1-54 Contemporary African Art fair 2022, Aicha Snoussi - Watch Me
Art Fair

1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair 2022

VIP Preview 11.00 – 18.00 Thu 13 Oct
Public Opening 10.00 - 19.00 Fri 14 - Sun 16 Oct

Fri 14 - Sun 16 Oct 2022

Celebrating its tenth anniversary in London, 1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair returns to Somerset House with its flagship edition over the course of four days from 13 – 16 October 2022 (Press & VIP Preview on 13 October). This year's edition hosts 50 international exhibitors across 21 countries, the largest number of countries to date.

Of the 50 international exhibitors, 17 galleries 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 albertz benda (New York), Berntson Bhattacharjee Gallery (London), Galleria Poggiali (Milan, Florence), Portas Vilaseca Galeria (Rio de Janeiro), Selebe Yoon (Dakar), and Unit London (London), among others.

New and returning exhibitors will present over 130 artists working across an array of mediums, from painting and sculpture to mixed media and installation. Works from established artists such as Ibrahim El-Salahi, Hassan Hajjaj, and Zanele Muholi to young and emerging artists including Sola Olulode and Pedro Neves will be on view.

1-54 London 2022 will be accompanied by a range of special projects and events. In addition to 1-54 Forum, the fair’s multi-disciplinary programme of talks, screenings, performances, workshops, and readings will be curated by Dr Omar Kholeif.

In collaboration with Somerset House, interdisciplinary Lisbon based artist Grada Kilomba will bring her critically acclaimed installation O Barco / The Boat to our courtyard from 29 Sep – 20 Oct 2022. The striking 32 metre-long installation is composed of 140 blocks, the configuration of which outlines the lower hold of an historic European slave ship. Charred by the artist, the blocks contain poems in six different languages, intricately inscribed into their surfaces. Directly addressing the history of European maritime expansion and colonisation, the piece invites the audience to consider forgotten stories and identities. Alongside its sculptural elements, the artwork includes live performance, combining song, music and dance, with music production by award-winning writer and musician Kalaf Epalanga. Designed and directed by the artist, the live ensemble brings new meaning to O Barco / The Boat, both acknowledging memories of the past and looking towards the future. Kilomba’s installation will be on view, making its UK debut, with performances on 13 and 14 October 2022.