The London Art Fair hosts a bewildering variety of artist talent under one roof at the Business Design Centre. From the banal (the LED artwork above, almost identical to a gadget in the baby sensory room at my local Sure Start centre) to the dreadful (oh god, bad painting) to the sublime (pretty much anything below) to the derivative (copycat Damian Hirst Skulls-R-Us) – you can expect to find it all here. I negotiated the thronging crowds at the 2013 London Art Fair with boyfriend and baby in tow – here are my most interesting discoveries.
At Danielle Arnaud Sarah Woodfine had constructed an installation from MDF and cardboard. Like many of the artists that catch my eye these days she ‘explores the imaginary worlds that border the familiar and the fantastical.’ Fine pencil drawings decorate 3D shapes reminiscent of vessels.
Klari Reis (showing with Cynthia Corbett) hails from San Francisco, where she creates wall installations from colourful epoxy polymers. Her current Hypochondria series features patterned groupings of petri dishes that appeal to my love of all things bright.
It was great to see one of Nadav Kander‘s Bodies photographs up close: an un-airbrushed version of the feminine that proves you can be true to reality and still utterly beautiful. You can see the whole series in his current exhibition, listing here.
I have only ever encountered Sweet Toof artworks on the walls around East London but like most contemporary street artists he also creates pieces with the fine art world in mind. His Dark Horse series features a host of scurrilous street scenes, skeletons jousting with gummy grins. His website explains that he ‘masterfully blends urban detritus with bygone decadence,’ and the results call to mind works by Jake and Dinos Chapman, especially their cheerful defamation of prized Goya drawings.
I first saw works by Chinese artist Ye Hongxing at Scream late last year and was immediately drawn in by her kaleidoscopic use of kitsch stickers, used in their thousands to create Modern Utopian landscapes featuring wild animals (such as the zebra in this detail). Her work is a reaction to the swift changes taking place in Chinese culture.
Alabama based folk artist Butch Anthony has tapped into our love of all things skeletal; layering his own doodles on top of junk shop finds. You can see more of Butch Anthony‘s work at his new show, Intertwangleism, opening February 8th at Black Rat. ‘Intertwangleism is how I look at people and break them down to the primordial beginnings,’ explains Butch Anthony, who also hosts Doo-Nanny, his very own annual outsider folk art festival. Watch this video to find out more about the intriguing Butch Anthony.
The sculptor Simon Allen creates carved, polished, pigmented forms that appeal to all my tactile senses. His pollen series was featured alongside equally captivating carved metallic wooden forms.
We recently visited the Mel Bochner exhibition at the Whitechapel Gallery, so I am familiar with his large scale typographic works. At the London Art Fair his tactile paintings featured extraordinary mounds of screen printed paint. I couldn’t peel my eyes away from the pornographic words.
I profiled Shane Bradford many years ago in the print version of Amelia’s Magazine: assorted objects dipped until they are heavily encrusted with glossy paint take on new symbolism and meaning.
I listed Adam Dix‘s 2012 exhibition Programming Myth, which inspired these gorgeous gold leafed screen prints for Jealous Gallery. The images marry old fashioned imagery and a modern day fascination with technology.
Susie Macmurray‘s huge installation bulged from the wall like an overgrown carbuncular growth, unapologetic in it’s vulgarity. A former classical musician, she is well known for her use of unconventional materials such as cling film.
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