1-54 New York, Online art fair from May 6th to May 30th

Posted by Michaëla Hadji-Minaglou on


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Afikaris is pleased to participate in the 1-54 New York online Art Fair, from May 6th to May 30th. A group show featuring new works by Raphaël Adjetey Adjei Mayne, Salifou Lindou, Ousmane Niang and Nyaba Ouedraogo will be on view.

1-54 New York Art Fair

Contemporary gazes

“ For hundreds of years, in fact, there have been men whose function has been precisely to see and to make us see what we do not naturally perceive. They are the artists.” 

Henri Bergson, The Creative Mind: an introduction to Metaphysics, 1934

Entitled “Contemporary gazes” Afikaris’ virtual booth aims to shed light on the vision that four different artists have of the world and their country. As Henri Bergson  pointed out, the artist is, here, the person who, beyond expressing reality, disturbs and invites viewers to challenge their vision. Salifou Lindou, Raphaël Adjetey Adjei Mayne, Ousmane Niang and Nyaba Ouedraogo, each through their specific practice, narrate the story of their country, alternately focusing on specific aspects of their culture, traditions, and society. They mix contemporary history with their own roots, writing all together a new story and proposing new reading avenues. Thus, they contrast their country’s history or traditions within a globalized world, dealing with contemporary issues.  

Raphaël Mayne, Untitled, 2018, 90x60 cm
African wax print, acrylic, marker and threads on canvas

Raphaël Adjetey Adjei Mayne’s work in its essence, pays a tribute to contemporary life, combining traditional influences of his homeland Ghana with the modern aesthetic and problems. Social and political issues such as education or elections emerge from his patchworks, throughout the use of simple messages and figures. 

 Ousmane Niang, Sans titre, 2020, 170x150 cm
Acrylic on canvas

Political questions are also at the heart of Ousmane Niang’s canvases, which, at the edge of social caricature, showcase hybrid figures to denounce the pains of his society. The human-animal figure reveals both the endurance and the fragility of the social being in the face of powers of all kinds. The pointillist inspiration of his work is not trivial. Every single point conceptualizes a solution to a specific problem. More than a technic, the point is the nerve center of a social conflict, representing the society in which he lives. 

Salifou Lindou, Joueurs 1, 2019, 100x75 cm
Pastel on paper

In his own specific way, Salifou Lindou also narrates the story of his country. Focusing on Cameroonian daily life scenes, the complex network of lines he creates on paper, gives birth to chaotic worlds where man releases his impulses, conjures his anguish and unloads his aggressiveness. The use of pastel allows him to ignore the paper’s fragility while playing with the lines’ strength and intensity. Thus, his hand spontaneously translates on the surface of the paper what his intuition feels. From the purity of the chromatic spectra - only using black and sanguine pastel - stand out social and intimate states that the works tend to represent. 

Nyaba Oueadrago, Théâtre populaire 05, 2020, 112x112 cm
Digital print on William Turner paper

As photographer Nyaba Ouedraogo’s work always aims at shedding the light on specific cultures and practices, his new series focuses on a precise moment of Burkina Faso’s history. The viewer is not able to say what he/she is looking at: is it a painting? a piece of a wall? the doubt is cast. These hybrid figures, standing out from a rough and porous background testify from the remains of Théâtre Populaire Désiré BONOGO in Ouagadougou, city where the artist partly lives. Inaugurated in 1986, during the Revolution and definitely closed in the 1990s, the theater is, since then, abandoned. It has been built to embody the country’s desire to promote and make accessible to all, Burkinabe culture. While mobilizations and petitions try to rehabilitate the building, its ornaments, throughout Ouedraogo’s lens, recall the ghosts of the past.

With reference to the fifty-four countries that make up the African continent, 1-54 aims to be "a sustainable and dynamic platform engaged in contemporary dialogue and exchange." Thus, by showcasing four artists from four different countries, Afikaris supports this will to promote the African art scene’s diversity and to create a dialogue.

About the fair: 1-54 New York, from May 6th to May 30th