- United Kingdom
London Art Fair returns to its traditional January slot from 18-22 January 2023, launching the international art collecting calendar once again with an exceptional collection of modern and contemporary art. The Fair will offer both seasoned and aspiring collectors a diverse presentation of modern and contemporary art, alongside curated displays, and an inspiring programme of talks, panel discussions and artists insights.
In addition, London Art Fair continues to champion and support regional museums through its annual Museum Partnership, which this year invites the Ben Uri Gallery and Museum who will present key highlights from their preeminent collection to the Fair showcasing the rich contribution to British art made by Jewish, immigrant, and refugee artists.
This year will see the participation of over 100 galleries from around the world, including Iceland, Belgium, America and Sweden, with new exhibitors Art Gallery O68, Willoughby Gerrish, and Koop Projects; alongside returning names such as Austin Desmond Fine Art, Piano Nobile, and ARTITLEDcontemporary. The Fair will also feature work by some of the world’s most renowned artists, including works by Paula Rego, Tracey Emin, Marc Chagall, Roy Lichtenstein, Bridget Riley, Pablo Picasso, Grayson Perry, Salvador Dali, Keith Haring, Jean-Michel Basquiat, and Julien Opie.
These esteemed artists will be exhibited alongside the next generation of international contemporary names. Contemporary gallery highlights include The Finch Project, Elizabeth XI Bauer, and Artistellar - an innovative gallery which launched and showcased exciting emerging talents during the Covid-19 pandemic.
London Art Fair’s specialism in Modern Art continues to be strongly represented through the participation of some of the UK’s leading galleries in the field. Terry Frost’s striking ‘Red, Black and Blue Arrows’ will be showcased by Osborne Samuel among other Modern British works. Meanwhile, Thomas Spencer Fine Art will present works by Keith Vaughan, a Henry Moore bronze from a private collection, and Victor Pasmore prints from a private collection which were gifted directly to the private source by Victor himself. The Redfern Gallery will be celebrating their own centenary year as well as the centenary of Adrian Heath (1920-1992) with works from a career that spanned six decades.
Purdy Hicks will be unveiling Sandra Kantanen’s new series, Herbarium, at the Fair for the very first time. The series presents familiar and exotic plants with microscopic precision, revealing the intricacy and delicacy of nature’s structures. Alongside this, a display of three fabulous book paintings by Ralph Fleck, who’s painterly language involves movement between moments of close observation and of objective distance.
Notable thematic presentations include RAW Editions’s all-woman booth featuring pieces by Bridget Riley, Louise Bourgeois, and Barbara Kruger who seek to explore the possibilities of their chosen mediums by engaging in historic, art-historic, political and aesthetic discourse;Candida Stevens’ ambitious curation titled If You Could Save One Place, a significant work created by the collaboration of 12 international artists which demonstrates their response to its title’s question. If You Could Save One Place encourages contemplation of the varying global reactions to, and ramifications of, climate change. Meanwhile, Koop Projects’ stand is dedicated to presenting African artists who transform discarded materials to explore themes around individual and collective identity.
London Art Fair reflects contemporary practice and collecting trends within the art world through its critically-acclaimed sections curated in collaboration with leading experts.
For the 5th edition of Platform, art historian and author Ruth Millington presents a collection of galleries whose artists collaborate with inspiring individuals, reframing the muse as an empowered and active agent in the story of art. This year’s edition of Platform, titled ‘Reframing the Muse’, invites viewers to consider the instrumental role played by diverse, real-life individuals, past and present, beyond the frame in which they are immortalised.
On display from Rebecca Hossack Art Gallery, a contemporary art gallery specialising in Aboriginal, Australian and Western art, will be works by Nikoleta Sekulovic, who subverts the tradition of Odalisque portraiture, and portraits by Carla Kranendonk. Gala Fine Art will be showcasing powerful new work by Golnaz Afraz, whose muses are young Iranian women protesters. Male muses are also being showcased by RAW Editions, through the male-on-male gaze of Peter Doig, Grayson Perry and David Hockney, whose portrait Reclining Figure pays tribute to one of his most significant subjects, Gregory Evans. Audiences, too, are invited to take themselves as their own muse, as they pose before the interactive mirror, No Photos Please by Eve de Haan.
Museum Partnership - Ben Uri
London Art Fair has partnered with London’s Ben Uri Gallery and Museum for its annual Museum Partnership. The Museum Partnership provides a prominent London platform and significant opportunity for patrons, collectors and general Fair visitors to engage with an exhibition of exceptional museum quality works – bringing some of our most important regional private collections into the public domain.
The works on display, which include paintings and sculptures, focus on the immigrant experience, speaking to the rich contribution to British art made by Jewish, immigrant, and refugee artists which is Ben Uri’s DNA. The collection includes Frank Auerbach’s Mornington Crescent, Summer Morning II, David Bomberg’s Racehorses and an artwork by British-Iranian visual artist Zory Shahrokhi which was commissioned by Ben Uri in response to Liberators: 12 Extraordinary Women Artists from the Ben Uri Collection.
In 2018, the Museum published a transformative Strategic Plan which propelled a prescient shift to create the first full-scale digital museum and research centre which complemented Ben Uri’s vibrant gallery programming. The redefined, fully digitised unique collection reflects the wider immigrant landscape and contribution to British Art, including 880 works by 390 artists from 45 different countries of birth.
Encounters is a new section launching at London Art Fair 2023 curated by journalist, curator, and member of the Encounters Selection Committee, Pryle Behrman. Formerly Art Projects, Encounters is a showcase of the freshest contemporary art from across the globe featuring young, up and coming galleries eager to present their emerging artists on a major platform alongside established names who are creating new and exciting work, taking their practice in a different direction.
The new section of curated solo and group presentations is where the two meanings of the word ‘encounter’ meet. An encounter is often unexpected, perhaps leading to the discovery of an unknown artist or, alternatively, an unexpected style or theme; an encounter can also suggest a confrontation between opposing positions and artworks that challenge entrenched views and understandings.
Highlights include a display by Shame Gallery whose pieces by Nathan French, originally a fashion designer, reference the multiplicity of tempers, moods and thoughts that occur inside every one of us; Catherine Anholt’s paintings at TIN MAN ART see the artist exploring a range of emotions and experiences spanning childhood, parenting, the natural world, birth and death, having previously been primarily known as an author and illustrator of children’s books. At April Contemporary, an installation by Luqmaan Godfrey – the artist alter ego of muralist Damilola Odusote – combines mixed media drawings, poems, texts, collages, and murals to present ‘reality’ as a continually changing map that is both malleable and wholly transient.
Photo50 is the Fair’s critical forum for examining distinctive elements in contemporary photography. For 2023, Photo50 is curated by Pelumi Odubanjo and Katy Barron, who will present the work of a group of multigenerational women and non-binary photographers whose practice engages with their Black and diasporic heritage. Through their lens, the exhibition will explore domestic life and the idea of ‘home’.
The exhibition echoes Saidiya Hartmann’s Wayward Lives, Beautiful Experiments: Intimate Histories of Riotous Black Girls, Troublesome Women, and Queer Radicals, as such, this year’s exhibition is named Beautiful Experiments. Beautiful Experimentsincludes works from the 1980s through to the present day and presents diverse imagery by artists that reflects their histories and personal ideas of home and identity. The exhibition will think through ideas of ‘home' in a number of ways - as a safe space, a queer space, an invisible space, a space of isolation, a place of memory, and the notion of home outside of the family home. It will consider the difference between generational approaches, and the wide-ranging uses of photographs and archival materials.
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