This year at the third edition of 1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair in London, 14 galleries are from Africa out of 38 exhibitors. This remarkable achievement is the result of dedication on the part of those working to build local art scenes in African countries, as well as the aim of 1:54 to engage in a conversation with cultural production and infrastructure on the continent.
Among the galleries that will be coming to 1:54, a number have previously exhibited at the fair and will be returning to Somerset House. Returning galleries based in Africa are representative of the diversity in African artistic production that 1:54 aims to convey with galleries coming from South Africa, Nigeria, Côte D’Ivoire and Tunisia. Afronova from Johannesburg will be exhibiting the work of artists such as Billie Zangewa, who was also exhibited at the first edition of 1:54 in New York in May 2015, in addition to Lawrence Lemaoana and Mauro Pinto.
Equally presenting engaging work by an impressive list of artists is ARTLab Africa from Nairobi, returning to the fair with Peterson Kamwathi, Miriam Syowia Kyambi, James Muriuki, as well as bringing a new artist, Mirkokeb Berhanu. Representing acclaimed artists such as Gor Soudan and Paul Onditi, ARTLab Africa undoubtedly creates a platform to grow the relationship between cultural and artistic practitioners in Nairobi with collectors and museums not only in East Africa, but internationally as well.