30 January 2006

Art on paper fair

The art on paper fair takes place at the royal college of art. Worth a trip. I will try and get there over the weekend.

Royal College of Art, Kensington Gore, SW7
Drawings, watercolours, original prints and photography for sale. Feb 2-5. Thur/Fri 11-8, Sat 11-7, Sun 11-6
t 020 8742 1611 (further information)

Art fairs in london

Patrick Caulfield - Lamp At the Art on paper fair.

For this posting I thought it would be helpful if I compiled a list of some of the regular art fairs in London. This is a non-exhaustive list but it may be of some assistance to people starting to collect Contemporary Art.

There are various art fairs in London which should be important dates for any contemporary art collectors diary.

The first in the year is the London Art fair. This takes place in January of each year the Islington Design Centre. In my view this is one of the best fairs for viewing contemporary art and for purchasing so terrific pieces. The scope of the fair is much broader than that however as it also encompasses modern twentieth century art and you often see museum quality pieces from 20th century masters.

Two fairs a year are held in Battersea Park and are called the Affordable Art Fair, with no work on sale at a price tag of more than £2,500. I enjoy these fairs although they are extremely busy at the weekend with lots of sales being made. Stuff literally walks out of the fair on Saturday and Sunday. The range is fairly pedestrian. You are unlikely to see anything very cutting edge here. The fair is also good fun for kids as there are always lots of children’s activities to do.

By far and away the best fair, and fast becoming one of the top contemporary art fair in the world is the Frieze fair. This fair offers more cutting edge contemporary art together with all of the established YBA’s etc. The range and exhibits is truly fantastic. Be prepared for long queues however and it is expensive to go to (£15 per ticket).

Next to the Frieze fair and held over the same weekend is the Zoo fair. This is great fun and tends to be a showcase for younger emerging talents. Well worth a look.

The scope art fair is also often held on the same weekend as Frieze. I haven’t ever been to this fair and am hoping for an invite to the next one.

The royal college of art hosts a number of fairs throughout the year. The British Art Fair is interesting, although the focus tends to be more on modern than contemporary art. Also worth a visit is the Art on Paper fair which often has reasonably priced examples of work from a broad variety of established and emerging artists.

Another interesting fair is the Inspired Art Fair where independent artists get to show their works. There is some really interesting stuff at this fair.

The Royal Academy hosts an original Print fair which is quite interesting.

There are also regular fairs at the Battersea Arts Centre. These also used to be called (confusingly) the Affordable Art Fair but have now changed their name. These fairs feature self-representing artists so the quality can be variable but again they are good fun.

Finally after a break in 2005 the dulwich art fair is back in 2006. Click here for a link to their website.

29 January 2006

Maggi Hambling at Marlborough Fine art

This is a great show. You should really go and see it.

Maggi Hambling Portraits of people and the sea
25 January – 25 February 2006; Private view Tuesday 24 January 2006 6-8pm

The Directors of Marlborough Fine Art are delighted to announce their forthcoming exhibition Maggi Hambling Portraits of people and the sea.

Maggi Hambling’s last exhibition in London five years ago consisted of paintings, drawings and sculpture devoted to a single subject: Henrietta Moraes. Since then the range of her portraits has extended to include Samuel Beckett, the artist’s aging neighbour Giovanna, Sebastian Horsley, street people, David Sylvester and the Dalai Lama. In these compelling images Hambling continues to confront the human condition.

In 2003 Scallop, her controversial sculpture to celebrate Benjamin Britten, was unveiled on Aldburgh beach, Suffolk. In the pause between making the maquette and beginning work on the actual piece, Hambling began her series of North Sea Paintings which were shown as the Aldburgh Festival Exhibition that year. This exhibition will be their inaugural showing in London. The relentless movement of the sea continues to be an obsession. The recent paintings are larger, alive with energy and even more formally inventive.

In both these new series, Hambling distils the action of a human expression or a wave breaking into imagery of rare power.

Also on view will be a selected group of powerful and vibrant portrait drawings from 1995 to the present. These include Amanda Barrie, John Berger, Stephen Fry and Sir Michael Gambon. The close interaction Maggi has with her sitters is conveyed in these striking and intimate images.

This exhibition coincides with the monograph: MAGGI HAMBLING THE WORKS and conversations with Andrew Lambirth to be published by Unicorn Press on

18 January 2006. For further information about the book please contact Alistair Layzell on 0208 855 0320 or acl@lazellpr.com

Fully illustrated catalogues of the paintings and drawings will be available.

For further information please contact John Erle-Drax or Mary Miller on 0207 629 5161 or mmiller@marlboroughfineart.com

27 January 2006

Gasworks Talks

155 Vauxhall Street, The Oval, London, SE11 5RH, UK
Tel: +44 (0)20 7587 5202 Fax: +44 (0)20 7582 0159

International Artists' Talks
Monday 6th February 7-9pm - admission free
Rosalba Mirabella (Argentina)
Saskia Holmkvist (Sweden)
Tseng Wei-Hao (Taiwan)

International emerging artists Rosalba Mirabella, Saskia Holmkvist, and Tseng Wei-Hao will give introductions to their work. The illustrated talks will cover a variety of practices including drawing, painting, video, sound art, installation and collage.

Rosalba Mirabella's distinct and highly personal graphic style is evident in various media including artists' books, drawing, mural, collage and painting. Her tragicomic work plays on our need to make meaningful stories from and links between the random events of everyday life.

Mirabella plans to transform her studio from black to white via a slow buildup of white wall drawings diarising her time in London.

Saskia Holmkvist's short videos document and unravel the means of construction of social, cultural and political understanding. In particular, she is interested in the formation of artistic identities and the presentation of contemporary cultural organisations.

Holmkvist's residency will culminate in a two-person show at Gasworks with David Blandy, entitled Represent.

Tseng Wei-Hao's work creates an interface between sound, drawing and sculpture, often using the viewer's interventions as a means of producing sounds. Using both high- and low-tech means, silent speakers and unconnected circuitry are suddenly made to produce humming or screeching sounds via charcoal drawing and sculpture.

Tseng's residency is part of an ongoing partnership with the Taipei Artist Village and the British Council, Taipei.

Talks are free of charge. For further information and bookings, please email Anna Vass or call 020 7587 5202.

24 January 2006

London Art Fair 2006 review

The London Art fair 2006 took place at the Islington Design centre between the 18 January 2006 and 22 January. I went on both the Friday and the Saturday to give myself a good look round.

The fair was extremely busy and I didn't get to see everything there. Highlights of the fair for me included the following:

1) The paul stolper stand. This included some fantastic new Damien Hirst prints together with some lovely Susie Hamilton canvasses.

2) A fantastic exhibition of some of Bill Brandt most iconic photographs. I forget the name of the gallery that was doing it but it was truly wonderful.

3) The quite stunning art project from the ingleby gallery by Jeffrey Blondes of a tree filmed and painted once a week for all 52 weeks of the year. Visually quite amazing.

4) The small paintings on the Advanced Graphics stand by Ray Richardson one of my favourite current figurative painters.

5) Some high quality works dotted around by, amongst others, LS Lowry, Mary Fedden, Craigie Aithchison, Donald Hamilton-Fraser, Maggi Hambling and many others.

6) For my daughter who loved it the large resin cast model of 5 foot high jelly baby. She kept on asking us to return to this every five minutes and stroked it and hugged it.

7) The display of Whitechapel editions. These have surely got to be the bargains of the current art worls, especially the works by artists such as Alex Katz and Julian Opie.