a new experimental workspace connecting artists, makers and thinkers with audiences. Currently housing over 80 artists and Makerversity (a community of over 250 emergent makers), the Studios are a platform for the development of new creative projects and collaboration, promoting work that pushes bold ideas, engages with urgent issues and pioneers new technologies. www.somersethouse.org.uk
1-54 Public opening hours
Thursday 4 October 11:00 – 19:00
Friday 5 October 11:00 – 19:00
Saturday 6 October 11:00 – 19:00
Sunday 7 October 11:00 – 18:00
VIP & Press previews
Press preview: Wednesday 3 October, 9:00 – 18:00
Press and VIP preview: Wednesday 3 October, 9:00 – 18:00
Vernissage: Wednesday 3 October, 18:00 – 21:00
Social media

Website: 1-54.com/london
Twitter: @154artfair
Instagram: @154artfair
Facebook: 154ContemporaryAfricanArtFair
Main Sponsor
Modern Forms

Silver Sponsor

FORUM Sponsor
Christie’s Education


Somerset House

Hospitality Partners
Citizen M hotel
Spier wine
Strand Palace hotel

Media Partners
Afrique Magazine
Art Africa
Flash Art
Harper’s Bazaar Arabia Art
The Art Gorgeous
The New York Times
True Africa