After launching her contemporary African art fair in London, New York and Marrakech, 1-54 founder Touria El Glaoui chose to replace this year’s Moroccan edition, which usually takes place at the end of February, with a special four-day fair at Christie’s Paris headquarters. Currently taking place at the tony auction house on the Avenue Matignon near the Champs-Élysées, the fair will end on Saturday, January 23rd.

The ongoing coronavirus pandemic forced El Glaoui to reconsider her plans for the annual Mamounia Hotel gathering in Marrakech, but despite the national 6pm curfew in France—and a possible third lockdown on the horizon—this special Christie’s edition of 1-54 is an occasion to discover 200 works from 20 international exhibitors showcasing more than 70 artists from across Africa, Europe and North America.

Hilary Balu, Voyage vers Mars 8, 2020 © Ephrahim Baku and MAGNIN-A
Prince Gyasi, Projection, 2019, Courtesy of Nil Gallery

For those who cannot attend in person, the 1-54 Online platform, which is powered by Christie’s along with longtime 1-54 digital partner Artsy, will be on view until Sunday evening. As part of the partnership, Christie’s is also hosting 1-54 on its website, allowing the fair access to its 300,000 subscribers.

1-54 Forum’s online events are always a highlight of the fair, and on Thursday, January 21st, at 5pm Paris time, the Beninese-French artist Emo de Medeiros (a TRUE Africa favorite) and the independent curator Jeanne Mercier (who happens to be a co-founder the Afrique in Visu photography platform) are hosting a tour of the artist’s Paris studio, with a discussion of his most recent work. De Medeiros’ practice fuses virtual reality and both tangible and intangible material to explore the hybridization, interconnections and circulation of forms, technologies, myths and goods. You can register here for that virtual tour.

1-54 Christie’s is held until January 23rd, between 11am and 5pm each day. Visit the website for more information.