1-54 New York’s Curated Section Focuses on Textile Practices

With each edition, the 1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair strengthens its dedication to the African art market. Following presentations of the fair online and at carefully executed physical gatherings with Christie’s in London and Paris, 1-54 takes another chance with this new format in New York. The city’s 2021 edition features twenty-six international galleries, around a hundred artists and the signature 1-54 FORUM.

Kimathi Mafafo, 'Awaiting', 2021, Hand and machine embroidery, 47.24 x 55.11 in 120 x 140 cm. Courtesy of Ebony/Curated
Kimathi Mafafo, ‘Awaiting’, 2021, Hand and machine embroidery, 47.24 x 55.11 in 120 x 140 cm. Courtesy of Ebony/Curated

A remarkable aspect of the edition, which is possible to attend in person, is presented at Christie’s Rockefeller Plaza in New York. Female artists working with textiles are exhibited together in a show titled ‘Knotted Ties’. The presentation explores the multiplicities of the medium and narratives portrayed and expressed through fabric and thread. Emphasising the strength of textile work and its capacity to convey humanity’s entangled histories, the selected works challenge social landscapes and complex realities.

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The artists exhibiting in ‘Knotted Ties’ are Ambrose, Igi Lola Ayedun, Joana Choumali, Lidia Lisbôa, Kimathi Mafafo, Turiya Magadlela, Dindga McCannon, Shervone Neckles, Josie Love Roebuck and Tina Williams Brewer.

As Igi Lola Ayedun stated, working with textiles is “not just about art and aesthetics. It’s about culture, humanity, nature, history, and its transitions, exchanges, robberies between migration, colonisation, wars, genocide. And I truly believe that by creating new pieces, rethinking those techniques, is a way to claim a memory that has always been alive in our African DNA.” 

You can watch a video of the artists talk about their practice here. ‘Knotted Ties’ is free and open to the public from May 15 – 26, 2021. 

Josie Love Roebuck, 'No, I Don't Speak Swahili', 2020, Acrylic and embroidery on unstretched Canvas, 60 x 50 in 152.4 x 127 cm. Courtesy LatchKey Gallery
Josie Love Roebuck, ‘No, I Don’t Speak Swahili’, 2020, Acrylic and embroidery on unstretched Canvas, 60 x 50 in 152.4 x 127 cm. Courtesy LatchKey Gallery

Igi Lola Ayedun, 'ESPELHO', 2019, Lapis lazuli, indigo, argan, wax, silk, corn with azurite and lapis lazuli 39.27 x 34.64 in 82 x 90 cm. Courtesy of HOA Galeria
Igi Lola Ayedun, ‘ESPELHO’, 2019, Lapis lazuli, indigo, argan, wax, silk, corn with azurite and lapis lazuli, 39.27 x 34.64 in 82 x 90 cm. Courtesy of HOA Galeria

Joana Choumali, 'Ravenala', 2021, Embroidery on digital photography printed on canvas, 19 3/4 x 19 3/4 in (50 x 50 cm). Courtesy of Loft Art Gallery
Joana Choumali, ‘Ravenala’, 2021, Embroidery on digital photography printed on canvas, 19 3/4 x 19 3/4 in (50 x 50 cm). Courtesy of Loft Art Gallery

Kimathi Mafafo, 'Self Realization I', 2021, Hand and machine embroidery, 47.24 x 55.11 in 120 x 140 cm. Courtesy of Ebony/Curated
Kimathi Mafafo, ‘Self Realization I’, 2021, Hand and machine embroidery, 47.24 x 55.11 in 120 x 140 cm. Courtesy of Ebony/Curated

Ambrose Murray, 'Shadowman', 2020, Sequins, found clothing, overlain with hand-dyed silk organza, and blue digital print of trees on organza 110 x 70 in 279.40 x 177.8. Courtesy of Fridman Gallery
Ambrose Murray, ‘Shadowman’, 2020, Sequins, found clothing, overlain with hand-dyed silk organza and blue digital print of trees on organza, 110 x 70 in 279.40 x 177.8. Courtesy of Fridman Gallery

Shervone Neckles, 'Provenance 8', 2018, Polyester print with embroidered thread surface, 18 x 14 in 45 x 35.56 cm. Courtesy of LatchKey Gallery
Shervone Neckles, ‘Provenance 8’, 2018, Polyester print with embroidered thread surface, 18 x 14 in 45 x 35.56 cm. Courtesy of LatchKey Gallery

Tina Williams Brewer, 'I Come From The Root, Over Yonder', 2017, Assorted fabrics and threads, 45.5 x 30 in 115.6 x 76.2 cm. Courtesy De Buck Gallery
Tina Williams Brewer, ‘I Come From The Root, Over Yonder’, 2017, Assorted fabrics and threads, 45.5 x 30 in 115.6 x 76.2 cm. Courtesy De Buck Gallery

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