London’s Affordable Art Fair is Back This Month With 112 Galleries and a Curated Platform Exploring Themes of Contemporary Intimacy

The autumn edition of Affordable Art Fair Battersea returns October 19.

Photo: Shaun James Cox. Courtesy of Affordable Art Fair.

Affordable Art Fair’s autumn edition in London’s Battersea Park opens this month with a private viewing on October 18 and public hours, October 19–22. With 112 galleries slated to exhibit (10 of which are making their fair debut this year), the fair will be showcasing an incredibly diverse range of art by thousands of artists from around the world and from all career stages. Coinciding with the U.K.’s Black History Month, a special exhibition will be staged to mark the occasion, alongside a full schedule of programming—from an inaugural talks program to Art After Dark Lates replete with DJ performances and welcome drinks.

A highlight of the forthcoming fair’s programming is the Recent Graduates Exhibition, “An Intimate Vocabulary,” curated by Nephertiti Oboshie Schandorf and fair Director Hugo Barclay. Providing a platform for new, emerging artists to watch, the show complements the fair’s mission of fostering and promoting the next generation of artists through mentorship and development, curation support, networking, and complimentary exhibition space. Further, supported by JM Finn, lead partner of Affordable Art Fair UK, one of the featured graduate artist’s will be awarded £5,000 to help fund studio costs for the first year of their practice—a significant obstacle that emerging artist’s face as they begin their career.

Recent Graduates Exhibition curator Nephertiti Oboshie Schandorf. Photo: Emma Hook. Courtesy of Affordable Art Fair.

In an interview with the fair, Nephertiti Oboshie Schandorf said of the theme of the exhibition, “‘An Intimate Vocabulary’ is about how we communicate without words. There tends to be camaraderie during the final year art shows. As artists at the beginning of their careers, they occupy a highly competitive place. Many were far from home and negotiating the usual pressures of study and the unusual once-in-a-generation challenges of exceptional financial, economic, and ecological uncertainty. There is a mix of elation and exhaustion formed through intense shared experiences. During the research for this exhibition, I was taken by how much care the cohorts had for each other. Small gestures, the silent offering of snacks, a reassuring squeeze of a hand, or giving someone space to catch their breath. These intimacies form an ecology of love, connectivity, and reciprocity. They influenced the final selection of works and are a reminder of how we grow together.”

András Ladocsi, Wrestlers (2018). Courtesy of Affordable Art Fair.

Also speaking of the forthcoming exhibition, Barclay said “At Affordable Art Fair we are hugely proud to champion and offer meaningful support to emerging artists—and our Recent Graduates exhibition is such a big part of that. This initiative is about providing artists with practical experience and exposure after graduating. It is so rewarding to see them achieve the recognition and art sales they deserve, and that we can offer this platform to help them build momentum, particularly in these challenging times.”

Dingyue Fan, À rebours (Upstream) No. 1 (2023). Courtesy of the artist and Affordable Art Fair.

The artists featured in the show include Dingyue Fan, who through their focus on painting and photography explores ideas around nature, feminism, and the subconscious mind, as well as Yi Zhou (Joy), whose multihyphenate practice spans photography, painting, jewelry, and the beginning of sound and video work. Joy places at the forefront themes that are often denoted as taboo, such as death and mental health. Another featured artist is Lola Collins, who is based between London and California, and investigates the boundaries of form and space, specifically as they pertain to personal experience moving as a Black woman through the world.

Lola Collins, i’m not perfect but i’m loved (2023). Courtesy of the artist and Affordable Art Fair.

Alongside the other curated projects, the Recent Graduates Exhibition and the hundreds of artists making their fair debut together promise the 2023 edition of Affordable Art Fair will be an unmissable and of-the-moment event not to miss.

Yi Zhou, Mourn A Cloud When Dawn Arrives No. 5 (2023). Courtesy of the artist and Affordable Art Fair.

The autumn edition of Affordable Art Fair Battersea runs October 19–22, 2023.

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