London Art Fair 2016
Jan 22, 2016
This week the global art fair season officially kicks off with the London Art Fair, which runs from 20 - 24 January 2016. Returning for its 28th year, the fair is once again being held at the Business Design Centre in the borough of Islington, in north-central London. The cavernous venue houses exhibitions from 126 galleries from the UK and around the world, with the Main Fair occupying the Business Design Centre's central mezzanine. The galleries in the Main Fair exhibit work from established artists of demonstrated importance to the art market and art history. Running alongside the Main Fair, Art Projects, the fair's edgy, contemporary arm, and Play Art Data Money, an innovative collaborative installation, exhibit the work of emerging voices in contemporary art.
Strong Market Predictions
Prior to the opening of this year's fair, organizers took a survey of exhibiting galleries in order to get a sense of their momentum heading into 2016. Nearly half of the galleries responded. A whopping 83% of respondents feel that the overall economy is stable or getting stronger. And 85% feel that the art market is on an upward tick.
The main reason for the optimism is that gallery owners are seeing a large number of new collectors entering the market. The London Art Fair is the perfect place for budding collectors to start, as it features such a broad and thoughtful mix of museum quality work by established artists and new efforts by emerging voices in contemporary art.
Jeremy Annear - Dawn Song (Studio), 2010. Oil on canvas. 120 x 160 cm.
Contemporary Abstraction at the Fair
As IdeelArt perused the fair's offerings, we were pleased with the stunning assortment of work from both new and established artists. We took special notice of compelling work from several artists and galleries in the Main Fair. On display in three gallery spaces is English contemporary painter Jeremy Annear, who has been represented by IdeelArt since 2015. Annear’s abstract oil paintings on canvas and panel present updated notions of abstract expressionism, cubism and constructivism. His color palate is unmistakably modern, and his lines and shapes feel both feral and subdued. Influenced by conceptual thinking passed to him from his interactions with members of the St. Ives School in the 1960’s, Annear is on the edge of contemporary abstraction. His work is being presented by Lemon Street Gallery of 13 Lemon Street, Truro in Cornwall, as well as Edgar Modern of Bartlett Street in Bath, and the renowned British art dealer Gray M.C.A.
Vigo Gallery of 21 Dering Street in London has work from the 42-year old British artist Oliver Marsden. Marsden is no stranger to the London Art Fair, and his work has also been seen at auction. His subdued paintings explore the visuality of sound, light, and the elements in a transcendent, meditative way. One of Marsden's influences is the Light and Space artist James Turrell. Where as Turrell uses light to create a physical experience in space, Marsden uses form, color and space to evoke qualities of luminescence.
Oliver Marsden - Cobalt Violet Pink Rose Harmonic, 2016. Oil on canvas. 19 69/100 × 19 69/100 × 1 77/100 in (50 × 50 × 4.5 cm). Galería Hilario Galguera
Also in the Main Fair
The Patrick Heide gallery of 11 Church Street in London is showing work from noteworthy contemporary German abstractionist Katrin Bremermann. Bremermann’s works explore not only the surface but also the means of support. Working sometimes on paper, sometimes on panel or wood, she experiments with monochromatic imagery and morphing geometric forms. Her paintings often become like sculptural objects, incorporating the wood or the paper or other materials or objects into the work. All elements of the form, including the back or the inside, are pulled into the work as she expands the boundaries between image and object.
Katrin Bremermann - 1859, 2018. 40.5 x 29.7 cm (15.94 x 12 in). Galerie Martin Kudlek, Cologne
In addition to the Main Fair, Art Projects and the Play Art Data Money exhibitions, the London Art Fair is also presenting Photo 50, a guest-curated show of contemporary photography, on the 2nd floor. The Photo 50 curator, Federica Chiocchetti, has assembled a show titled "Feminine Masculine". The exhibit explores gender dynamics through the work of contemporary, predominantly female photographic artists.
Featured image: Jeremy Annear - Red Field V, 2012. Oil on canvas. 70 x 90 cm.
All images used for illustrative purposes only