At London’s 1–54 Fair, Curator Azu Nwagbogu Lays Out the Pitfalls of the New Wave of Interest in African Contemporary Ar

Kate Brown, Artnet, October 4, 2019

The event is rapidly emerging as a star contender in London’s bustling art fair calendar, setting itself apart from the rest by dedicating itself to presentations of African art. The fair’s presence this year within Somerset House’s old imperial building reads as a deliberate disruption of the aesthetics of English-ness.

 

We stop in at Addis Fine Art. There, Nwagbogu expresses his excitement as he discovers Ethiopian painter Merikokeb Berhanu, whom he says fits into this idea of moving “beyond.” He points to her poetic balance between figuration and abstraction, and how natural and anatomical elements seem to flow into one another. For such stunning works, the prices seem more than fair, lingering just under €10,000.

of 169