With over 100 galleries and 1000 artists taking flocking to the 20,000 sq ft expanse of the Business Design Centre in Islington, you’d be forgiven for feeling slightly overwhelmed at this year’s London Art Fair. No less modest in size than its younger sister Frieze, the show opens its doors again this week to showcase the best of contemporary British art. Over the next four days, prospective buyers and wishful spectators will fill the BDC to attend a series of artist talks and gaze at the latest offerings from UK galleries.
This year, manipulation and subversion of medium itself reigns as a major theme amongst the artists. The Photo50 exhibition focuses precisely on artists using new techniques to deface the print and bring new media into photographs, while the Art Projects section – featuring works exclusively from new galleries and up-and-coming artists – includes the much-hyped Paul the robot; Patrick Tresset’s “interactive robotic sculpture” that uses cybernetic technology to sketch visitors’ faces.
To help guide you through the cultural depths of work on display, here the fair’s director gives us his top picks of best new artists exhibiting for the first time this year.
Chosen by Jonathan Burton:
David Birkin’s work is conceptually driven, yet it makes a powerful emotional statement that stays in the mind. We have an installation and three photographs in our Photo50 section this year and they comment on the nature of conflict, state censorship and memorialise forgotten victims. While David’s technical prowess is evident – this is work that leaves me moved and angry.
Daryl Brown’s sculptures are new to me – shown by The Residence Gallery in our Art Projects section. Their vertical form suggests Giacometti – but they are grotesque, playful - perhaps lyrical? The contrasting materials – sense of control and gestural freedom are thrilling. A name to watch.
Reginald Aloysius’ intricate pencil drawings of Indian Hindu temples are beautifully realised. They also subtly employ enamel paint, setting up an interesting dialogue between drawing and painting. I love the overlaid modernist architectural shapes that scar these drawings – reflecting the impact of a changing society on ancient tradition. On show in Art Projects with BEARSPACE.
I first became aware of Adam’s work when he was nominated for the Catlin Art Prize in 2010 and keep coming back to it. His paintings reflect our fascination with and dependence on technology and communication – the satellite dish as something to worship. While this technology links so many – it leaves us still isolated or detached from each other. Adam’s work brilliantly comments on the present by evoking a vision of the future as seen from the science fiction era of the 1950s.
David Trulli’s work brings together drawing, etching and mixed media. He captures enigmatic moments from obtuse angles. The work is tightly focussed with charged atmosphere and arresting composition. His work is presented by the Foley Gallery (New York) in the main fair.
London Art Fair at the Business Design Centre, from 18 – 22 January 2012