The 30th Anniversary of the London Art Fair 2018 will be marked with a wide range of leading British and international galleries alongside curated spaces and special exhibitions, from 17 – 21 January 2018.
“This year is an important milestone for London Art Fair” – Sarah Monk LAF Director
Five leading contemporary artists – Sonia Boyce, Mat Collishaw, Haroon Mirza, Oscar Murillo and Rose Wylie will select 30 works via Art UK for a one-off exhibition at the 2018 event. Art UK will present its first ever exhibition – ‘Art of the Nation: Five Artists Choose’ – from 17 – 21 January 2018. Reflecting the mission of the charity and its digital platform – the show will shine a spotlight on the rich and diverse regional collections showcased on artuk.org , the online home to every public art collection in the UK, which features over 200,000 artworks from over 3,250 venues.
The exhibition curated by Kathleen Soriano, encourages the five artists to select 20th and 21st century works from the Art UK online platform. Each artist has chosen up to six works within a theme that is both personal and speaks to their individual interests. The works selected will come from some twenty-five collections across the UK including Rugby Art Gallery and Museum Collections; New Hall Art Collection, Cambridge; Heritage Motor Centre, Warwickshire; South Shields Museum and Art Gallery and the University of Hull Art Collection.
In his selection, Oscar Murillo has taken inspiration from a Palestinian poem, selecting works which include Jets by Robert Priseman (1965, Rugby Art Gallery and Museum), a part of the artist’s series ‘The Promised Land’ which examines the conflict in Palestine from both sides. Sonia Boyce has based her selection upon a particular work of art, playing with its title, its form and its meaning in making her additional choices. Amongst her choice of works is West Indian (1973) by Caribbean artist, Winston Branch from the Rugby Art Gallery and Museum collection. Meanwhile, Rose Wylie has focussed on the idea of ‘leaving the door open’, challenging the canon and shared systems of value that place artists on the outside of the art world.
Mat Collishaw takes a dark look at the shady world of violence and despair, his selection of works including Ars longa, vita brevis (1900) – ‘ art is long; life is short’ – depicting an aging artist, by realist
Painter Ralph Hedley in the collection of Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums . Finally, Haroon Mirza makes a commentary on choice itself by surrendering his own to the daily shifting algorithms used in Google searches, revelling in the notion of choice as predetermined by a machine that only recognises it in a mathematical and non-emotional way. Amongst his choices is Girl Reading (1933) by British painter Adrian Paul Allinson from the University of Hull Art Collection.
Alongside a diverse range of works, the exhibition will also include pieces from Art Detective , a digital network which invites experts and the general public to help Britain’s galleries understand more about their artworks, helping to highlight unidentified works, sitters, places, events and unknown artists. During London Art Fair, visitors will be invited to discuss a number of mystery works in the hope of uncovering further exciting finds.
The exhibition’s focus on 20th and 21st century artworks reflects London Art Fair’s long-standing commitment to showcasing exceptional art from the 20th century to today. In 2018, London Art Fair returns for its 30t h anniversary inviting collectors and visitors to discover works by renowned artists from around the globe.
First introduced in 2014 in order to showcase important regional collections; London Art Fair’s annual Museum Partnership has seen collaborations with the Hepworth Wakefield, Pallant House Gallery, Jerwood Gallery and The Lightbox. Art UK is the first Museum Partner working almost exclusively in the digital space.
Sarah Monk, London Art Fair, Director, said: “This year is an important milestone for London Art Fair as we celebrate our 30th anniversary edition. We are therefore delighted to partner with Art UK as our official Museum Partner, who share our vision to provide unrivalled access to exceptional artwork. We are delighted to provide a platform for the nation’s most extraordinary regional collections through this unique exhibition working with five remarkable artists.”
Kathleen Soriano, Curator, said: “ Artists will always surprise and delight, and they have certainly risen to the challenge with this Art UK project for London Art Fair. Given a blank canvas, predictably, they have all headed in very different, quite wonderful directions. In doing so they have allowed us to create a highly personalised exhibition in five parts that will serve to highlight the diversity and wealth of great painting that sits in our museums and galleries across the UK.”
Andrew Ellis, Art UK, Director, said: “Art of the Nation: Five Artists Choose will see Art UK step out of the digital world and create our first ever real life exhibition. It’s a thrilling opportunity to showcase some of the riches from the nation’s art collection. We are deeply grateful to the five artists, the lending institutions, London Art Fair and our sponsors Masstone, Hiscox and RK Harrison for making this show possible.”
LONDON ART FAIR 17 – 21 January 2018 Business Design Centre, 52 Upper Street, Islington, London N1 0QH www.londonartfair.co.uk Tickets: Standard ticket, £15.95 in advance. £23 on the door. Full ticket types and prices can be found here