With the 2020 FIAC International Contemporary Art Fair in Paris cancelled, there are few opportunities for those living in Paris and London to discover this season’s new artists, and the people behind the art that is set to shape our post-pandemic universe. To make matters worse, Americans are not allowed to travel to Europe at the moment, and many Africans are having a hard time securing visas to France and the UK.
Although gallerists and collectors didn’t get to experience the live Frieze art fair in London’s Regent’s Park last week either, settling instead for an online experience, the 1-54 art fair proceeded despite the coronavirus. Many were surprised that 1-54’s organizers decided that the show must go on, at a time when most art fairs are being canceled altogether.
“We are delighted and relieved to have been able to complete our 8th edition of 1-54 London at Somerset House,” 1-54 founder Touria el Glaoui told us two days after the fair ended. “There was a real buzz about the fair, particularly as we were the one happening physically in town, which meant we were fully booked throughout and welcomed a maximum capacity of 3,000 visitors across three days. Our galleries sold well and made lots of good connections thanks to a record number of curators and directors from major European institutions. I personally really felt the power of art to lift spirits and inspire people in these challenging times, which made it extremely rewarding and completely worth it. The blended online and offline model worked well and I think is here to stay, but there is nothing like seeing art in person!”
For this latest edition, 1-54 partnered with Christie’s to produce 1-54 Online, which was powered by Christie’s and included over 600 artworks from 110 artists presented by 34 international exhibitors. The virtual 1-54 Forum program was an innovation, especially as all webinars are now accessible on the 1-54 website as podcasts, with the ability to register on the new 1-54 app.
If you missed the fair last week, know that 1-54 London is also available online on Artsy until Thursday, October 22nd. Don’t miss this opportunity to explore, connect with, and collect from all 1-54 London exhibitors and artists online.