Following its successful New York debut last year, 1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair, Europe’s premier African art fair, is back and better than ever in the Big Apple.
This year’s fair will showcase 17 exhibitors, and present the works of over 60 artists from Africa and its diaspora at Pioneer Works, a center for research and experimentation in contemporary culture located in Brooklyn, New York’s creative epicenter.
The fair takes its name from the 54 countries in Africa, and does its best to be fully-representative of the continent. The 60 artists featured in this year’s fair hail from over 25 countries. Highlights include ruby onyinyechi amanze, Beatrice Wanjiku, Ibrahim Mahama, and Ayiba alum Omar Victor Diop, among other rising stars in the art world.
Alongside the art, Koyo Kouoh, Founder and Artistic Director of RAW Material Company, Dakar and Curator of the 2016 EVA International – Ireland’s Biennial of Contemporary Art, will curate the 1:54 FORUM, an extensive programme of artist talks, panel discussions, and lectures. Speakers include Abiola Oke, CEO of Okayafrica, Karen Milbourne, curator at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African Art, and Ayiba alum Ifeanyi Awachie, curator of Africa Salon, Yale University’s contemporary African arts and culture festival.
In a new performance art section this year, co-presented with Performa and curated by Adrienne Edwards, 1:54 PERFORMS will feature artist Dave McKenzie composing a slow, text-based performance entitled, “This ship would set sail, even anchored as it was” (2016). The performance will take place on the building and grounds of Pioneer Works on May 6 and 7.
Guests can also look forward to a pop-up restaurant by Senegalese chef and Ayiba alum, Pierre Thiam and a presentation and book signing with celebrated artist Mickalene Thomas for her latest publication, Muse: Mickalene Thomas Photographs (Aperture, 2015).
Follow Ayiba on Twitter @AyibaMagazine for live updates during the fair.