1.54 International African Art Fair rounds off, holds inaugural edition in Morocco

The 1.54 International African Art Fair, which is in its 5th year, held its exhibition from October 5 through 8 at Somerset House, London. 42 galleries participated this year, 11 of them for the first time.

Founding Director, Touria El Glaou, announced that the inaugural edition of the fair in Africa would hold in Morocco in February 2018. She is excited about the new edition, as it would be in Africa. Nigeria had a significant presence at the fair. Pioneer sound artist Emeka Ogboh had his Lagos soundscape on display and had a site-specific commission for the fair titled ‘Ebube Dike’ (2017), which fused the serenading properties of the oja (Igbo flute) with spoken and sung words into a sonic ode to African renaissance.

London-based Taffeta gallery showed works by Niyi Olagunju and visual artist Babajide Olatunji. Architect-turned artist, Abe Odedina, was one of the select few who had a solo show at the fair Body Language, which comprises 54 pieces of work, represented by EdCross fine art, a self-styled folk artist. His work is bold and mythical whilst always accessible.

First time exhibitors SMO Contemporary Art Gallery, Lagos, showed three artists Olumide Onadipe, Tiaye Idahor and Nengi Omuku. While speaking with Sandra Mbanefo-Obiago, she indicated that she was really excited to show her three artists at the fair and that the reception was fantastic.

Lakin Ogunbanwo’s enigmatic, striking portrait ‘Let It Be’ was on display at Whatiftheworld Gallery. Olalekan Jeyfous, Temitayo Ogunbiyi, Wura Natasha-Ogunji and Victor Ehikamenor also had works with various galleries at the fair.



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