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Contemporary African Art Electrifies Insiders at London's New 1:54 Fair

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October Gallery's display at London's 1:54 African Art Fair
October Gallery's display at London's 1:54 African Art Fair
Owusu- Ankomah's <em>Microron- Kusum No. 4.</em> (2011) at October Gallery
Owusu- Ankomah's Microron- Kusum No. 4. (2011) at October Gallery
Naomi Wanjiku Gakunga <em>Ng'endo cia Mugendi — Immigrants' Journeys</em> (2013) at October Gallery
Naomi Wanjiku Gakunga Ng'endo cia Mugendi — Immigrants' Journeys (2013) at October Gallery
Sculptures by Romuald Hazoume at October Gallery
Sculptures by Romuald Hazoume at October Gallery
Ransome Stanley's <em>Mask</em> (2011) at ARTCO Gallery
Ransome Stanley's Mask (2011) at ARTCO Gallery
Richard Mudarki's <em>The Last Judgement</em> (2013) at the Museum of Equatorial New Guinea's display
Richard Mudarki's The Last Judgement (2013) at the Museum of Equatorial New Guinea's display
Agbogbolinsou's <em>Cyprien Tokoudagha</em> (2007) at the Museum of Equatorial New Guinea
Agbogbolinsou's Cyprien Tokoudagha (2007) at the Museum of Equatorial New Guinea
Sammy Baloji's <em>Portrait #2: Luba Woman Against Watercolor by Dardenne</em> (2011)
Sammy Baloji's Portrait #2: Luba Woman Against Watercolor by Dardenne (2011)
Mohamed El Baz's <em>Bricoler L'Incurable. Details. Dreams</em> (2013) at Galerie Imane Fares
Mohamed El Baz's Bricoler L'Incurable. Details. Dreams (2013) at Galerie Imane Fares
Younes Rahmoun's <em>Zahra</em> (2010) at Galerie Imane Fares
Younes Rahmoun's Zahra (2010) at Galerie Imane Fares
Adama Kouyate's <em>Transistor</em> (1967) at Carpe Diem
Adama Kouyate's Transistor (1967) at Carpe Diem
A painting by Wycliffe Mundopa at First Floor Gallery Harare
A painting by Wycliffe Mundopa at First Floor Gallery Harare
Paintings by Richard Butler-Bowen at First Floor Gallery Harare
Paintings by Richard Butler-Bowen at First Floor Gallery Harare
James Muriuki and Miriam Syowia Kyambi's <em>Infinite Consciousness: Art in Global Health—The Wellcome Project</em> (2012) at ARTLabAfrica
James Muriuki and Miriam Syowia Kyambi's Infinite Consciousness: Art in Global Health—The Wellcome Project (2012) at ARTLabAfrica
Gor Soudan's <em>Resurrection: The Fire Next Time — Untitled V</em> (2013), made from protest wire, at ARTLabAfrica
Gor Soudan's Resurrection: The Fire Next Time — Untitled V (2013), made from protest wire, at ARTLabAfrica
Photographs by J.D. ‘Okhai Ojeikere at Omenka Gallery
Photographs by J.D. ‘Okhai Ojeikere at Omenka Gallery
Soly Cisse's <em>Untitled</em> (2013) at M.I.A Gallery
Soly Cisse's Untitled (2013) at M.I.A Gallery
Maimouna Guerresi's <em>M-Eating, Students & Teacher</em> (2012) at M.I.A. Gallery
Maimouna Guerresi's M-Eating, Students & Teacher (2012) at M.I.A. Gallery
Vincent Michea's photomontages at Galerie Cecile Fakhoury
Vincent Michea's photomontages at Galerie Cecile Fakhoury
Nestor Da's <em>Untitled 2.1, Ondes de perturbation series</em> (2012) at Galerie Cecile Fakhoury
Nestor Da's Untitled 2.1, Ondes de perturbation series (2012) at Galerie Cecile Fakhoury
Hamidou Maiga's <em>Untitled</em> (1962) at Jack Bell Gallery
Hamidou Maiga's Untitled (1962) at Jack Bell Gallery
Aboudia's <em>Untitled</em> (2013) at Jack Bell Gallery
Aboudia's Untitled (2013) at Jack Bell Gallery
Edson Chagas's <em>OIKONOMOS Series</em> (2011) at A Palazzo Gallery
Edson Chagas's OIKONOMOS Series (2011) at A Palazzo Gallery
Paintings by Cheri Samba at Magnin-A
Paintings by Cheri Samba at Magnin-A
The entrance to the fair at Somerset House
The entrance to the fair at Somerset House

While megacollectors streamed to Frieze London and Frieze Masters this week, a quieter but no less ardent progression of curators, critics, and savvy middle-market collectors made a beeline to the 1:54 African Art Fair, a newcomer to the proceedings put together by Art Africa Ltd. in a David Adjaye-designed space at the historic Somerset House.

A collegialfair marked by enthusiastic conversations taking place in the corridors, the event was intended to bring greater visibility to the work being made by artists living in Africa today, and the timing perfectly met an unquestionable surge in interest in the region's contemporary art—a long-building pivot of attention to Africa that was kicked into overdrive when Luanda's Edson Chagas won this year's Silver Lion at the Venice Biennale.

Chagas's work, indeed, was on view at the fair, alongside riveting and consciousness-expanding work by stars like Cheri Samba (who was notably included in Robert Storr's Venice Biennale) and Romuald Hazoume as well as rising talents like Richard Butler-Bowen and Younes Rahmoun.

To see a range of work from the fair, click through the slide show above.

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