Galleries - January 2015

Participating Galleries include: Abbey Walk Advanced Graphics Austin/Desmond Beardsmore Gallery Beaux Arts - Bath Browse & Darby Crane Kalman Cynthia Corbett Cyril Gerber/Compass Edgar Modern Flowers Hilton Fine Art The London Art Fair, now in its 27th year, is the great survivor of the London art scene – it has weathered two major recessions and a welter of new rivals looking to take business off it – most notably Frieze/Frieze Masters and then, more latterly, Olympia’s ‘Art 13/14/15’ series – and still it prospers with, this year, some 128 galleries filling the airy Victorian spaces of Islington’s Business Design Centre. The key to its continuing success has been its constant willingness to change, develop and adapt, with the addition, over the years of the Art Projects section, Photo 50 and top-notch displays by various museum partners – this year’s show representing a real coup with an exhibition drawn from the wonderful permanent collections of Chichester’s Pallant House Gallery. Curated by its very dynamic young artistic director Simon Martin and entitled ‘The Figure in Modern British Art’, it will range from a classic early Sickert, Jack Ashore , via Wyndham Lewis, Sutherland, Moore, early Lucian Freud, Bomberg and Minton right up to Coldstream, Frank Auerbach and Paula Rego, among others. Meanwhile the Arts Projects section, a large designated space alongside the main fair aimed at providing opportunities for new and up and coming galleries – 32 of them – to show, has also been going through a fair degree of modification with the addition of a special feature. Entitled ‘Dialogues’, the fair’s management has invited the young French curator Annie Colin of the Fondation Galeries Lafayette, to put together a scheme in which five UK based contemporary galleries are invited to engage in a collaboration with five broadly sympathetic European spaces, the spirit of exchange and co- operation aimed at producing new and potentially exciting outcomes. It is good too in that the galleries are not all from London; Nottingham and Manchester are in the mix, and similarly with their European partners. The now well-established Photo 50 section meanwhile has also had a freshening up with the engagement of Sheyi Bankale, editor of the seminal contemporary photography magazine Next Level , to curate a show within the show. In ‘Against Nature’, 9 young photographers have been brought together to explore the renewed possibilities of storytelling within photography. With all these events going on it’s easy to forget the chief attraction itself, the hundred odd galleries in the main hall who, between them, year in year out, provide a quite invaluable overview of the health and vitality of the gallery scene within the UK. Not so much the international mega-galleries as the mainstream dealers in Modern British and Contemporary British Art – by no means yet a threatened species (though having had tough times of late), whose health and well- being is so crucially important to the continued strength of the British artmarket. Images from a number of the galleries showing at the fair are illustrated here . . . 7 A LDE R S T P E T E R ' S S T F AR R I NG D O N RD G O S W E L L R D R OSEBE R Y AVE S O U T H RN RD G R A Y ' S I NN R D S T JO HN ST H ESS E X ROA D N E W N O R T H R O A D U P P E R S T A D B A L L S P O N D R O RK WAY C A L E D O N I A N R D L I V E R P O O L R D CITY P E N T O N V I L L E D R D CI T Y R O A D C L E R K E N W E L L R D O L D S T R E Moorgate Angel Old Street King's Cross Highbury & Islington LONDON ART FAIR Modern British & Contemporary Art 21-25 January 2015