The Founding Director of 1-54, Touria El Glaoui, commented: “The growth and popularity of the fair is a real testament to the shift away from Euro-centric art-historical narratives.”

Of the 43 exhibitors, 11 galleries will be welcomed to the London fair for the first time: ADN Galeria, Art Bärtschi & Cie,Burning in Water, Galerie Nathalie Obadia, Gallery Nosco, HUBERTY & BREYNE GALLERY, James Cohan, Kristin Hjellegjerde, Loft Art Gallery, MOVART Gallery, Retro Africa and Yossi Milo Gallery.

Esther Mahlangu 1-54 Booth

Year after year, 1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair has reinforced its foremost place in the global discussion of contemporary African Art.  In numbers, 1-54 will represent more than 130 artists, 42 galleries, 11 solo shows, and 33 countries. Eleven of those 42 galleries will also be first-timers: ADN GaleriaArt Bärtschi & CieBurning in WaterGalerie Nathalie ObadiaGallery NoscoHUBERTY & BREYNE GALLERYJames CohanKristin HjellegjerdeLoft Art Gallery, MOV’ART GalleryRetro Africa, and Yossi Milo Gallery.

  Photo © Katrina Sorrentino, Courtesy 1-54 Fair

Photo © Katrina Sorrentino, Courtesy 1-54 Fair

About 25 percent of the galleries are dedicating their entire booths to one artist. Eleven are presenting solo exhibitions featuring the following artists: Addis Gezehagn (Addis Fine Art), Omar Ba (Art Bärtschi & Cie), Marion Boehm (ARTCO Gallery), Paul Onditi (ARTLabAfrica), Atta Kwami (Beardsmore Gallery), Esther Mahlangu(Burning in Water), Wonga Mancoba (Galerie Mikael Anderson), Youssef Nabil (Galerie Nathalie Obadia), Anton Kannemeyer (Huberty & Breyne Gallery), Ailou Diack ((S)ITOR/Sitor Senghor) and Mongezi Ncaphayi (SMAC).


“I am really looking forward to Burning in Water as they are presenting a solo exhibition of work by Esther Mahlangu,” adds Touria El Glaoui, founder and fair director. “Esther Mahlangu is a South African artist whose work is based on long-standing traditional Ndebele wall painting and beadwork.”


Burning in Water will debut its new gallery space with the work of Jesse Krimes, who created a massive 39-piece mural, one section at a time from scavenged art supplies while serving a six-year prison sentence. His new work, created since his release, are sculptures and installations created based on the results of Google image search queries and attempting to map the algorithmic networks behind the search engine.

507 West 27th Street; September 13–November 3, 2018, opening reception 6 –8 p.m.


ARTNEWS: Burning in Water Gallery to Open Two More Spaces in New York

- Alex Greenberger


Following news of plans to open a San Francisco outpost, Burning in Water gallery has once again expanded its operation, this time in New York, where it has been based since it opened in 2015. The gallery announced today that it will inaugurate two more spaces in New York shortly, both of them located in the city’s Chelsea neighborhood, at 507 West 27th Street.

The new gallery spaces will be a block away from Burning in Water’s 10th Avenue gallery, and will add more than 5,000 square feet of exhibition space. They are part of the freshly inaugurated High Line Nine building, which was designed by the firm Studio MDA with galleries in mind. (Burning in Water’s two new spaces will be separated by those of other galleries also located within the building.)

The first show held at West 27th Street, next door to Kasmin gallery’s soon-to-open fourth gallery space, will be a Jesse Krimes solo outing feature new sculptures, installations, and mobiles by the Philadelphia-based artist. That exhibition, which will span both new spaces, kicks off on September 13.

Burning in Water first opened in 2015 in New York, and has since gone on to show such artists as Valerie Hegarty, Borinquen Gallo, Frédéric Bruly Bouabré, Elizabeth Catlett, and Serge Attukwei Clottey.



From September 22–30, the NYCLU's pop-up dubbed the Museum of Broken Windows will set up shop in Greenwich Village. The installation will feature works from artists and activists across the country, all revolving around the “ineffectiveness of broken windows policing, which criminalizes our most vulnerable communities,” organizers noted in a press release. 

Artists featured at the pop-up include Molly Crabapple, Jesse Krimes, Dread Scott, Hank Willis Thomas and Jordan Webber.

The museum will be open at 9 W 8th St from September 22–30, and entry is completely free. Head to the NYCLU's website for more information as it becomes available.


TIME OUT NEW YORK: Oliver Lee Jackson: Untitled Original


This show is Jackson’s first in New York in 25 years, and showcases prints, paintings and sculpture that straddle the line between abstraction and figuration. Based in Oakland since the 1980’s, Jackson, born 1935, initially emerged during the mid-’60s in St Louis, where he was affiliated with the seminal Black Artists Group (BAG), an interdisciplinary organization that promoted the work of African-American musicians, performers and artists.

 Photo by Katrina Sorrentino / Courtesy 1-54 New York

Photo by Katrina Sorrentino / Courtesy 1-54 New York

Newcomer at 1-54, the New York gallery Burning in Water detonated with the pink walls of its booth and a nod to art history: the original drawings of Frédéric Bruly Bouabré dialogued with the embroidery of the Italian Alighiero Boetti, star of Arte Povera and friend of the Ivorian painter. Behind this cheeky choice, the connoisseurs recognized a reference to an iconic exhibition held in 1995 at the Dia: Chelsea in New York. The only time Bruly Bouabré was exposed in the United States during his lifetime.

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"This uplifting show by the African-American artist, who died in 2012, at the age of ninety-six, traces the evolution of her streamlined forms and her focus on women as subjects over seven decades. Think of this superb, small selection as an amuse-bouche for the major museum retrospective that, as the art world belatedly catches up to overlooked brilliant women, is all but inevitable."

HYPERALLERGIC: Revisiting Elizabeth Catlett’s Legacy in 12 Powerful Sculptures

-Robin Scher

Elizabeth Catlett-Wake up in Glory

"The formidable sculptor Elizabeth Catlett is having her first solo exhibition in New York City since her debut at the Studio Museum in Harlem in 1971. The show, at Burning in Water, is aptly titled Wake Up in Glory.

Catlett, who died at the age of 96 in 2012, had an impressive and successful six-decade career. But while her work has been exhibited at major museums, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art and Museum of Modern Art, her art is only beginning to receive the deeper attention it deserves."


-Kaelen Wilson-Goldie

"The sculptures here are wholly indicative of Catlett’s breadth, ranging from the powerfully figurative, such as Political Prisoner, 1971, a bronze of a woman standing with her hands tied behind her, leaning back as if to scream, to the mesmerizingly abstract Magic Mask, 1970–80, a smooth, oblong, anthropomorphic piece with five large circles carved through the wood."


"At New York's Burning in Water gallery, the late artist's sculptural work practically bursts off its plinths.  

Elizabeth Catlett (1915-2012) has quite a legacy, and Burning in Water‘s show gives a look at just how vital her interest in sculpture was, with examples from 1946 all the way up to 2010."


"What will Catlett’s legacy e s an artist? 'Elizabeth Catlett’s art,' art historian Melanie Anne Herzog wrote, 'cries out in protest, proclaims solidarity, celebrates survival.' Though she wielded a bold indictment of injustice, Catlett portrayed her subjects (almost always African American women) as heros rather than victims. For Catlett, there was no distinction between her convictions and her artwork."


ARTNET NEWS: Editors’ Picks: 18 Things to See in New York This Week

-Sarah Cascone


"Pioneering African-American feminist artist Elizabeth Catlett (1915–2012) gets her first solo show in New York since her 1971 outing at the Studio Museum in Harlem. The exhibition will feature both prints and sculptures from the politically minded artist, who was influenced by everything from the Harlem Renaissance and Pre-Columbian and African art to European Modernism and American Regionalism."


"'Borinquen Gallo: Like a Jungle Orchid for a Lovestruck Bee' at Burning in Water 
Bronx-based Puerto Rican-Italian artist Borinquen Gallo painstakingly weaves red and yellow caution tape, construction tarps, garbage bags, and other unconventional materials into richly textured sculptures and installations. It’s a process that can take weeks or even months."


"Pictures at an Exhibition presents images of one notable show every weekday.

Today’s show: “Borinquen Gallo: Like a Jungle Orchid for a Lovestruck Bee” is on view at Burning in Water in New York through Saturday, November 18. The exhibition is the artist’s first solo presentation in New York."


Artforum:  "Critics' Pick" 

-Heidi Harrington-Johnson

"Rotting, wounded, smiling--watermelons in Valerie Hegarty's latest exhibition of paintings and sculptures--are depicted as sentient objects: carnal, threatening. Several wedges of the fruit, done in ceramics, rest on a plinth, their pink flesh resembling gums and growing teeth, tongues, ribs, stalagmites, barnacles."




ARTnews: "Americana Gone a Bit Weird" 

                               -Robin Scher

"I am always interested in talking about transformation," Hegarty said one recent afternoon in her studio in midtown Manhattan, surrounded by a sinister set of anthropomorphic fruits-- tooth-filled watermelons rinds, spinal carrot carcasses and some Arcimboldo-style faces. The pieces are a morbid answer to kitschy centerpieces of yesteryear, now robbed of their evergreen freshness."


"[Art Basel Miami] features works by several artists working in the same vein...that is, making figurative ceramic work that plays with scale and tone, or that uses the handcrafted medium to imbue typically inanimate objects with inner life. [A] shining example of this approach are the playful food sculptures by Valerie Hegarty that are on view in Miami gallery Locust Projects' booth."


"Valerie Hegarty frequently addresses topics from American history, borrowing imagery from quintessentially American genres...but then re-imagines the subjects from her own singular perspective. [Her] watercolors suggest a fevered, hallucinatory vision of America through the prism of its artistic visual traditions...The works are simultaneously macabre, funny and provocative."



"[Hegarty's] work is topical, as it is informed by the 'current turbulent state of our country while also excavating from America's past.' What we're seeing here couldn't be described as decay, as such, but her work seems to have a theme of the gooey-ness of information, of shared knowledge. We live in a post-fact society and consensus validation is gospel. That, of course, leads to strange distortions of the truth--things that resemble fact, but are wholly alien to reality."





"Both works [by Jesse Krimes] are stunning: Purgatory--especially as displayed, on a long shelf with the cards against a black wall--because necessity made it so original, and heaven-and-earth Apokaluptein because its as good as Rauschenberg's similar works and, perhaps, more heartfelt and lyrical."




The New Yorker: "Jesse Krimes"

"A tapestry on prison-issued bedsheets--a weird, oneiric landscape festooned with faeries, fields, and images transferred from prison copies of the New York Times and Artforum. Pictures of Rihanna and Taylor Swift, not to mention an ad for a Christie's Sale, assume a mournful character as absurdist totems of freedom while enduring Draconian punishment."


The Wall Street Journal: "An Artist's Secret Life Behind Bars." 

-Ellen Gamerman

"The exhibition's centerpiece is a work...that Mr. Krimes made while at a federal prison in Fairton, NJ. He created a 39 panel mural on white prison bed sheets...The artist took photos from newspapers and magazines and transferred them onto the sheets using hair-gel to lift the image and a plastic spoon to rub the image onto the sheet. He then drew and painted his own figures onto the works. The panels move from heave to hell and feature a riot of images whose subjects range from Hurricane Sandy to Taylor Swift, from Jean Michel-Basquiat to Chanel." 



"The centerpiece of the exhibition is a sculpture by artist Valerie Hegarty, Return to the Catskills. An amalgamation of canvas, paint and moss, the piece is nature-art hybridity depicting a moss-covered tree (and a small woodpecker) devouring a painting. Malin says that the piece 'directly attacks the idea of the landscape that exists outside the ravages of time and the impact of society.'"