1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair at Pioneer Works


 Armand Boua, Les Winzins de Djamtala 1, 2017. Courtesy Jack Bell Gallery

By PAUL LASTER, May 2017

The leading international art fair dedicated to promoting contemporary art from an African perspective—1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair—returns to Pioneer Works in Red Hook, Brooklyn for the third edition of the New York fair.

Featuring nearly 20 international galleries and more than 60 artists working in a variety of media, the boutique fair offers work by such celebrated artists from Africa Romuald Hazoumé, William Kentridge and Cheri Samba, along with artists of the African diaspora, including Derrick Adams, Kimathi Donkor and Ndidi Emefiele.

Among the highlights this year are Adam’s large-scale fabric wall sculptures depicting television sets with color bars calling for more diversity in broadcasting at London’s Vigo Gallery, Mohamed Melehi’s colorful abstract canvases at Taymour Grahne Gallery from New York, Emefiele’s mixed-media portraits of stylish women with big heads at London’s Rosenfeld Porcini, Armand Boua’s paint and collage portrayals of political struggles in West Africa at London’s Jack Bell Gallery, Jeremiah Quarshie’s powerfully painted portraits of African women with bright yellow water containers at Gallery 1957 from Accra and Diane Victor’s mysterious figurative works on paper that are rendered with black smoke at David Krut Projects, which has spaces in Johannesburg, Cape Town and New York.

Talks with such artists and scholars Odili Donald Odita, Adam Pendleton, Tschabalala Self, Charles Gaines, Eungie Joo, Thomas J. Lax and Nicola Vassell take place in 1:54 Lounge, designed by Ousmane Mbaye, and Aperture is having book presentations and launches its summer 2017 issue “Platform Africa” in the lounge and the garden.

A unique opportunity to learn more about contemporary art from Africa and its diaspora, 1:54 continues through May 7.

Scroll through the images below to find more of our favorite works from the fair. WM

Leila Alaoui, Untitled - No Pasara, 2013. Courtesy Voice Gallery

Jodi Bieber, Brenda, 2014. Courtesy Afronova

Emo de Medeiros, Surtenture #07 (...for the crown shall rest on your head, or your head on the crown), 2015. Courtesy 50 Golborne

Diane Victor, Thinking of you (Cultural memory), 2017. Courtesy David Krut Projects

Cheikh Ndiaye, Tapissier, Sicap, 2017. Courtesy Galerie Cécile Fakhoury - Abidjan

Romuald Hazoumè, Wologuédé, 2017. Courtesy Magnin-A

 Mohau Modisakeng, Lefa 6, 2016. Courtesy Tyburn Gallery

Derrick Adams, Fabrication Station 10, 2016. Courtesy Vigo Gallery

Ndidi Emefiele, Sunday Bubbles I, 2017. Courtesy Rosenfeld Porcini

Mohamed Melehi, Untitled, 2017. Courtesy Taymour Grahne Gallery

 Kimathi Donkor, Let Us Go Over , 2017. Courtesy Ed Cross Fine Art

Ernest Dükü, Ô Bee 9 Afrodisiaque @ code A Karmak shuffle, 2014. Courtesy (S)ITOR

Ihosvanny Cisneros, Insomnia City III, 2017. Courtesy MOV'ART Gallery

 Jeremiah Quarshie, Franklina Yellow is the Colour of Water, 2016. Courtesy Gallery 1957


Paul Laster

Paul Laster is a writer, editor, curator, artist and lecturer. He’s a contributing editor at ArtAsiaPacific and Whitehot Magazine of Contemporary Art and writer for Time Out New York, Harper’s Bazaar Arabia, Galerie Magazine, Sculpture, Art & Object, Cultured, Architectural Digest, Garage, Surface, Ocula, Observer, ArtPulse, Conceptual Fine Arts and Glasstire. He was the founding editor of Artkrush, started The Daily Beast’s art section, and was art editor of Russell Simmons’ OneWorld Magazine, as well as a curator at P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center, now MoMA PS1.



view all articles from this author