Last weekend has witnessed the return of London Art Fair, an annual 5-day event that takes place at Islington’s Business Design Centre showcasing modern and contemporary art by international artists. London Art Fair welcomed IG, the world-leading provider of trading and investments, as a headline sponsor for 2019.
Founded in 1989 as a platform for discovering and buying art, London Art Fair began with just 36 galleries but has grown to more than three times the size of exhibitors and over 20,000 visitors in attendance this year. Despite Brexit anxieties, the fair reported robust sales from international collectors with Christopher Kingzett Fine Art selling a bronze maquette by Elisabeth Frink titled St Edmund (1976) for £38,000; Alan Wheatley Art recording fantastic sales of works by both Alan Davie and Adrian Heath; and Crane Kalman Gallery selling a selection of L. S. Lowry drawings and an oil painting for a six-figure sum.
Alongside exhibiting galleries showing a diverse array of British and International art, a public programme of talks, tours, screenings and special curated projects including Photo50, an annual exhibition of contemporary photography; and Art Projects, which featured installations, solo shows and group displays, the fair partners with a regional museum each year to highlight the importance of regional collections.
Towner Art Gallery in Eastbourne was the museum partner for 2019 with a presentation titled ‘The Living Collection,’ showcasing works by artists including Eric Ravilious, Edward Bawden, John Nash, William Nicholson, Duncan Grant, William Gear, Gertrude Hermes, Tirzah Garwood, and Wolfgang Tillmans. Photo50 was curated by Tim Clark with the question of ‘Who’s looking at the family, now?’ serving as a theme to engage with questions about family life, its dynamics and complexity, by contemporary photographers and artists working in the UK and internationally including Poulomi Basu, Jonny Briggs, Léonie Hampton, Lebohang Kganye, Amak Mahmoodian, Mariela Sancari and Alba Zari. Finally, with Art Projects, the fair presents new galleries with the latest talents in contemporary art and this section takes over level one and runs alongside the main galleries section below.
Selections picks its top 3 booths in the list that follows:
Cornwall gallery Anima Mundi is one of the largest gallery spaces outside of London. Presented in the Art Projects section was a solo booth of beautiful gouache on paper by Rebecca Harper, a graduate of The London Drawing School.
South London’s Danielle Arnaud gallery is a gem of a gallery located in a historic townhouse in Kennington that has been going since 1995. The gallery presented artists Nicky Coutts, Freya Gabie, Oona Grimes, Helen Maurer, Annie Whiles and Sarah Woodfine with its highlight being Maurer’s shelf projection sculptures.
Ed Cross Fine Art
Ed Cross Fine Art dedicated their booth entirely to the Kimathi Donkor with figurative drawings all from the artist’s imagination which make up his Notebook series.