Scaled-down 1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair to come to London in October

© 1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair
From October 8 to 10, a reduced number of international galleries (around 20 — less than half the number of participants from last year's edition) will come together at Somerset House to take part in the 2020 London edition of the 1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair.


The fair will feature its programme of film screenings, talks and panel discussions as usual, organised by Yvette Mutumba, the Stedelijk's new curator, and journalist Julia Grosse. Despite the cancellation of Frieze London and Frieze masters, and the inevitable crowd of international buyers they bring, many of the participating galleries were keen for the 1-54 fair to carry on as planned. 


“Many of the galleries are really engaged with the project—and really need to sell as well—so they were quite keen to have a physical experience,” Touria El Glaoui, the fair's founder and director, told Artnet News. "Galleries are aware that this is going to be a much more local fair, there are going to be probably fewer people traveling from different places in Europe, and they’re ok with that because they are keen to meet people who are based in London".


For all galleries originally selected to participate, but particularly those unable to attend in person, an online edition in partnership with Christie's will allow exhibitors to sell online for a £3,000 fee (and no extra cut from the auction house). For galleries based on the African continent and beyond who still wish to physically attend but are unable, El Glaoui and her team are searching for an alternative way to facilitate their participation, such as having their artworks overseen by somebody else.


The list of participating galleries will be released in September.