Whitehot Magazine

18 Fascinating Paintings from 1-54 New York Online

Raphael Adjetey Mayne, Untitled, 2019. Courtesy Afikaris


By PAUL LASTER, May 2020

The leading international art fair dedicated to contemporary art from Africa and its diaspora, 1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair has held annual editions in London since 2013, New York since 2015 and Marrakech since 2018. With the sixth edition of the New York fair postponed because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the presentation is being held exclusively online, in partnership with Artsy, through May 30. 

Featuring 25 international galleries and hundreds of artworks by more than 80 artists, 1-54’s first ever online edition is offering a wide display of the best practices in contemporary African art. With an eye on the medium of painting, we’ve selected 18 fascinating artworks that provide a deep dive into the fair—one that shine a spotlight on emerging, mid-career and established artists.

Scroll through the images below to see our complete curated selection, which is chock full of delightful discoveries. WM


Adjani Okpu-Egbe, My Friend Zacharie, 2018. Courtesy Sulger Buel Gallery

Armando Mariño, The Chosen, 2019. Courtesy Galerie Anne de Villepoix

Henri Abraham Univers, Biiga Bleue , 2020. Courtesy Retro Africa

 Kelechi Nwaneri, Portrait of a human heart, 2020. Courtesy Ebony/Curated

 Nengi Omuku, Gathering, 2020. Courtesy Kristin Hjellegjerde Gallery

Anjel, Hights and lows, 2020. Courtesy Out of Africa Gallery

Moussa Traoré, Sans Titre, 2017. Courtesy Galerie Atiss Dakar

Eddy Kamuanga Ilunga, Ko Bungisa Mbala Mibale (Second Loss), 2017. Courtesy October Gallery

 Soly Cissé, Des Hommes et Des Vies I, 2017. Courtesy Sulger Buel Gallery

 Ibrahim El Dessouki, Series of Gated Communities - Extermination of Moskitos - pentaptych 4/5, 2020. Courtesy Hafez Gallery

 Emeka Udemba, Maverick nº1, 2019. Out of Africa Gallery

Caitlin Cherry, Titantron, 2018. Courtesy Luce Gallery

 Marc Padeu, Sunday Afternoon in Penja, 2020. Courtesy Jack Bell Gallery

Evans Mbugua, Chakacha , 2019. Courtesy Out of Africa Gallery

February James, An Act of Wading, 2019. Courtesy Luce Gallery

Jean David Nkot, Po. Box - 2470 a life of illusions, 2019. Courtesy Jack Bell Gallery

 Franck Lundangi, Clefs de la Vie, 2019. Courtesy Galerie Anne de Villepoix




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.



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