Katlego Tlabela, "Ikoyi Lagos (study)" (2020), acrylic, ink and collage on canvas, 49.5 x 39.5cm (image courtesy Ebony Curated)

Each year, the New York edition of 1-54 presents a dizzying array of artworks, talks, and other programming dedicated to highlighting contemporary art from Africa and its diaspora. After taking last year off (you know why), the States-side incarnation will return in hybrid form, this time taking place outside of the usual shadow of Frieze Week.

From crowd favorites like Dindga McCannon (Fridman Gallery) and Joana Choumali (Loft Art Gallery) to emerging artists like Khari Turner (Ross-Sutton), this year’s 1-54 New York features a characteristic range. Rolling out online starting May 17, the fair will include 26 international exhibitors, including continental hubs like Galerie Atiss Dakar (Senegal) and Retro Africa (Nigeria), and diasporic outposts like Jack Bell Gallery (UK) and HOA Galeria (Brazil).

Saïdou Dicko, “Harigato, T 3Ginkgo Red” (2020), painted photography, 39 2/5 × 29 1/2 inches (image courtesy Afikaris)

As with its recent London and Paris editions, the New York fair will be presented in partnership with Christie’s. Together, the two entities will also mount Knotted Ties, an all-women, in-person presentation of textile-based work, slated to go on view at the auction house’s Rockefeller Plaza starting May 15.

As 1-54 explains, the works in this curated selection “illustrate both the power and strength of textile work and its capacity to convey humanity’s entangled histories, challenging social landscapes, and complex realities.” Artists to keep an eye out for include Ambrose Murray, the self-taught painter and seamstress whose work blends her interests in healing and liberation movements, and the beguiling, densely layered compositions of Kimathi Mafafo.

More details about the annual 1-54 FORUM, which typically includes talks, screenings, and more will be released on May 17.

When: May 17–23 (1-54 New York), May 15–26 (Knotted Ties)
Where: online and at Christie’s (20 Rockefeller Plaza, Midtown, Manhattan)

More info at 1-54 New York.


Dessane Lopez Cassell is a New York based editor, writer, and film curator, as well as the former reviews editor at Hyperallergic. You can follow her work here.