27 January 2015

London Art Fair 2015 II

A few days after visiting the fair, and certain memories sift to the top and are retained. Visiting an art fair is not like an exhibition where the context and intentions of the artist are presented, and where the viewer somewhat allows themself to be convinced, or perhaps not, about the art. Fairs, because of sheer volume, are about what the eye picks up, and personal taste. Perhaps we pick out work which corresponds to our own world view and which adds to our understanding of what art can tell us about life.


Garry Pereira

Garry Pereira Are We Nearly There Yet?
Oil on Panels in Morris 1000 Traveller Doors

Represented by Quantum Contemporary Art

I've seen Garry Pereira's work before and still covet a piece. Oil paintings of proper countryside, unpopulated and full of evocative atmosphere - you can almost feel the air. He often paints on reclaimed and found materials - slate, windows, and here, adorably, the doors of an old Morris Traveller. Pereira has an exquisite technique and allows his love of the depths of the countryside to seep into the works. These paintings have an effect on me, a stillness which calms the soul, and yet draws in deeper. As important as the countryside itself.


The Vintage Collage Zeitgeist

I imagine that in several decades when people look back at this time, they may well recognise much art as belonging to the teen years of the century by the sort of photographic collage which blends old and new, or rather recontextualises vintage images and artefacts by juxtaposition. You know the sort of thing. It's very convincing and quite wonderful, and often expertly done. Something to do with making sense of the legacy of the twentieth century in a postmodern world where all genres are available for artists and any traditions can be adopted, no doubt. Several examples at the fair.


Paul Scott

Paul Scott Scott’s Cumbrian Blue(s) Windturbine 

Represented by Ink-d- Gallery

I'm a fan of the whole genre of remaking and reimagining willow pattern plates. They always appear at art fairs. Paul Scott blends pieces together, and creates works with new iconography.


Susan Derges

Instantly recognisable, registering in the brain with a rush of beauty, Derges' photographic works retain the miracle of early photography through a lifetime of developing an expert technique. I really don't know how she does it, and don't need to find out. She seems to be able to extract scenes not through manipulation but through sheer looking. I think living with one of Derges' work would be a magical experience.

Susan Derges Larch 2002

Represented by Purdey Hicks Gallery 


ArtTactic Forecaster

I saw one of the most bizarre things I've ever seen at a fair - and no, it's not an art project. ArtTactic Forecaster works like a sort of fantasy football game for art auctions - you guess what art will be sold for in various upcoming international auctions. Basically you are educating yourself in current values and what's going on in the artworld with collectors. Perhaps you can tune in to current trends and taste. It's all rather fun and I've signed up to play.

But on first look ArtTactic Forecaster looked to me exactly like an art project set up to expose the nature of commodification of art, and the disconnect between art practice and the secondary art market. It's like the opposite of art school.


London Art Fair 2015
Business Design Centre
21st - 25th January 2015

27th January 2015

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