The Best Booths at 1-54 New York, From Leaf Assemblages to Invented Archaeological Finds

The 2024 edition of the 1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair in New York opened to press on Wednesday afternoon at a new location, Chelsea’s Starrett-Lehigh building.

While previous editions of the fair were held in Harlem, this year the fair moved to industry heavyweight neighborhood of Chelsea. More specifically, the Starrett-Lehigh, a massive near-century old Art Deco building that has been extensively renovated in the last decade and has lately become a magnet for fashion brands. The building has also lately served as a venue for major art events, including the 2022 Jean-Michel Basquiat exhibition “King Pleasure” and the 2021 edition of Future Fair, which this year is at the Chelsea Industrial building on West 28th Street.

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The 2024 edition of 1-54 New York features 32 exhibitors, all primarily showing art from African artists or artists from the African diaspora. Though the majority of the galleries hail from the US or Europe, there are seven exhibiting galleries based on the continent, including outfits hailing from Nigeria, Uganda, South Africa, Côte d’Ivoire, and Morocco. There were also several special projects worth a look, including a selection of work from artists-in-residence at Kehinde Wiley’s Black Rock Senegal, and Zimbabwe-based artHARARE, which was issuing “art world passports,” a cheeky nod at art’s cosmopolitanism, immigration, and cultural exchange.

As usual, it was a tightly curated fair. Below, a look at our favorite booths at the 1-54 New York fair.


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