LONDON (Reuters Life!) - The London Art Fair opened its biggest show to date on Wednesday with over 100 galleries, many featuring exhibits inspired by contemporary themes like economic hardship and civil unrest.
Other highlights of the exhibition of paintings, sculpture and photography include a contemporary photography showcase and provocative installations from a Glaswegian art collective.
“This year is our largest Fair to date,” said director Jonathan Burton in a statement.
“Modern British painting and sculpture are at the heart of London Art Fair, but our thriving contemporary strand has grown with a number of galleries exhibiting at the Fair for the first time, including Danielle Arnaud, Vegas Gallery, and BARTHA CONTEMPORARY.”
Among other works, WW Gallery (London) presents a range of art “products” in a stand modeled on a superstore aisle complete with a checkout and roving promotions girl.
One remarkable sequence of pictures at the fair’s Photo 50 show features former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.
Found during a clear-out of her former party headquarters, the photographs had become stuck together and the photographic chemicals had started to “eat away” at the Iron Lady’s image.
International work includes emerging Korean artists including San Keum Koh, exhibited by the Hanmi Gallery (London), and younger Latin American artists presented by Lodeveans Collection (London).
This year’s talks program brings together professionals from the visual arts sector to give advice to collectors, debate key topics and consider broader themes illustrated by works exhibited in the fair.
Speakers are drawn from The Art Fund, Contemporary Art Society, British Journal of Photography, National Media Museum and The Fleming Collection alongside curators, photographers, collectors and academics.
Also, following feedback from last year, there will be more guided tours.
The fair runs to Sunday January 23 at the Business Design Center in Islington, London.
Reporting by Paul Casciato; Editing by Steve Addison