London Art Fair 2019 - All you need to know

From the 16th to the 20th of January, London art Fair is ready to open the doors to its 31st edition. Founded in 1989 by London’s Business Design Centre in Islington, the fair still takes place in the same building, where from 36 initial galleries it now hosts over 130 national and international exhibitors, with around 20,000 attendees visiting in 2018.

Visitors at London Art Fair 2018. Credit - Mark Cocksedge

Emerging and established galleries are going to present their artists to an always more diverse audience of curators, collectors, buyers and enthusiastics, willing to discover the newest tendencies of a changing art market and to comprehend its dynamics.

The succesful section of Art Projects, at its 15th edition, opens with 33 galleries from 11 countries and showcasing the latest, most original and innovative modern and contemporary art creations. Amongs the subjects emerging from the artworks there are some common contemporary issues, like national and cultural identity with ARTCO Gallery presenting artists like Raphael Adjetey Mayne, Evans Mbugua and Saidou Dicko; politics and global conflicts with Brocket London with Roshna Qorbanee and Armand Voyeux. Shtager Gallery is bringing the russian artist Alexander Shishkin-Hokusai and AUROOM ART the Kazakhstani artist Said Atabekov, focused on nationalism, capitalism and migration.

Part of the solo exhibitions will be Xiao-yang Li with a series of ceramic sculptures reinterpreting her paintings; Kimathi Donkor with Ed Cross Fine Art and the winner of Chiara Williams Contemporary’s Solo Award 2019 Yoon Ilkwon, with her printmaking works about notions of permanence, memory and value.

Meno Parkas, Fragment Gallery and Art Gallery 0-68 will showcase new and unique approaches to art with artists using unusual mediums.

Evans Mbugua, Je T'Aime Un Peu, 2017. ARTCO

The indipendent curator and writer Kiki Mazzucchelli, based between São Paolo and London, will be the curator of Dialogues, a feature of Art Projects launched 6 years ago when the already collaborator Sarah Monk became director of the fair. Dialogues aims to establish a cultural exchange and this year the focus is to create collaborations between Latin american and European artists by connecting and pairing 6 galleries. Through these partnerships is noticeable how the subversion of Modernist canons and new approaches to painting by female artists are some of the main topics growing attention. The galleries exhibiting will be Domobaal (UK) with Nicky Hirst and the german artist Lothar Götz with a mural painting commissioned for Dialogues; Galerie Emmanuel Hervé (France) with Sergio Sister with a work on Concrete and Neoconcrete art; Anima Mundi (UK) with Rebecca Harper; Square Art Projects (UK) with Goia Mujalli; Cob Gallery (UK) with Katja Angeli and Alba Hodsoll; Kubik Gallery (Portugal) with Ana Prata and Felipe Cohen; Maddox Arts (UK) with Augusto Villalba; Rolf Art (Argentina) with Marcelo Brodsky; (S)itor (France) with a solo presentation of the Cuban artist Jesse A. Fernandez (1925-1986); Perve Galeria (Portugal) with Teresa Balté; Lamb Arts (UK/Brazil) with a selection of works by Mattea Perrotta, Tomaz Rosa, Tiago Tebet and Patricia Camet; Casanova (Brazil) with sculpture by Ignacio Gatica and drawings by Lina Kim.

Marcelo Brodsky_1968 The Fire of Ideas, Paris 1968. © Marka Milano, 1968, intervened with handwritten texts by Marcelo Brodsky, 2017. Courtesy of Rolf Art

The Art Projects Artist Award continues for this edition and it will see one winner receiving £2500 prize to help develop his artistic career and it will be announced in occasion of the VIP preview on the 15th of January.

One of the core of the fair is to research, strictly select and introduce the most outstanding newnesses on the art market, but also to maintain a strong bond with the past. Indeed, along with the avant-garde aspects, London Art Fair commits to host every year a regional museum in order to keep a solid historical link with the english heritage; this year is the Towner Art Gallery, Eastbourne, to present The Living Collection, offering visitors contemporary artworks collected for almost a century.

Photo50 is the section dedicated to contemporary photography, this year curated by Tim Clark and inspired by the exhibition “Who’s looking at the family?” by curator Val Williams that took place exactly 25 years ago at the Barbican. “Who’s looking at the family, now” is an overview that in 2019 aims to explore the different ways of representing a family in photography, what has changed in its representation, analyzing also the private and the public sphere, sense of identity and belonging, social classes and race.

Art Projects Screening Room will offer a journey through the history of African communities and the African Diaspora from the 1970s showing their future possibilities, using a variety of languages, from the documentary, to the science fiction, from fantasy to historical fiction or magic realism. “Afrofuturisms Past” is curated by Pryle Behrman.

Platform is a new feature presenting a specific theme every year. This year Platform focuses on new interpretations and possibilities of Ceramics.

A rich program of talks and tours will guide visitors through this exciting experience, giving an in-depth understanding of the artistic offer for 2019.

London Art Fair

From the 16th to the 20th of January 2019

Business Design Centre

52 Upper St, London N1 0QH, UK

- Carolina Rapezzi