Our Favourite Booths at London Art Fair
With over 120 galleries showcasing modern and contemporary art, photography, sculpture and large-scale installations, this year's London Art Fair brings together a wide range of creative expressions. Among the many booths that captivate visitors, here are our favourites:
1. Tin Man Art: Celebrating Nature and Human Connection
Tin Man Art takes centre stage with a focus on female and non-binary artists, celebrating nature, femininity, life, death, and birth. The booth radiates warmth with an abundance of colour, offsetting the winter's bleakness.
Names featured in the booth include Stanley Donwood, known for collaborating with Thom Yorke, and emerging artist Zach Toppin. Spanning across painting, drawing and sculpture, Toppin’s work explores queer histories, the potency of touch, and the feelings of familiarity, belonging and connection involved in human encounters. In one of the paintings showcased at the booth, an anonymous hand cradles an oyster shell above a wooden table featuring a wine glass, a lit cigarette, a hammer, tabasco sauce, and Leslie Feinberg's ‘Stone Butch Blues’. Bringing those diverse elements together, Toppin celebrates curiosity about mundane surfaces; the sensations and tactile materials surrounding life’s quiet, solitary moments.
2. Jealous Gallery: A Multilayered Art Experience
Jealous Gallery, based in Shoreditch, represents an engaging fusion of gallery and screenprinting studio. One standout piece at the fair is 'A Pale Blue Dot' by William Kingett. This four-colour screenprint, printed on individual sheets of acid-free glassine paper, layers intricately to create a mesmerising final work.
The booth boasts new works from a range of artists, including David Shrigley, Ben Kelly, Charming Baker, and others. The innovative use of materials, combined with the variety of styles and techniques present across the booth, make Jealous Gallery a dynamic and multilayered art experience.
3. KOOP Project: A Journey Through Contemporary African Art
Founded in 2022 in Brighton, KOOP Project embraces the dynamism of contemporary African art. The gallery explores sustainability and materiality in the context of artists across Africa. At the fair, the spotlight is on Senzeni Marasela's 'Last Known Location,' a chapter in the masterwork 'Waiting For Gabane.'
The series of small embroidered cloths narrates Theodorah's search for her husband Gebane, using topographical maps to retrace his steps in Johannesburg. Marasela's work delves into the transient nature of Johannesburg and the political act of map-making, reflecting on the omission of many society groups from official records.
4. Guts Gallery: Illuminating Queer Love
Guts Gallery stands at the heart of a mission to uplift artists from underrepresented backgrounds. Including artists Olivia Sterling, Sophie Vallance Cantor and Shadi AI-Stallah, Guts Gallery’s booth is part of Platform, which invited an exclusive selection of galleries to present works related to a theme "A Million Candles, Illuminating Queer Love and Life". This year’s theme and selection was inspired by London Art Fair’s partnership with Charleston, the modernist home of painters Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant.
Olivia Sterling’s painting "Sorry to use that word” focuses on, what appears to be, a clandestine moment of affection between two female figures. Depicted underneath a table among spilled beverages, the subject of the painting celebrates the chance and intimacy of human encounters. As described by the artist herself: 'The title embodies the will-they-won’t they breathlessness of encountering someone you like'.
5. MMX Gallery: A Tapestry of Timeless Vision
MMX Gallery weaves a narrative of strong aesthetics and emotional connection through its carefully curated selection of artists and photographers. The gallery's conviction that 'what is seen is to be treasured' resonates in the diverse mediums employed by its artists.
From limited edition prints on paper by George McLeod (UK) and Sander Vos (The Netherlands) to the exquisite "Print on Glass with Gold Leaf" by Valda Bailey (UK), MMX Gallery showcases a spectrum of techniques. Original classics like vintage prints by Brian Griffin and unique prints by Mike G Jackson add a touch of nostalgia.
The gallery's fusion of mediums, from landscape to portraiture, and its artists' inspiration drawn from various art forms and movements, create a rich tapestry that transcends time. Notable is the connection between John Reardon's equine photographs and the influence of artworks like George Stubbs's "Whistlejacket" and John Van Eyck's "Portrait of a Man".
MMX Gallery also proudly features prints from John Reardon's acclaimed equine exhibition, some of which have found a permanent home in the Collection of Contemporary Photographs by Hermès International in Paris.
Whether it's MMX Gallery's timeless vision, Tin Man Art's celebration of diversity, Jealous Gallery's multilayered experience, KOOP Project's exploration of Contemporary African art, or Guts Gallery's commitment to inclusivity, each booth tells a compelling story that resonates with the soul.