1-54 London returned to Somerset House, 8-10 October 2020 for its eighth edition

1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair closed its eighth consecutive London edition on Monday 12 October 2020. The fair brought together a diverse group of over 100 emerging and established artists from Africa and its diaspora, 35 leading specialist exhibitors from 17 countries to participate in a new blended online and offline model. Each gallery presented works on the 1-54 Online, powered by Christie’s platform between 7 – 12 October. A scaled-down presentation from 30 exhibitor at Somerset House took place from 8 – 10 October, with each gallery presenting one seminal artwork at the Christie’s Duke Street Gallery.

For the fifth time 1-54 presented a special exhibition in collaboration with Somerset House, Leila Alaoui: Rite of Passage (until 28 February 2021) which is the first major UK retrospective of works from the celebrated French Moroccan photographer, video artist and activist Leila Alaoui.

Among the other special projects at this edition was: an exhibition by Signature African Art called Say My Name, which included a selection of works curated by Khalil Akar and presented by Ava DuVernay, and a set of prints presented by The Photographic Collective of lens-based artists living and working in Africa not currently represented by a gallery.

1-54 Forum was curated by Julia Grosse and Yvette Mutumba from Contemporary And (C&), and engaged with creative Afro-Latin American, Caribbean and African perspectives, asking questions about the importance of bringing together and discussing shared histories and experiences.

Recordings of all 1-54 FORUM talks are available here.