“1-54” fair showcases the most outstanding contemporary African artists

The 1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair will take place in London for the 11th consecutive year over four days, from 12 to 15 October 2023. Billed as the leading international art fair dedicated to contemporary art from Africa and the African diaspora, 1-54 London 2023 will host more than 60 international exhibitors, the largest number to date, representing 31 countries.

Of the 62 international exhibitors, a third are from the African continent and 14 galleries will be taking part in the 1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair for the first time. 

New and old exhibitors will present more than 170 artists working on a variety of platforms, from painting and sculpture to multimedia and installation. Works from established artists such as Joana Choumali, Ibrahim El Salahi and Soly Cissé to young and emerging artists such as Josué Comoe, Anya Paintsil and Edozie Anedu will be on display.

The natural highlight is Moroccan artist Amine El Gotaibi’s installation of twelve individual geometric sculptures inspired by the seeds of a pomegranate, which vary greatly in shape and colour to represent the diversity and abundance of the African continent. Using light as a solid medium in the sculptures, El Gotaibi also uses light as a metaphor to promote positive stories of Africa to counter the West’s frequent stereotypes of the “dark continent”. At dusk, the sculptures turn into light installations, emphasising the artist’s philosophy that “out of darkness emerges light”.

The work has been in El Gotaibi’s creative pipeline for a few years now, and he also stood out at the COP22 climate conference in Morocco.

Arte d’Gema, from Mozambique, which has been present in past editions, is not taking part in the fair this time. In the meantime, artists such as Gonçalo Mabunda, Mauro Pinto or Filipe Branquinho, references in Mozambican contemporary art, may be represented by other galleries.

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