January saw the start of the new artwork year, with thousands of art enthusiasts descending upon the Business Design Centre in Islington to visit the world renowned London Art Fair. Now in its 28th year, the London Art Fair showcases a selection of the most spectacular contemporary galleries from around the globe. With 126 galleries displaying their favourite pieces of art, photography and sculptures, the London Art Fair was a feast for the eyes.
The UNION Gallery featured work by Mike Chavez-Dawson. His miniaturised ‘Fountain’, based on the work of Marcel Duchamp, caught my attention. Following an interview with the late Duchamp through a spiritual medium in New York in 1999, Chavez-Dawson was inspired to create these miniature versions. The original created from porcelain and silver was purchased by seminal British sculptor Sir Anish Kapoor, and has since been collected by Frank Cohen, film maker Ang Lee and the head of the Contemporary Art Division at Sotheby’s New York. The second ‘Linga-Yoni, Black Fountain, 2015 to 2017’ is made of black marble and gold and is the sister piece to the original fountain work.
The work by Shimon Okshtyen held my fascination. Girls, Orange is a stunning piece of art. Shimon captures a spontaneous moment of pure happiness brilliantly. His technique of combining the black and white portrait with the bright orange mirrored background offers “elements of kitsch and consumption” says Terence Carr of the Venet-Haus Galerie in Germany. Terence also featured the work of contemporary photographer, Dieter Blum. His subjects range from Cowboys and Africa to politicians and the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra. Blum notoriously captures the movement of his characters, often using bold colours with an underlying pixilation. His images offer a classical cinematic effect.
Hyojin Park, from South Korea, a graduate from Goldsmiths College of Art, displayed her stunning collection, Spiritual Garden. The classic porcelain bases representing “the highest level of cultural products” and the bright flowers bursting with colour and dripping in paint characterise “products of higher desire and show the untouchable and unattainable paradise”. Hyojin’s work was mesmerising.
Emily Allchurch’s Babel London (after Brugel) fascinated me. Recognised by Francis Hodgson, the FT’s photography critic, as “a specialist in a kind of extreme collage”, Emily has created a masterpiece composed of hundreds of photos, the majority taken by herself. The piece reflects upon London as a growing city, shining a light on the architectural brilliance of its new and ever rising skyline, yet also warns of the city’s “perpetual work in progress” and its unattainability to many Londoners, who are increasingly priced out of the market.London is a culturally rich city and a global hub for Art. We are spoiled with the selection of art fairs that the capital hosts. In June, we will be heading to Olympia for the 44th year of the Art and Antiques Fair. A principal event in the global art and antiques calendar, the fair offers a diverse collection of art, jewellery, antiques and furniture, unrivalled by any other show. In addition to the individual exhibitions, a bespoke events programme will feature talks from notables across each field, including the V&A, World of Interiors and the British Museum.
Later on in the year we can look forward to Masterpiece, held in July, The London Design Festival and LAPADA in September, and Frieze Festival in October. Not to mention the many other glorious fairs that we have around Christmas. Start planning your year, it’s set to be a good one!
‘Duchamp’s Ring by Mike Chavez-Dawson, 2013 to 2017’ image supplied by Mike Chavez-Dawson; Shimon Okshteyn’s Girls, Orange and Dieter Blum’s 3 Cowboy’s images supplied by Venet-Haus Galerie; London Babel (after Bruegel) 2015 by Emily Allchurch, Courtesy of L A Noble Gallery, London.