Arts + Culture

1:54 NY Contemporary African Art Fair Reveals Lineup Of 60+ Artists

Europe’s leading contemporary African art fair will soon return to New York for the second time.

1:54 NY 2015 at Pioneer Works in Brooklyn. Photo: Katrina Sorrentino. Courtesy of 1:54.

After an exceptional U.S. debut last year, Europe’s leading contemporary African art fair returns to New York for the second time this May. Coinciding with Frieze Week, the 2016 edition of 1:54 NY will showcase 17 galleries from 9 countries and feature work by over 60 African and diaspora artists, including Derrick Adams, ruby oyinyechi amanze, Sammy Baloji, Phoebe Boswell, Jim Chuchu, Em’Kal Eyongakpa, Aida Muluneh and Athi-Patra Ruga. The fair will take place over the course of three days, May 6-8, at Pioneer Works in Red Hook, Brooklyn.

Koyo Kouoh, Artistic Director of the Dakar-based RAW Material Company, will once again curate a series of lectures and panel discussions as part of 1:54’s Forum program. (More information on Forum to come in April)

“We are thrilled to be back at Pioneer Works for the second New York edition of 1:54 this year,” says 1:54 founder, Touria El Glaoui. “The energy, interest, and overall success of the inaugural US fair in 2015 has lead us to return this May in hopes of broadening our reach and expanding the art world’s knowledge of Africa and the ever-evolving African art market.”

Started in London in 2013, 1:54 is a platform for galleries, artists, curators, art centres and museums involved in African and Africa related projects and aims to promote art by established and emerging talents amongst an international audience. The 2016 UK edition of the fair is scheduled to take place October 5-9 at London’s Somerset House.

Check out the full list of exhibiting galleries and artists below. Keep up with 1:54 on Facebook / Twitter / Instagram and via the 1:54 NY website.

For more, see our “Best of 1:54 NY 2015” and Okayafrica contributor Alice McCool’s 1:54 London recap, “African Artists At London’s ‘1:54 Art Fair’ Rethink Traditions.”

Full List of Participating Galleries:

Afronova (Johannesburg, South Africa)


ARTLabAfrica (Nairobi, Kenya)

Art Bärtschi & Cie (Geneva, Switzerland)

Axis Gallery (New York, USA)

Galerie Anne De Villepoix (Paris, France)

Galerie Cécile Fakhoury (Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire)

In Situ / Fabienne Leclerc (Paris, France)

Jack Bell Gallery (London, United Kingdom)

Magnin-A (Paris, France)

Mariane Ibrahim Gallery (Seattle, USA)

Officine dell'Immagine (Milan, Italy)

Richard Taittinger Gallery (New York, USA)

Sabrina Amrani Gallery (Madrid, Spain)

(S)ITOR / Sitor Senghor (Paris, France)

TAFETA (London, United Kingdom)

David Krut Projects (Johannesburg, South Africa & New York, USA)

Participating Artist List (subject to change:

Aboudia (Côte d’Ivoire)

Derrick Adams (USA)

Leonce Raphael Agbodjelou (Benin)

Joseph Moise Agbodjelou (Benin)

ruby oyinyechi amanze (Nigeria)

Emma Amos (USA)

Joel Andrianomearisoa (Madagascar)

Mustapha Azeroual (France)

Omar Ba (Senegal)

Sammy Baloji (DRC)

Steve Bandoma (DRC)

Phoebe Boswell (Kenya)

Armand Boua (Côte d’Ivoire)

Nathalie Boutté (France)

Sonia Boyce (UK)

Edson Chagas (Angola)

Jim Chuchu (Kenya)

Endale Desalegn (Ethiopia)

Safaa Erruas (Morocco)

Theo Eshetu (UK)

Em’Kal Eyongakpa (Cameroon)

Meschac Gaba (Benin)

Frances Goodman (South Africa)

Mwangi Hutter (Kenya / Germany)

Ayana V. Jackson (USA)

William Kentridge (South Africa)

Farah Khelil (Tunisia)

Yashua Klos (USA)

Lawrence Lemaoana (South Africa)

John Liebenberg (South Africa)

Ndary Lo (Senegal)

Gonçalo Mabunda (Mozambique)

Ibrahim Mahama (Ghana)

Hamidou Maiga (Burkina Faso)

Houston Maludi (DRC)

Abu Bakarr Mansaray (Sierra Leone)

Misheck Masamvu (Zimbabwe)

Vincent Michéa (France)

Fabrice Monteiro (Belgique)

Aida Muluneh (Ethiopia)

Cheikh Ndiaye (Senegal)

Otobong Nkanga (Nigeria)

Boris Nzebo (Gabon)

Uche Okpa-iroha (Nigeria)

Babajide Olatunji (Nigeria)

Adeniyi Olagunju (Nigeria)

Paul Onditi (Kenya)

Zohra Opoku (Germany)

Athi-Patra Ruga (South Africa)

William Sagna (Senegal)

Kura Shomali (DRC)

Gor Soudan (Kenya)

Uman (Somalia)

Nontsikelelo Veleko (South Africa)

Diane Victor (Germany)

Béatrice Wanjiku (Kenya)

Graeme Williams (South Africa)

Sue Williamson (UK)

Yéanzi (Côte d’Ivoire)

Billie Zangewa (Malawi)

Dominique Zinkpé (Benin)


6 Samples From 'Éthiopiques' in Hip-Hop

A brief history of Ethio-jazz cultural exchange featuring songs by Nas & Damian Marley, K'naan, Madlib and more.

This article was originally published on OkayAfrica in March, 2017. We're republishing it here for our Crossroads series.

It's 2000 something. I'm holed up in my bedroom searching for samples to chop up on Fruity Loops. While deep into the free-market jungle of Amazon's suggested music section, I stumble across a compilation of Ethiopian music with faded pictures of nine guys jamming in white suit jackets. I press play on the 30 second sample.

My mind races with the opportunities these breakbeats offered a budding beat maker. Catchy organs, swinging horns, funky guitar riffs, soulful melodies and grainy and pained vocalists swoon over love lost and gained. Sung in my mother tongue—Amharic—this was a far cry from the corny synthesizer music of the 1990s that my parents played on Saturday mornings. I could actually sample this shit.

The next day, I burn a CD and pop it into my dad's car. His eyes light up when the first notes ooze out of the speakers. “Where did you get this?" He asks puzzlingly. “The internet," I respond smiling.

In the 1970s my dad was one of thousands of high school students in Addis Ababa protesting the monarchy. The protests eventually created instability which lead to a coup d'état. The monarchy was overthrown and a Marxist styled military junta composed of low ranking officers called the Derg came to power. The new regime subsequently banned music they deemed to be counter revolutionary. When the Derg came into power, Amha Eshete, a pioneering record producer and founder of Ahma Records, fled to the US and the master recordings of his label's tracks somehow ended up in a warehouse in Greece.

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