1-54 Marrakech, Contemporary African Art Fair 2019, Highlights & Exhibitors List

The I-54 Contemporary Art Fair Returns to Marrakech

1-54 Marrakech, Contemporary African Art Fair Returns To Marrakech, Morocco in 2019. Mark your calendars, the Contemporary, International African Art Fair, 1-54, will return to Marrakech from February 21st – 24th, 2019. For its second Marrakech edition, 1-54 will showcase its Art Fair at the world renowned La Mamounia Hotel, where Alfred Hitchcock wrote “The Birds” and Winston Churchill had his own suite.

The Art Fair will take place at La Mamounia on the 23rd and 24th of February with VIP previews offered on the 21st and 22nd. Other Marrakech institutions that 1-54 has partnered with are, the Yves Saint Laurent Museum, L’Institue Francais, the newly opened Dada exhibition space, Museum of Contemporary Art Al Maden (MACAAL), L’Atlier 21, LE 18, the Montresso Art Foundation, Foundation Farid Belkahiaand Comptoir des Mines Galerie.

La Mamounia Hotel, Marrakech, I-54 Contemporary Art Show


The 1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair reflects the diversity of artists across the African continent and is symbolically named after Africa’s 54 countries. Its mission is to provide artists from Africa and the diaspora a solid platform to share their experiences and bridge the connection of what it means to be African.  The fair will showcase exceptional paintings, drawings, collage, sculpture and other forms of visual art. It will coincide with an 1-54 Forum, featuring vibrant talks, special projects and events curated, by Art Historian and Curator, Karima Boudou inspired by the African-American painter, jazz musician and poet Ted Joans.

“We are thrilled to be returning to Marrakech for the second year with such a strong line-up of both new galleries and old friends. It’s an exciting moment to form deeper connections to this culturally rich city and give visitors a great insight into its thriving art scene” – states Touria El Glaoui, the founding director of 1-54, in an interview with ArtNews.

Touria Glaoui, Founder & Director, 1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair

February 2018 marked the first inaugural edition of 1-54 in Marrakech. Founder & Director Touria El Glaoui, helped to to build the Art Fair with a premier launch at Somerset House in London in 2013 and then in New York in 2015.

Glaoui’s dream was to showcase African Art on her own continent. As the daughter of Hassan El Glaoui, a prolific Moroccan artist (figurative painter), best known for his depictions of fantasia horsemen, she grew up fully immersed in the art world. Although Glaoui completed her studies abroad, she is a Marrakech native with a strong desire to share the art that she reveres with a wider audience.

For its second Marrakech edition this 2019, 1-54 will present 18 international galleries and the work of over 65 established and emerging artists in Africa.

Galerie Siniya 28, 1-54 African Contemporary Art Fair

Full List of Participating Galleries:

Galerie Cécile Fakhoury (Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire / Dakar, Senegal)
Galerie Mikael Andersen (Copenhagen, Denmark)
Galerie Nathalie Obadia (Paris, France / Brussels, Belgium)
Galerie Poggi (Paris, France)
Galerie SINIYA28 (Marrakech, Morocco)
Goodman Gallery (Johannesburg and Cape Town, South Africa)
In Situ – fabienne leclerc (Paris, France)
Katharina Maria Raab (Berlin, Germany)
L’Atelier 21 (Casablanca, Morocco)
Loft Art Gallery (Casablanca, Morocco)
LouiSimone Guirandou Gallery (Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire)
MAGNIN-A (Paris, France)
Officine dell’Immagine (Milan, Italy)
Primo Marella Gallery (Milan, Italy)
Retro Africa (Abuja, Nigeria)
Sulger-Buel Gallery (London, United Kingdom)
Vigo Gallery (London, United Kingdom)
Yossi Milo Gallery (New York, United States)

Touria El Glaoui, the founding director of 1-54, shares with passion, “we are thrilled to be returning to Marrakech for the second year with such a strong line-up of both new galleries and old friends. It’s an exciting moment to form deeper connections to this culturally rich city and give visitors a great insight into its thriving art scene.”

The past twenty years have seen a wave of auction houses and gallery openings in North Africa. In Marrakech, contemporary art galleries like Comptoir des Mines, Siniya28 and Galerie 127 have opened up in Gueliz’s French district offering the perfect setting for 1- 54.

The I-54, 2019 edition’s theme focuses on the surrealist art movement, inspired by Ted Joan’s poem, Black Flowers. Ted Joans was an African American painter, trumpeter, and a jazz poet. He was one of the first Beat poets, and authored over 30 books of poetry, prose, and collage, including Black Pow-Wow, Beat Funky Jazz Poems, Afrodisia, Jazz is Our Religion, Double Trouble, Wow, and Teducation. The Art Fair will will begin with talks, panel discussions, screenings, and performances that explore and have found inspiration in Africa’s contemporary art scene.

Ted Joans, African American painter, trumpeter and Jazz poet

Looking back, the theme of 1-54 in 2018 was decolonization which cast light on the grave disparities Colonial powers left on African nations and their inability to achieve fastiduous cultural and economic development. 1- 54 was a red-carpet success with 17 galleries from across Africa and Europe participating. In 4 days, La Mamounia Hotel had over 4,000 visitors cross their salon floors. International collectors and high-profile museum directors like Glenn Lowry of New York’s MOMA and co-creator Mark Godfrey of Soul of A Nation also had a presence there.

The Marrakech Fair’s greatest success is the inherent design to create conversations between both African and International galleries and art collectors. With French being Morocco’s first colonial language, 1-54 has enabled art collectors from other French speaking nations to further a dynamic dialogue that will transition the African Art world into the next decade .

Next Editions of 1-54 Contemporary Art Fair:

1-54 Marrakech: La Mamounia, February 23rd – 24th, 2019
1-54 New York: Industria, May 3rd – 5th, 2019
1-54 London: Somerset House, October 3rd – 6th, 2019

For more information about I-54 Art Fair & Marrakech Design Tours & Experiences 

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