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.
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.
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.