Although it only lasts five days, the annual London Art Fair is one of the major events on this year’s global art calendar. Prestige take a look at the diverse selection of modern and contemporary art that will be unveiled there this month.
(Hero Image: London Art Fair 2020 visitor, photo by Mark Cocksedge)
This year will mark the 34th edition of the London Art Fair (LAF), and galleries from around the world will come to the Business Design Center in London to participate. Unsurprisingly, the lion’s share of attendees are based in the UK, with brand new exhibitors such as Tanya Baxter Contemporary, David Kovats, and mostly online Butterfly Galleryexhibiting in tandem with established gallerists such as James Hyman, Purdy Hicks and Richard Green.
The 2022 fair is scheduled to take place from April 20-24 and, as always, will offer seasoned and aspiring collectors a diverse selection of modern and contemporary art to peruse, as well as themed exhibitions and a program of lectures and panel discussions. insightful.
As for top British artists to watch, Thomas Spencer Fine Art will include previously unseen work by Royal Academician John Nash, while Waterhouse & Dodd’s exhibition focuses on David Bomberg and his students; notably the works of Dennis Creffield and the recently rediscovered oil paintings of Dorothy Mead (which have not been shown publicly for over 40 years). As for more recent contemporary pieces, the new edition from David Shrigley and Stoney Road Press, courtesy of Jealous Gallery, includes a number of unpublished monotypes by Leah Hewson.
Textiles are having a moment in the art world lately, and those interested in the medium should visit both the James Hyman Gallery, which will feature a rare and unique hand-woven tapestry by RB Kitaj, and the Candida Stevens Gallery, where contemporary textile/fiber artist Alice Kettle will present a piece titled ‘Poppy’.
While the galleries at this year’s LAF actively promote – and sell – the works of the artists they represent, the fair also reflects contemporary collecting trends through independent showcases, created in collaboration with leading experts. The “Platform” series, curated by Candida Stevens (of the aforementioned Candida Stevens Gallery), has 10 galleries submitting works by artists who have chosen to explore the intersection of visual arts and music. Particularly captivating are Matt Smith’s ‘Notes of a Love Song’ porcelain sculpture and Andy Burgess’ vintage-inspired ephemeral collages (both courtesy of Cynthia Corbett Gallery).
“The range of responses to this theme has been so varied, from a relatively small group of artists,” Candida remarked when asked about assembling this exhibit. “We have abstract works referencing the riffs of jazz music with offbeat colors and offbeat form, and abstract pieces referencing movement, kinesthesia and dance, very much in the tradition of the works of art influenced by music – think Mondrian and Klee.”
As you might expect, overseeing the entirety of such an artistic extravaganza is no small task. However, Sarah Monk, the director of this year’s LAF, kept the project on track, despite some unforeseen setbacks.
“The biggest challenge this year has been postponing the fair,” admits Sarah, acknowledging the fact that LAF 2022 was originally scheduled to take place in January. “We have made the decision to postpone the event and present it a few months later in April because we are keen to provide the best and safest show for everyone. It was a huge logistical challenge, but everyone involved have been incredibly supportive. We look forward to hosting an in-person event as we have an exciting program of talks, tours, installations and performances lined up alongside a host of acclaimed curated sections. critical.
“I look forward to reconnecting with all the galleries, curators, collectors and visitors who return to LAF each year and to welcoming new friends to this special April edition,” she continues. “I am delighted that many of our international galleries are returning to London to showcase their artists’ work, including G-77 Gallery, Kyoto, and Gallery Kitai, Tokyo, Galeria Miquel Alzueta, Barcelona, alongside new exhibitors Kunst AB Hinterhof from Vienna.
“In addition to over 100 modern and contemporary galleries exhibiting with us, our curated sections remain among the most anticipated cultural highlights of the London art calendar. This year is no exception, and we are proud to host an exhibition of works from the largest collection of modern and contemporary women, from our museum partner The New Hall Collection, including works by big names such as Tracey Emin and Paula Rego, and rising stars such as Gayle Chong Kwan.
Another curated segment of LAF is the “Art Projects” series, which highlights interesting contemporary artists from around the world. This year, the celebration of the Portuguese surrealist master Cruzeiro Seixas by Perve Galeria is particularly interesting. The medium of photography also occupies a prominent place at LAF, with the “Photo50” series curated by Rodrigo Orrantia. Featuring works by over a dozen British and UK-based artists responding to the theme ‘No Place is An Island’, this promises to be a highlight of the 2022 fair. by Sarah Pickering, shot at various sites where fake bombs are deployed, are particularly striking – excuse the pun.
Of course, not everyone will be able to travel to London this month, and for this reason, LAF 2022 has made it easy for interested collectors to view and purchase artwork and attend the various talks via online channels.
“For those unable to attend in person, they can log in through the London Art Fair website“says Sarah. “There they can take a look at the exciting range of galleries, view the artworks for sale and fill out the artwork request form to contact the gallery directly about purchasing artwork. a specific work of art.
“Until April 13, a selection of conferences will also be available online before the launch of the show. [londonartfair.co.uk/pre-fair-talks-series]. These talks will provide opportunities to gain in-depth knowledge of the works on display at this year’s fair, as well as covering current art world topics, from sustainability in the art sector to collecting for the House.
Among all the up-and-coming artists at this year’s LAF are a handful of pieces by household names such as Henry Moore, David Hockney, Joan Miró and Pablo Picasso. For the collector – whether seasoned or novice – choosing between splurging on a well-known artist or betting on an unknown one is always a difficult decision.
“My advice to collectors would be to remember that by acquiring the work, you are also investing in the artist and his practice,” Sarah emphasizes. “You basically support them on their journey. At LAF, we showcase cutting-edge emerging artists to enable new dialogues to take place in the industry and provide a space for collectors to discover and support their work.
“I would really recommend taking a look at the international emerging talents presented in the “Artistic Projects” section, a showcase of the most recent contemporary art from around the world. Solo exhibitions and thematic group exhibitions have been selected and endorsed by a panel of thought leaders and industry leaders, and the strength of the fair lies in this collective expertise.