This year’s edition of London Art Fair brought together more than 100 international galleries and attracted thousands of visitors over the six days 15-20 January. XX-th century masterpieces by Andy Warhol, Alexander Calder and Marc Chagall were juxtaposed with a strong showing of contemporary female masters, including Royal Academician Rosie Wylie, Alice Kettle and Carol Robertson, as well as an exciting presentation of emerging contemporary art.
33 galleries from around the world were selected to curate a show for Art Projects – the Fair’s curated showcase of the freshest contemporary art from across the world. This year in it’s 15th edition, the section has established itself as an important international platform for new galleries to showcase the most stimulating contemporary practice, and continues to garner widespread critical acclaim.
It’s particularly notable that more and more Russian galleries and Russian contemporary artists artists are being shown internationally.
Abode at London Art Fair
Abode – a Russian-British project, supporting and promoting international emerging artists, brought together two female artists: Maria Agureeva, a Russian multidisciplinary artist; and Lindsey Bull, a British artist, working primarily in figurative painting. Although working with very different techniques, materials and processes, both artist explore some very similar ideas and issues that our society is faced with – on perceptions, ideology, psychologies and expectations, relating to the body in contemporary society.
The main focus of the presentation was on a contemplative and allusive 5 channel video work by Agureeva, “Dust” where the artist polishes a cast of her knee till it all turns to dust – a metaphor of people spending their lives polishing their bodies and their images. It was opposed to Bull’s striking canvases, with loosely painted female characters, as if protected by the enigma of their appearance and the theatrical setting, gazing back with arrogance, confidence or indifference.
Shtager Gallery at London Art Fair.
Shtager Gallery, founded by a Russian art professional Marina Shtager living in London, displayed an installation by seminal Russian interdisciplinary artist Alexander Shishkin-Hokusai drawing on the influence of Brecht to de-mask the theatralised world of politics. The installation titled “Storming” follows the development of St Petersburg theatre and opera stage design aesthetics, in which the artist was professionally trained and work for many years. 43 figures are sculptural materialisations of the simple drawings on the plywood cutouts, two-dimensional and therefore flat, just like the appearance of the props on a theatre stage.
A Steppe Wolf, Said Atabekov
AUROOM ART featured a body of works collectively named Battle for The Square, created by Kazakhstani artist Said Atabekov, who draws attention to contemporary issues like nationalism, migration and capitalism.
Russian artist Ilya Fedotov-Fedorov, presented at Fragment Gallery, uses objects found in nature such as rocks, bones and butterfly cocoons to create his work, demonstrating how nature can become a universal language.
Curated presentations provided a solid narrative to the fair, supported by the guided tours by Art Projects curator Pryle Behrman. Such cultural exchanges, and emerging narratives between galleries, artists, curator are especially important in our unsettling times.
Watch Pryle Behrman talk about Abode’s presentation at London Art Fair’s Art Projects 2019 at the link.
Prepared by Anna Glinkina, founder, Abode Contemporary Art
For any questions please don’t hesitate to contact me:
Join ABODE on social media: