The London Art Fair takes place at The Business Design Centre in Islington. With 130 galleries from across the Globe, show casing all styles and medium of Art.
It’s where you can see the current trends, discover emerging artists and find out what’s new in the Art Market.
From last years visit I remembered just how much there was to see. It can be quite overwhelming. The Ground floor layout had stayed much the same as last year. Turn to your left for Traditional ‘National Gallery’ collections. Turn to the right for a mix of Contemporary Galleries. Then a further two floors of Contemporary Art above.
I had been advised by London Art Fair’s Elliot Thompson, that this years highlight is Textile Art. So, off I headed to the Upper floors to find ‘Threading Forms’.
I love seeing handcrafted textiles and embroidered work. So many artists these days, are using sewn thread in their work for both art and interiors . If you check out one of our featured Craftsmen, Jacky Puzey – you will see how she uses embroidery skills on upholstery.
The Candida Stevens Gallery showed an impressive collection of work by Alice Kettle. It was interesting to hear that Alice co-creates her work. The floral motifs on her designs are created by refugees and asylum seekers from Syria, Iran and Uganda. Alice is striving to support sustainable practices and empower communities. Her work is now supported by The Arts Council.
If you are looking for the latest ‘alternative’ art forms. The Art Projects area is the place to be. I was well informed that this was where all the ‘Cool’ Art at The London Art Fair would be hanging out . It didn’t take me long to realise, that my tastes are just, not very ‘Cool’.
However, I was really intrigued by the work of Artist Cesar Cornejo, presented by Ed Cross Fine Art. This Peruvian Artist, creates with resin, cement and miniature bricks. Depicting Latin American, shanty towns. Where public sculptures often sit in stark contrast to their surrounding poverty.
Mixed Media Art
I am always intrigued by the clever ideas and the unusual materials that artists use for their work. The Woolff Gallery, was a great playground of Inspiring designs. This must be one of my favourite stands at The London Art Fair. There, I found Jack Tanner’s ‘Slice Series’. Jack uses screws as a primary material to fabricate precise geometrical wall sculptures.
Another colourful piece, by Russell West, called ‘Lingerie’. Russell’s work is a three dimensional Labyrinth in layers of paint. He can spend up to a year creating a work, repeatedly applying prepared layers and strips of paint onto wire and pins. The effects of gravity and movement of paint defines the final piece.
Zac Freeman is a leading assemblage artist. His portrait ‘Justine’ is created by re-purposing found objects, disposable goods. The left over trash of things we consume in society.
I couldn’t help smiling at the giant Quality Street wrappers. Perish The Thought Studio create artwork which combines the printing of photographic images onto clear film with a heat forming process.
Also at Tag Fine Arts I never fail to be drawn into the beautiful paper creations of Kristjana S Williams. Exquisite hand-cut paper recreations of Victorian engravings.
Another Artist being creative with paper is Jack Milroy at Art First. Hanging installation pieces with layers of graphic designs, cut and repositioned to create interesting layers of illustration.
It’s always great to see the Boo.Lee Gallery and Cathy Lewis with her contemporary sculptures. Are they statues? Are they mannequins? She asks us to question the past and the future.
By far my favourite sculpture of the show was at Liquid Art System. This surreal creation by Matthias Verginer called ‘Space Shuttle’. At the show I had assumed it was a ceramic. But on visiting Matthias’ website, I discovered he carves his sculptures from Limewood. The other work on his website is amazing, such exquisitely made, surreal creations. Definitely an Artist to collect.
At the Cynthia Corbett Gallery, a ceramic that caught my eye is by Anne Athena – ‘Companion’. Anne’s background in painting translates into her ceramics. She creates contemporary pieces with historical references and ornamentation.
Carolein Smit is an artist I cannot fail to be intrigued by and this year she did not disappoint. Her bizarre silver ball covered Venus first caught my eye. Carolein creates surreal, melodramatic, detailed pieces, with a quality of Meissen porcelain. This artist wants people to love her work and weirdly I did fall for Angel. A strangely emotive piece, that evokes compassion, with its bizarre fragility.
Showing in the Cynthia Corbett Gallery, ceramic artist, Nuala O Donovan. Her porcelain series is high fired and unglazed inspired by organic forms.
Another porcelain artist using unglazed fine porcelain, in the BBS Fine Art Gallery, is Sara Dodd. Using slip she paints to create her wafer thin sheets of ceramic. Then uses repetition to create her high fired wall sculptures.
Animals are always a great subject for sculptures. I wanted to include Ian Pollock, at Gormleys Fine Art, just for the impressive scale of the stylised piece.
The Juvenile Baboon by Kendre Haste at Beaux Arts is also cleverly sculpted. It’s a talented sculptor that can create such characterful creature with galvanised wire.
I was looking forward to seeing Bionica Shark by Onyx at Woolff Gallery (as previously spied on instagram). Onyx is an artist who uses iconic sculptures, or natural forms and recreates them with discarded repurposed objects. Combining reality with imagination, the light battling the dark. Loved the presentation of this piece with a nod to the historic Damien Hirst Installation.
It was great to see the work of Cesar Orrico at Galerie Calderone. Some of the pieces on show were very similar to last year – so click on the post link below to see more from his collection. Cesar works in Bronze creating beautiful flowing figurative forms both mythical and magical.
Simon Casson’s oil painting ‘Tantarabobus Misk’ couldn’t fail to make an impression, at Long & Ryle. He paints in the style of traditional Renaissance and Baroque images and then partly obliterates them by dragging his fingers through the paint. Creating traditional formality and contemporary rebellion, within the same image.
Irish Artist, Gordon Harris at the Gormley Gallery, is an artist that always catches my imagination. Renowned for his high realism figurative works. He mainly works in oils. Often embellishing them with gold and silver leaf. His portraits always have a surreal twist, making them magically intriguing.
Anne Moses is another artist at London Contemporary Art. Using a high level of realism in her work. Focusing mainly on faces. She produces detailed, close up paintings and drawings. Capturing emotions and fleeting moments.
At Long & Ryle, Scottish Artist Derrick Guild paid tribute to great Spanish Masters with his contemporary painting , ‘Lable Maria Teresa, after Velazuez’. Apportioning the portrait across a grid of paper labels. Creating what he describes, as a homage turned minimalist mosaic.
Cubian, Darian Mederos’ work focuses on photo realistic abstraction. With his ‘Obscura Series’ bubble wrap reflects and distorts light. Allowing it only to be clearly in focus by stepping back. Darian is asking us to understand the core of humanity from a respectful distance.
Marco Grassi Grama, at Liquid Art System is a figurative artists executing his work in bright energetic style.
Finishing with two paintings I found beautifully atmospheric. Nicholas Archer describes his many works as “Dark side of Disney meets Northern Landscape”. I loved this one at Long & Ryle called ‘The Bee Keeper’.
Beautiful mysterious landscape by Andrew Crocker at Beaux Arts Bath. An artist that creates English landscapes that convey drama and mystery.
Nick Veasey at The Drang Gallery uses the Diasec method of production. This gives his x-ray prints the most impact and detail. Museum quality archival Chromogenic prints are sandwiched between di-bond on the back and polished perspex on the face. This gives the effect of a back-light on his images.
The Drang Gallery also showing work from Mark Quinn and Damien Hirst.
It was refreshing to see beautiful fine art prints at Purdy Hicks. I had never found portraits of birds engaging before. But Leila Jeffreys has a consummate skill. She captures such fine detail with her larger than life imagery.
Sandra Kantanen uses photography to create her images, a mixture of reality and distortion.
These images by Graeme Purdy just made me stop and smile. Graeme specialises in wildlife photography. His ambition is to find fresh dimensions and new perspectives. His passion and empathy for his subject gives his work a beautiful emotive quality.
At Tag Fine Arts I discovered that artist ‘Bambi’ is the new female Banksy . A Street Artist famous for her gritty stencil and aerosol spray paint work. She tackles themes of feminism, street violence, political injustice and popular culture. Here, she was showing some small edition prints, that did make me smile.
And finally … dog save the Queen?
And finally, one of our most Iconic figures making an appearance at the London Art Fair – The Queen. It seems that Artists never tire of being inspired by this amazing lady. Two of the Galleries featured different variations on this print by Christopher Levine.
Bambi at Tag Fine Arts, had this witty sketch called Dog save the Queen.
And over at The Drang Gallery Anne Carrington displayed a large wall hanging on black canvas. A Pearly Queen Stamp made from large pearl buttons.
I wonder which work of Art work would get her Majesties stamp of approval?
I hope you have enjoyed a brief glimpse off some of the great artists on show at The London Art Fair 2020. If you missed last years post – you can see more amazing work by clicking on the link below.