London Art Fair is nearly here and I’m currently planning my schedule to make sure I don’t miss anything!
The Key Dates are:
Tues 17 Jan: Private View – By Invite 6-9pm
Weds 18 Jan: 11am-9pm
Thurs 19 Jan: 11am-9pm
Fri 20 Jan: 11am-7pm
Sat 21 Jan: 11am-7.30pm
Sun 22 Jan: 11am-5pm
So I have just sat here and worked out that the fair is open for OVER 45 hours,meaning there is NO excuse not to pop by and browse some of the selection on offer.
Now the art fair is pretty big. If you wander around you can easily lose a day there. I like to have a plan of attack, based on my favourite parts of the fair:
I’ll be starting off my visit with Art Projects, which is perfect if you’re looking for contemporary, edgy work from UK and International artists. This year offers large scale installation, film and media projects, as well as solo and group shows.The fair offers tours of the Art Projects section daily, handy if you’d like an introduction to the various projects and also brilliant to find out more about the artists and galleries featured.
I’ve already spotted work that I can’t wait to see – British photographer Wendy McMurdo who is exhibiting as part of Photo50 (always my favourite part of the fair). Photo50 is a guest-curated exhibition and this year’s theme explores the coming of age – ‘the increasingly challenging path through adolescence, providing a window into the world of adults in-waiting.’. ‘Gravitas’ features work by a number of lens based artists and this year’s guest curator is Christiane Monarchi, editor of Photo Monitor magazine.
My daughter Coco is just 9, but already hooked on various online sites (that I keep a very close eye on). I dread the journey as she approaches adolescence and for me, Wendy’s imagery perfectly sums up how the digital world forces a dual existence with the real world.
The other exhibition I am super excited about seeing is ‘Ten Years: A Century of Art’, a selection of works from the Ingram Collection, housed by the fair’s museum partner, The Lightbox. The Ingram Collection, which is curated by my friend Jo Baring, is a wonderful collection of Modern British Art (probably the most significant one there is). Jo is extremely knowledgeable and passionate about art and I’m keen to see which works have been selected to celebrate ten years of The Lightbox, alongside British stalwarts Ben Nicholson, Barbara Hepworth and Henry Moore.
BOOK A TALK
This year’s fair offers a really substantial talks programme for all levels of art interest. Some are aimed at artists and art professionals, some at collectors. There’s a daily tour of Photography Highlights with photography specialists and Sothebys Institute and Own Art are both giving tours on the Contemporary Highlights (including emerging artists to watch). I also spotted a couple of talks on collecting – Collecting Photography on Weds at 4.30pm and one on Sat 21st at 12.30pm about starting a collection. If this is something you’re interested in, then definitely worth checking out – for the full programme and to book places on talks click here. There are some really amazing people and institutions involved, so make the most of this!
I’ll be there for the Private View and most of the day on Wednesday (which is Photography Focus Day with tours, talks and discussions). I’ve organised a little casual late lunch with art friends at Bellanger in the afternoon – drop me a line if you’re around and would like to join us. Nothing fancy, just chatting about what we’ve seen that we like and sharing stories. I also have a few complimentary passes for the fair, so let me know if you need one.
Otherwise Thursday evening tickets are £11, or you can advance purchase a day ticket for £15 – or on the door for £22.
This may sound very basic, but trust me – in the excitement of the fair, its very easy to forget which art you’ve seen, the artist’s name and which gallery stand it was on. Take your iphone, snap the art, then the artist name, then the gallery. So for each piece of art you like, you’ll have three shots to remind you. It will save you lots of time scrolling through the fair website trying to remember (talking from experience here…). Also remember your back up or phone charger so you can top up somewhere when you stop for lunch/ coffee.
I’ll be sharing my finds on Instagram stories throughout the day on Weds. Do let me know what you find at the fair too!