Returning to London for a fifth year and opening 5 October is 1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair at Somerset House. Opening alongside the fair is La Caravane exhibition by British-Moroccan artist Hassan Hajjaj. Both are definitely worth a looksee.
This year’s fair features 42 leading exhibitors from 17 countries showcasing the works of more than 130 artists from across Africa.
I thoroughly enjoyed taking a gander at all of it. In particular, the folksy, “readable” paintings of Abe Odedina (born in Nigeria, working in the UK, represented by Ed Cross Fine Art in London) spoke to me in a big way. As did the vivid graphic style of paintings by Cameroonian artist Ajarb Bernard Ategwa (represented by Jack Bell Gallery in London).
In conjunction with the fair but running considerably longer is Hassan Hajjaj’s La Caravane, a homecoming exhibition for the British-Moroccan artsist showcasing his funky fresh fusion of contemporary cultures. The results are vibrant and fun while allowing the viewer to ponder the blurred lines between East and West, North and South, traditional and modern, etc. Fans of photography should love his portraits of flamboyantly dressed women astride a similarly colourful motor scooter. I did.
1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair runs from 5 to 8 October. Hassan Hajjaj: La Caravane opens to the public the same date and runs until 7 January 2018.
Both are at Somerset House, the Strand, WC2R 1LA. To book tickets to 1:54 (La Caravane is free to view), read urther information and see a schedule of events (film, talks, live performance and more) go to 1-54.com/london.
For details about Hassan Hajjaj: La Caravane go to somersethouse.org.uk.