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BerandaLifestyleArt & CultureThe Best Booths at Marrakech’s 1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair

The Best Booths at Marrakech’s 1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair

The 1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair’s Morocco edition is back. As usual, the fair is being held at the prestigious Marrakech’s Mamounia hotel, but for the first time, it is also taking place at DADA, a multidisciplinary art space that is currently mid-renovation. The hope, with this new location in the heart of the historical Medina quarter, is to draw a younger crowd. “We may attract even more people,” said founding director Touria El Glaoui. ligaplay88

The fair’s fifth iteration launched yesterday and will close on February 11. Some 27 exhibitors are participating. Fourteen are from the African continent, and eight are based in Morocco—twice as many as last year. Many have brought not one, not two, but three artists, as if it were this year’s lucky number. Among those artists, many work produce textiles, adding to a centuries-long tradition in Morocco.

Below, a look at seven of the best offerings at 1-54. ligaplay88

Gallery 1957

A painting of a Black woman wearing blue earrings. The paint on her skin is smeary.

Work by Amoako Boafo at Gallery 1957’s booth.

Photo : Sarah Belmont for ARTnews

Gallery 1957, whose name refers to the year when Ghana declared independence, has one of the first booths one sees upon entering the fair. One of the three artists included is Zanele Muholi, who is showing photographic self-portraits in which the artist appears in the nude. These are being shown alongside three captivating portraits of Black figures by Amoako Boafo, the fast-rising Ghanaian painter known for applying his materials with his fingers. There also textiles by Mawuena Benissan, a young artist born in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, and raised in the United States. Benissan draws inspiration from the history of royal umbrellas, which are meant to protect monarchs from the sun, to demonstrate their power. Her embroideries on velvet are made in collaboration with the same artisans that craft those symbolic umbrellas in the Kumasi region. ligaplay88