1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair, the leading international art fair dedicated to contemporary art from Africa and its diaspora, has announced the programme of special projects for its sixth London edition. The event will be taking place at Somerset House, 4 – 7 October 2018, with a preview day on Wednesday 3 October.
1-54 will take over the Edmond J. Safra Fountain Court at Somerset House for the third consecutive year with Meditation Tree, a sculpture by one of the most significant figures in African and Arab Modernism, Sudanese artist Ibrahim El-Salahi (Vigo Gallery) with the support of the Kamel Lazaar Foundation. The presentation at Somerset House will build on El-Salahi’s ongoing investigation into the tree / body metaphor, demonstrated in his celebrated Tree series shown during his solo exhibition at TATE Modern (London, UK, 2003). Meditation Tree reflects the artist’s fascination with the Haraz tree, indigenous to Sudan, and its peculiar characteristics.
1-54 will also present Of Gods, Rainbows and Omissions (4 October 2018 – 7 January 2019), an exhibition of new and rarely seen works from internationally renowned South African artist Athi-Patra Ruga. In his first major solo UK exhibition, Ruga reveals a mythical world that challenges perception of cultural identity and parodies the construction of the South African nation state in the post-apartheid era. For the first time, Ruga brings together three seminal bodies of work – The Future White Women of Azania (2012-15), Queens in Exile (2015-17) and The Beatification of Feral Benga (2017-present) – immersing visitors in his vibrant world filled with powerful and striking characters.
For the sixth year in a row, 1-54 will be accompanied by FORUM, the fair’s extensive talks and events programme. This includes artists talks, film screenings and panel discussions with international curators, artists and cultural producers. 1-54 FORUM will be curated for the first time, by writer and curator Ekow Eshun, chairman of the Fourth Plinth Commissioning Group and Creative Director of Calvert 22 Foundation. The full programme will be announced in September.
4 – 7 October 2018.
South Wing, Somerset House, Strand, London WC2R 1LA.
Early-bird tickets are available to purchase at 1-54.com/london/visit/