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Lavar Munroe

On the occasion of the first New York edition of the 1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair hosted by Pioneer Works, artist Lavar Munroe converses with Jake Nussbaum about the aesthetics and politics behind his works. He critically analyzes the art scene, its relation to the nineteenth century idea of a human zoo, and his antipathy to labels.

Born in 1982 in Nassau, Munroe was grew up in the impoverished, stigmatized and often marginalized Grants Town community. In 2007 he graduated from Bachelors of Fine Arts from Savannah College of Art and Design, and in 2013 he earned an MA in Fine Art at Washington University, St. Louis. In 2010, Munroe represented The Bahamas in the country’s first and only appearance at the Liverpool Biennale. He is an alumnus of the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture and has been awarded a number of prestigious prizes. As well as tapping his own experiences, much of Munroe’s practice comprises research informed by critical investigation and theories surrounding mythology and literature.


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1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair


The New York edition of the 1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair showcases 17 exhibitors, presenting over 60 African and African diasporan artists.

Recordings of 1:54's many programs, artists, and related partners may be found on this page. 1:54 was initiated by Touria El Glaoui in 2013 in LondonMay 2016 marks the second edition of 1:54 New York, while 1:54 London ran its fourth consecutive year from the 5-9th of October 2016 at Somerset House.


A reference to the fifty-four countries that constitute the African continent, the title of 1:54 establishes the parameters of the fair’s ethos: as a platform that strives to represent multiplicity and showcase the diversity of contemporary African art and cultural production on an international stage. The 2016 1:54 Art Fair was accompanied by an educational and artistic program curated by Koyo Kouoh and includes lectures, film screenings, and panel debates featuring leading international curators, artists, and art experts.


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