See the Top 7 Booths at Art16
There was excitement in the air but will it translate into sales?
There was something slightly different about Art16 this year. It wasn’t just that the fair’s organizers had moved the entrance round the corner, it was deeper than that—there was a greater confidence in the relatively young art fair and a buzz in the air.
Early sales include South Kensington locals The Dot Project, who reportedly sold 40 percent of their stand dedicated to Brooklyn based artist Zane Lewis, with works changing hands for around £8,000 ($11,654) each. Alighting in London from further afield, Hungarian Gallery Kálmán Makláry Fine Arts has sold François Fiedler’s Lantern of the Night (1965) for £50,000 ($72,877) and Suh Jeong-Min’s work Lines of Travel (2016) for £35,000 ($51,004)
Not only was Absolutely Fabulous‘ Jennifer Saunders browsing the stands, but prices and sales were being discussed throughout the day, accelerating into the evening. Whether they translate into more deals being struck is yet to be seen but in the meantime, here are our seven favorite booths at Art16.
1. Pearl Lam Galleries
Pearl Lam, a regular at the fair, showed one of the best stands again this year with a selection of work from Su Xiaobai, Su Dong Ping, and Zhou Yang Ming as well as José Patrício and Dale Frank. All of the work on view showed an inventiveness in terms of surface and use of material with many of the works straddling the boundary between painting and sculpture. The deliciousness of the thick textural layers of paint in the works by Su Xiaobai were particularly striking.
As with last year, the booth was abuzz with excitement from the moment the fair opened its door.
2. Other Criteria
Talk of Damien Hirst’s Jeff Koons show, which opened at Hirst’s Newport Street Gallery yesterday, dominated a lot of the chatter while his gallery, Other Criteria, staged an impressive stand to boot. The selection of witty Harland Miller prints were attracting a lot of attention and the beautiful Rachel Howard wood-cuts were both appealing and reasonably priced, so that around both these selections of work there was much congestion among potential shoppers.
There was also a healthy selection of Hirsts up for grabs, on butterfly-adorned Hirst wallpaper nonetheless, with two Polly Morgan taxidermy python works giving a good “ooh” factor to the entire presentation.
3. Tanya Ling Studio
Fashion illustrator and artist Tanya Ling was painting live at her stand which was showing both her delicate, abstract line paintings and fashion illustrations going back many seasons. Ling is known primarily in the fashion world as her illustrations have appeared in Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, at Selfridges, and promoting fashion house Louis Vuitton. She gained renown as an illustrator after Gavin Turk staged an exhibition of her drawings in 1996 and had previously worked as a designer for Christian Lacroix.
Ling is also speaking on Saturday about being a cross-disciplinary artist working in both fashion and fine art.
4. Ruya Foundation
This year’s non-profit section at the fair was also strong. The Ruya Foundation, who gained attention last year for their project in Iraq with Francis Alÿs, were showing paintings, textile works, photography, and works on paper by Dilan Abdin, Qasim Hamz, Jamal Penjweny, and Ahmad Abdul Razzaq, all of whom are living and working in Iraq.
The Ruya Foundation is a non-governmental organization that works with enriching culture within Iraq and building connections with the cultural community in Iraq and the rest of the world.
5. October Gallery
The October Gallery also repeated their strong showing of last year with a great international stand reflecting their 35 years dealing in international art, featuring sculpture and works on paper by Ghanian El Anatsui, plus Palestinian Laila Shawa, Kenji Yoshida of Japan, and late British artist Gerald Wilde.
The gallery seems to be building on their reputation for showing contemporary art from the African Diaspora and branching into artists from the Middle East.
6. Gilden’s Art Gallery
Art16 has a reputation for showing work which is mainly contemporary, so Gilden’s stand was a real unexpected treat with a selection of more affordable artworks by big name artists including early works by Gerhard Richter and post-war and Modern works on paper by Francis Bacon, Picasso, and Joan Miro.
There were also some charming works on paper by Yayoi Kusama which are certainly worth a browse.
7. House of Fairy Tales
Gavin Turk’s House of Fairy Tales was literally busting with people making inquiries regarding a selection that included Peter Blake, Ian Dawson, Adam Dant, and Turk himself. All proceeds from the stand will go towards the development of their inspiration in schools project.
House of Fairy Tales started off targeting young people with their events at festivals and museums around the UK, but from the amount of interest at their booth at the fair their appeal has grown and extends way beyond its origins.
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