Home Magazine The 1-54 African Art Fair has attracted visitors from everywhere in the heart of Marrakesh.

The 5th edition of 1-54 expanded to two locations for the first time, the elegant Mamounia and the young, dynamic DaDa cultural center.

Related Articles: Art Market News- Arte Fiera Bologna 2024Art Genève 2024: Art and Innovation in the center of GenevaPhoto Basel: the prestigious photography fair based in Switzerland travels to Miami

The 5th Edition of the 1-54 Art Fair took place in Marrakech this second weekend of February, from the 8th to the 11th. The name of the fair is inspired by the number of African Nations. The fair was hosted in two different venues. One at the Mamounia Hotel and, for the first time, at DaDa, a cultural space that is currently in mid-renovation. DaDa is located in the heart of Medina, with the hope to attract younger generations. Here, many talks have been hosted alongside the younger galleries' exhibitions. The expansion of the fair shows commitment to the dynamic Moroccan art scene. “The fair has been a breath of fresh air”, stated the internal advisor of our team. “There were vibrant colors, new techniques and a lot of beautiful pieces''.The expansion of the fair is proof of its success. Marrakesh is a pivotal center for the continent’s art scene, having creatives, galleries and artists among its citizens. Vibrant and with lots of new exhibitors, counting 27 galleries participating, enriching every year more. Touria El Glaoui, founding director stated: “Each edition we asked ourselves: what is necessary, what can be achieved & how can it be different?”


Christophe Person’s Booth. Courtesy of Salah Bouade.

The 5th edition will host 27 exhibitors. Among them, 14 come from the African continent, eight of which are based in Morocco. The galleries are: Galleries CDA Gallery (Casablanca, Morocco), Galerie 208 (Paris, France), M CONCEPT Gallery (Dakar, Senegal), Myriem Himmich Gallery (Casablanca, Morocco), Reiners Contemporary Art (Marbella, Spain), Revie Projects (Paris, France),and The Bridge Gallery (Paris, France) will participate for the first time in any of 1-54’s three global editions, and 14 galleries will debut in Marrakech including: African Arty (Casablanca, Morocco), Christophe Person (Paris, France), Gallery 1957 (Accra, Ghana and London, UK), Galerie Atiss Dakar (Dakar, Senegal), Portas Vilaseca Galeria (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil), kó (Lagos, Nigeria) and The African Art Hub (London, UK).


Amoako Boafo at Gallery 1957’s Booth. Courtesy of Art News.

The fair has been successful, it attracted a huge number of international visitors and had recorded good response and sales, experiencing positive responses from collectors. This year the fair hosted a greater number of Moroccan galleries and artists, emphasizing textile works reconnecting to Morocco's ancient and unique craftsmanship. Galerie Christophe Person showcased a solo exhibition from the artist Ghizlane Sahli. The artist comes from Mekènes and combines embroideries and plastic bottles in an unusual way to explore the transformations of materials. The London based gallery, The African Art Hub, exposed the artworks from Sheila Fuseini, artist from Ghana and Gbemileke Adekunle from Nigeria. The Italian, Milano based gallery is representing the works from Hako Hankson, who seems to recreate the ancestrals ceremonies. Gallery 1957, whose name reconnects to the day Ghana declared independence, has its booth near the entrance of the fair. The gallery shows works from African artists, as Amoako Boafo, representing black figure, who apply his materials with his fingers. There are also showcased the textile works from Mawena Benissan, African artist raised in the United States.

Dada’s Venue at 1:54 Fair. Courtesy of 1:54

The exhibition at DaDa was different from the one at the Mamounia, giving a change of scenery to its visitors. The venue in the center of Medina offers a more contemporary decor, creating a lighter environment in contrast to the abundance of the elegant hotel. In this space, seven galleries were present presenting artworks made with different materials and techniques. A lot of the exposed artists attended the fair, which was very interesting and enriching for the people of the art world. The founder, Touria El Glaoui, announces its collaboration with Black Rock Global Art Foundation, aiming to offer a significant dialogue between artists and African institutions, as the fair this year wants to support artists through partnerships and events.  

Cover image: 1:54 Fair, La Mamounia. Courtesy of Salah Bouade.

Written by Asia Artom

Stay Tuned on the Kooness Magazine for more exciting news from the art world.