News / Art

Somerset House will host season to celebrate African Art this autumn

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Hassan Hajjaj: Kesh Angels

On 5 October, Somerset House and 1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair are set to launch Hassan Hajjaj: La Caravane.

The first solo show in the UK in seven years by Hassan Hajjaj, Hassan Hajjaj: La Caravane is described by Somerset House this morning in a press release as “a homecoming exhibition of the British-Moroccan artist”.

Born in Morocco, aged 12, Hassan Hajjaj then moved to London. He now lives and works between Marrakesh and London. Hassan’s highly distinctive, boldly patterned work across photographic portraits, sculpture, music, design, objects and video installations reflects this “neb-nomadic lifestyle”, clashing North African culture with characteristically Western imagery.

The exhibition will include Hassan’s signature photographic portraits, including the series Kesh Angels which brings ”the glossy aesthetic of a fashion shoot” together with “Moroccan traditional and street culture”, in the process questioning Western criticisms of the hijab.

To celebrate the exhibition and 1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair, Somerset House has commissioned a flag to fly over its iconic courtyard by British-Ghanaian artist Larry Achiampong, one of Somerset House Studios’ original residents. The flag considers Afro-futurism and African diasporic identity, with a design which represents Africa’s 54 countries through stars and a red, green and yellow gold colour palette.

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Larry Achiampong: PAN AFRICAN FLAG FOR THE RELIC TRAVELLERS ALLIANCE, a new Somerset House Flag Commission ©Somerset House

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Larry Achiampong: PAN AFRICAN FLAG FOR THE RELIC TRAVELLERS ALLIANCE, a new Somerset House Flag Commission ©Somerset House

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Larry Achiampong: PAN AFRICAN FLAG FOR THE RELIC TRAVELLERS ALLIANCE, a new Somerset House Flag Commission ©Somerset House