Selection being something we specialise in here at Selections, we like to ask those who are best-placed to make choices on our behalf. In this special feature, we ask gallerists at the London Art Fair, which celebrates its 30th anniversary this year, to choose a single artwork from their booths and share the story behind it.
LAF 2018 will be held from 17 – 21 January 2018.
This work is establishing itself in the course of time through its significance, clear-sightedness and destiny. It is a narrative work, subtle and impacting which is timeless and after all universal. Sometimes, Niloufar’s work creates controversy, it stimulates debate or invites us to dream; because it speaks to all of us according to our own sensitivities and cultures. Regularly, new projects come alive and are presented on our gallery walls but Niloufar Banisadr’s work will always be in the DNA of 55Bellechasse.
Anise Gallery have been working with London-based artist Nemo Nonnenmacher since 2017, having selected him for their annual Summer Graduate Show after encountering his work in the Royal College of Art degree show. Nemo’s work explores the tender craft and relationships between man and machine through 3D printing body parts before they are presented as a chromogenic print at great scale. With dimensions at 151cm x 121cm, ‘Hand I/II’ is part of body of work which boasts soothing palettes and contrasting dynamically abstracted body parts
with both aesthetically pleasing and stimulating results.
‘My mind is an overgrown jungle’ is inspired by a combination of memories from my visit to Ernest Hemingways’ home in Key West, Florida, and an old kodachrome slide showing the building in its original state in the 60’s… Encased in foliage and surrounded by botanical and tropical plants, it gives the viewer all the ingredients of the sublime – an epic jungle of a landscape demonstrating the sheer power of nature at work as it almost takes over the man-made construct planted in the centre of the painting…It is a jungle of thoughts, a curious space, an authors creative refuge.
Candida Stevens Gallery
I have selected this painting by Stephen Farthing RA for a personal reason. It is one of 18 paintings made by Stephen of museums from around the world, an exhibition of work that is to be previewed at the fair. It is a fascinating body of work that looks at the history of collecting and the importance of collections. This painting is of the Wallace Collection, a museum that I visited age 11 and recalls the first time I was deeply moved by the power of visual art.
Stephen Farthing RA is eight times prize-winner of the John Moores painting prize and current Chairman of the Royal Academy Exhibition Program.
Yoann Mérienne apprehended painting as a sculpture, seeking texture and volume, and mixes history of art’s influences with contemporaneity. In this painting, “Porcelaine”, The French artist was inspired by a scene in a foundry where he saw workers positioning a monumental statue on its pedestal. The workers, with hidden faces, are represented in the same colour tones and textures as the sculpture, while the sculpture appears as the character that is the most alive. As such, the young painter confuses the spectator whom sees the object of art recovering its humanity, and the living being turned into an art subject.
New Art Projects
I choose this work as Adam has a brilliant way of making the ordinary extraordinary in his paintings. He takes things we see everyday, tress, pigeons, worms, our hands, and makes surreal landscapes form them, where he plays with scale and position to greateffect. I especially like the huge bird head next to the small one, in this work and the effect that looks as if it has bene painted on tiles.
No 20 and Galeria Carles Taché
Javier Arce’s collection of vertical strokes produces a detailed counterfeit of one of the most reproduced and well-known artworks of all time. Yet the ‘counterfeit’ is an original itself. It is the relationship of original and counterfeit that allows the most interesting reading: every time the artwork is displayed, the volume of the piece changes. Therefore, every time it is hung, the work becomes a counterfeit of its own counterfeit/original.
Arce’s 3.7m x 2m ‘El Grito – XL’ is part of the Estrujados series, where the artist reproduces art masterpieces in an enlarged format and invites reflection around the notions of originality, and endless reproduction and consumption in contemporary society.
Like many feminist artists that often embraced alternative materials that are traditionally and historically more connected to the female gender, Manuela Jardim created this work using materials such as textiles, embroidery and dyeing combined with other media, which do not have the same historically male-dominated precedent. By expressing herself through these non-traditional means, she sought to expand the definition of fine art and to incorporate a wider variety of artistic perspectives.
This installation is inspired by the diversity and lush plasticity of the ancient Cape Verdean and Guinean textiles, a theme that was the target of several years of an intensive research process by the author.
Her work bequeaths a personal and syncretic look of the aesthetic sense and the deep human meaning that Manuela collects from the ancestry of objects and that she transforms through experimentation and technique reinvention of the creative processes anchored in constructions made by anonymous people not only from Africa but also from other geographical horizons.
Goddard has produced numerous images of his grandmother (Nan) over the years. She used to tell him stories as a boy, sitting in her throne chair with an oversized can of fosters beer. A green parrot perched in the corner, reflectively swearing back what had been heard. These tales are resurfaced through Goddard’s eyes to invoke a dystopian world with his “Nan Head” series. Her face, dark and light, is often used to reflect the duality of human nature, his Nan’s head always the powerful centrepiece. In “Betty Ford” he uses a signature motif of an empty eye socket, the other filled with homage to a young Basquiat collage. A dancing old lady becomes almost sinister in a landscape with Betty Ford’s clinic and a floating dagger. The imagery travels to a dark place but combined with Goddard’s superb draftsmanship and technique one is left feeling the emotional beauty of the piece.
I fell in love with Lionni’s work due to this installative piece seeing it reproduced in a catalogue a friend collector showed to me.
Defining space both ways – precisely with the help of measure tapes and transformed by installing these in a very special way – reminded me immediately of works by Fred Sandback who used threads as the only material for his minimalistic yet opulent sculptures in space.
Finding out that Lionni’s measure tapes aren’t ready-mades but reproduced on steel – and therefore useless as tapes – even enlarged my admiration of this very precise and well conceived pieces.
The Cynthia Corbett Gallery
The Cynthia Corbett Gallery is delighted to be exhibiting Deborah Azzopardi’s The Great Escape, Lightbox, 2017, at the 30th anniversary edition of London Art Fair. This iconic piece represents Azzopardi’s first artwork rendered as a lightbox. After an unprecedented reception at Art Miami, it makes its UK debut at LAF this January.
Marrying pop and passion, Azzopardi’s illuminated, kiss-blowing beauty speaks of celebrations, love and optimism for the year to come. Winter is here and like this evanescent siren, doubtlessly about to roar off into the blue, we are dreaming of escaping into summer. Dispel your winter troubles and hop on in!
The Drawing Works
The majority of Fiona Robinson’s drawings are based on responses to music, and this image inspired by Bach’s Suite in G for Unaccompanied Cello evokes both the vibrating strings of the instrument and the staves of a musical score. However, the fact that none of the lines is parallel also implies discordance – a rupture perhaps in the sequence of sounds, or a sudden change in mood or rhythm. Robinson’s works often explore the tension between balance and control; in this beautiful drawing, effects of abstraction and repetition are also used to convey some of the complexity of musical experience.
For more information: https://www.londonartfair.co.uk/galleries/