David Franchi – Sunday, 18th October 2015.

PAD -Pavilion of Art and Design London 2015 fairAs usually PAD London Art Fair 2015 has hit the mark. The overwhelmingly PAD 2015 fair is one of the most significant catalysts that attracts to London art galleries from the most important in the world.

PAD 2015 Art Fair was at its usual location in Berkley Square, in Mayfair, in the earth of London.

At its 9th edition, PAD 2015 London proposed 63 galleries of which 13 were participating for the first time.

In between the most relevant galleries of the world, they present unique pieces. The atmosphere is lavish and, according to the prices, addressed to top class buyers.

An exceptional organisation is provided and the disposition of the galleries seems to be same from the last years, which means the business has been successful in the past.

Participants to PAD 2015 London can be grouped by themes: 20th Century Design, Contemporary Design, Decorative Art, Jewellery, Modern Art, Antiquities + Tribal Art, Asian, Islamic Art, Sculpture, and Photography. This array gives an accurate panorama of what are the essential trends in the art world.

Like every year PAD London is proud of its restaurant and bar. For the 2015 edition of the art fair the design of the PAD restaurant and Ruinart bar is committed to Francis Sultana the famous furniture and interior designer from London, who also exhibit at the Frieze art fair.

Sultana is also one of judges for the Moët Hennessy PAD London Prize, which is an esteemed panel of judges including Julia Peyton-Jones, Elizabeth Saltzman, Nigel Coates, Allegra Hicks and Jean-Michel Wilmotte. The winners for the year 2015 are: Kreo Gallery (UK/France) for Contemporary Design; Jousse Entreprise (France) for 20th Century Decorative Art; Rose Uniacke (UK) for Best Antiquities Stand; and Pierre Passebon / Galerie du Passage (France) for Best Stand.

In 1997 Patrick Perrin created one of the most appreciated cultural events in France, the Pavillon des Arts et du Design Paris. Inspired by the Italian studiolo of the Renaissance, it brings together international gallery owners as well as young promising dealers, whose area of expertise covers the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries, together with the relationship between art and industry, and the beginnings of the Arts and Crafts movement and design. Since 2007 the fair has taken a new direction focusing on Art and Design from 1860 to today and now is called Pavilion of Art & Design.

The fair PAD –Pavilion of Art and Design was in Berkley Square, Mayfair, London,from 14th until 18th October 2015.


David Franchi – Thursday, 2nd July 2015.

Euroart Studios Tottenham London

Euroart Studios Tottenham London

Open Studios and Art Exhibition was a great event, atEuroart Studios, inTottenham, London. Euroart Studios is a very huge hub for artists, located in North London, between Tottenham Hale and Seven Sisters. It is a centre consisting in 70 studios, bringing together an assorted mix of gifted artists.

Once a year, the Euroart Studios opens its doors to the public for the Open Studiosand Art Exhibition. It is an unmissable event, as there is the possibility to visit almost all the studios and get in touch personally with the artists. It was a free entry event, with donation bar, interactive music and complimentary tea and coffee.

There was a Silent Auction. Affordable artworks were installed on a wall, each with accompanying ‘Bid Sheet’ containing details of the works and the creating artist. On the sheet was the start price of the auction and spaces for visitors to record higher bids and their contact number. At the end of each two hour period, Euroart’s auction coordinator contacted the highest bidder to return to the auction wall, to collect and pay for their purchase. The Silent Auction was not supervised, so visitors were free to view the artworks and place bids at their convenience.

At the Open Studios and Art Exhibition, there was also an Art Raffle, a chance to win a £250 voucher prize which could be used to buy works from the ’Silent Auction Wall’, in artists’ studios or to commission new work.

It happened to me to meet Nigel Young out of Arsenal tube station by chance. He showed me the Euroart Studios exhibition publicity on a magazine and I decided to go, because for coincidences I think that rarely God is so lazy. Visiting the exhibition was a great pleasure.

I discovered the Euroart Studios where founded by professional visual artist Lorraine Clarke and space projects quality consultant Young in January 2002. At the beginning, Euroart was established in a leased industrial location on Tottenham High Road, next door to Spurs Football Club.

In 2009, Spurs purchased the site for development of a new stadium and Euroart was immediately evicted. However, Clarke and Young were able to find two warehouse units at Gaunson House and to lease them for 20-year terms, 34 workspaces created and 30 artists relocated from the High Road premises. In August 2011 a third warehouse unit was leased and an additional 36 workspaces created.

The basic concept of Euroart Studios is to help artists by offering attractive spaces at affordable rates. Many artists, in fact, start to do art by pastime or working part-time. Therefore, an affordable rent is very welcome. Many significant artists started their carrier exactly in the same way.

However, it is a common say that London today is too expensive: it is absolutely true. The town became so costly that it looks like a kindergarten for rich people.

The London situation is now an insurmountable obstacle for those people who are not well in cash – and I really mean loaded with a lot of money and plenty of free time. An artist today must go to university, buy pricey materials, rent a studio and travel, sometimes even out of the country.

As a result, the people whose families have not enough money are offside. This is undermining the level of the UK in any sector, including art. Therefore, Euroart Studios give a great opportunity to artists.

Being central London exploited by gentrification, many artists are moving to Tottenham from the surrounding areas, for example Dalston, Hornsey Road, or Shoredtich. Tottenham instead has been regenerated after the riots – which suspiciously happened just when needed. There is a Halls of Residence in the area, linked to the University of the Arts and to Central Saint Martins and London College of Fashion.

Euroart Studios is focused on deliver contemporary art to the local community, helping people to participate in artistic and original experiences, including creative workshops in the studios and across the borough and collaborative projects with other local organizations, like Bruce Castle Museum, West Green Learning Centre, Friends of Markfield Park and North London Chamber of Commerce.

Euroart Studios is a self-funded, not-for-profit, company limited by guarantee, and they receive no core funding.

‘Open Studios and Art Exhibition’ was at the Euroart Studios from 5th until 7th June, Tottenham Hale/Seven Sisters, London, N15 4QQ.


David Franchi – Sunday, 22nd March 2015.

The Affordable Art Fair 2015 has been successful, in Battersea Park, London.

Affordable Art Fair 2015 LondonThe fair is one of the most famous in the world. It showcases a very varied range of artworks made using different media, such as paintings, original artist-made prints, sculpture, installations and photography. The prices of works on sale are all between £100 and £5,000.

Therefore, with such prices the goal of the Affordable Art Fair is to help people in build their own collection, but above all, it is a very good place for collector beginners. The effort the fair makes to help art collector novices is remarkable, for example, when just exploring the website it is possible to find numerous basic tips for the fresher of the sector.

For its London edition of March 2015, the Affordable Art Fair organised many activities. The word was to relax and to take your time to visit the fair at your own pace. Parents could drop off their babies aged 2-10 at the “Outstanding” Ofsted rated crèche (complete with arty activities), Nipperbout. Then also, there were activity packs and a packed programme of hands-on workshops to keep children aged 4-11 entertained. Thirdly, for the adults, instead, there were cafes and a Laithwaite wine bar.

The Affordable Art fair is a lively event that has reached its 16th year with 111 events across 11 countries, 1,300 exhibiting galleries and 232,000 visitors. Priding itself on making art reachable for everyone, the fair proposal is to find art that reflects each buyer’s passion whatever is their budget. Whether visitors are looking for traditional or contemporary, original or minimalist, colourful or monochrome pieces, there truly is art for everyone and to personalize their own space.

Luci Noel, Affordable Art Fair Battersea Director, shares her top art tips for curating a home collection; “Art fairs provide an eclectic mix of genres and artists that you can browse to find the perfect artwork to kick-start or expand your collection. Chatting with the gallerists, will help you learn about the art and discover more about what’s behind the piece. You’ll also be able to see some up and coming talent and be exposed to styles which you may not have come across or considered previously.”

The March 2015 fair hosted artworks from galleries across the globe alongside local collections. New talent from Project Space Collective, an initiative directed at emerging talent from around the UK were also on show. South London Art Map offered guided tours tailored for both first time collectors and anyone curious about emerging artists.

Occurring during the Mother’s Day, the Affordable Art Fair had this year a special focus on artwork created for the purpose. Visitors were able to browse a vast range of limited edition artist’s prints, one-off sculptures, or original paintings made for the occasion of the Mother’s day. Creative visitors can make their own Mother’s Day card on the spot at the print making workshop. Elsewhere, the Affordable Art Fair hosted a number of special workshops on Mother’s Day, including how to create your own flying machines and creatures.

The Affordable Art Fair was at Battersea Park, London, from 12th until 15th March 2015.


David Franchi – Wednesday, 28th January 2015

141211_london_art_fair__27th_edition_highlights-1London Art Fair 2015 has been a 27th successful edition, at the Business Design Centre, Islington, from 21 until 25 January 2015.

The fair is a major UK event for Modern British and Contemporary art. With 128 exhibitors, London Art Fair 2015 has been an excellent observation point of the contemporary British art sector, but also with international gallery presentation from Milan, Paris, Toronto and New York.

At the London Art Fair the main argument of the debate, generally speaking, is the financial side of the art. People where complaining about the business side of the art world. Many visitors found out the main purpose is to sell, art is left aside and the marketing and business are prevailing. Even The Art Newspaper, in its free edition distributed at the fair, titled: ‘Year of record sales but at what cost to the art?’

In a moment of low economy, while common people in the world are struggling, last November in four days of auctions in New York buyers spent an impressive $1.66bn, including $852.8m at Christie’s. Which other business sector can compete: finance, arms sales? There is a massive surge in art and art dealing in New York, London and Paris. The stress due to the requests of buyers is framing the artist’s works.

The point is we are in a moment of artists born under the market. We can disagree or not, but new artists are literally born into the market. It is impossible for them to get out of it. And it is not only regarding figurative art. It affects also music, for example, or theatre and cinema. Is new popular music giving new ideas? Is it creative? Not at all. Very poor and very low in inventiveness, but much focused on money and sale. Marketing is the word. Unfortunately, is not easy to avoid this side and the consequences are a lowering quality production of art.

The largest sector of the London Art Fair is the Modern British and Contemporary art. The renewed installation of

Pablo Picasso, Portrait of Dora Maar, 1942, Courtesy of Gilden's Arts Gallery London Art Fair

Pablo Picasso, Portrait of Dora Maar, 1942, Courtesy of Gilden’s Arts Gallery © London Art Fair

Rowntree Clark’s British Pavilion at the Venice Biennale (1966), with works from the five artists exhibited: Anthony Caro, Bernard Cohen, Harold Cohen, Robyn Denny and Richard Smith. Several galleries, including Alan Wheatley Art and Goodman Fine Art, displayed works by significant Scottish abstract painter Alan Davie RA, who died in 2014 just before a major exhibition of his work at Tate Britain. Contemporary highlights include The Multiple Store’s new edition by Yinka Shonibare MBE, ‘Kaleidoscope’, which playfully explores gender stereotypes and power relations.

The London Art Fair 2015 edition has seen a new museum partnership with Pallant House Gallery, Chichester, presenting an exhibition of key works from their collection in ‘The Figure in Modern British Art’. Simon Martin, Artistic Director of Pallant House Gallery, curated a unique exhibition focusing on paintings, drawings and sculptures by some of the leading British figurative artists of the 20th century including Walter Sickert, David Bomberg, Lucian Freud, William Coldstream and Frank Auerbach. Located in a specially designed pavilion at the front of the main Fair, ‘The Figure in Modern British Art’ examined how different artists in Britain approached the human figure and displayed a choice of extraordinary works drawn from Pallant House Gallery’s permanent collection.

Another novelty for the 2015 edition was two exclusive sculptures by Eduardo Paolozzi installed outside the Fair. At the entrance to the Business Design Centre, in fact, visitors could found two unique monumental sculptures by Paolozzi presented by Bowman Sculpture. The sculptures, Kalasan (1973-4) and Trishula (1966), were originally commissioned by Terence Conran, a former student of Paolozzi, as part of a sculptural children’s playground for his Habitat store in Wallingford, Oxfordshire. The aluminium works are displayed at London Art Fair following Paolozzi’s 70th birthday exhibition at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park in 1994.

Lucian Freud, Self-Portrait with Hyacinth in Pot, 1947-48, Pallant House Gallery (Wilson Gift through The Art Fund, 2006) London Art Fair

Lucian Freud, Self-Portrait with Hyacinth in Pot, 1947-48, Pallant House Gallery (Wilson Gift through The Art Fund, 2006) © London Art Fair

Highlight of the 2015 edition was also Photo50 ‘Against Nature’ an exhibition of photographic installations curated by Sheyi Bankale of Next Level Projects. Photo50 made available a critical opportunity to examine some of the most interesting elements of current photographic practice. Photo50 ‘Against Nature’ posed a series of questions that consider what it is to look at and display a photograph, and how a photograph can become elevated to the status of an object. The exhibition displayed nine artists works located in an area shared by photography, sculpture and performance.

A film programme in partnership with LIMA, Amsterdam, was another highlight of London Art Fair 2015. Curated by Pryle Behrman, the Art Projects Film Programme runs throughout the Fair in a purpose-built screening room within Art Projects. It presents a selection of recent works from LIMA collection revolving around the imagery of cinema and its relationship to media art.

Many were the live performances, including ‘B.I.N.G.O’, an interactive game led by artists Henry/Bragg and the premiere of William Mackrell’s ‘North South’. On 22 January, Thursday Late in association with Peroni Nastro Azzurro, gave the opportunity to visit the Fair until 9pm. Special events included the premiere of William Mackrell’s ‘North South’ courtesy of Andipa Gallery – a vocal exchange of the words ‘North’ and ‘South’, presented for the first time as a live performance; and Maeve Rendle’s novel-reading, courtesy of The International 3. Further performance highlights included artist duo Henry/Bragg’s exploration of the rituals of bingo through a live, interactive game courtesy of C&C Gallery.

The inaugural Art Projects Artist Award, furnished by the Fair’s education sponsor Sotheby’s Institute of Art was also an innovation. Situated alongside the main Fair, Art Projects is London Art Fair’s curated section of emerging contemporary art from across the globe. It features large-scale installations, solo shows and group displays, alongside an extensive film and performance programme. The judging panel carefully selected, included the areas of collecting, journalism, curating and education. The winning artist received a cash prize of £2500.

International ‘Dialogues’ is a collaborations series between emerging UK and international galleries. Curated and selected by Anna Colin, ‘Dialogues’ returned to Art Projects for a second year. With many of the invited galleries and artists working together for the first time, the section promises a unique exhibition of critical conversations around shared ideas or a common aesthetic. Anna is co-curator of the next British Art Show, associate curator at Fondation Galeries Lafayette in Paris and co-founder of Open School East.

An extensive programme of talks, tours and critical debates took place throughout the week in association with partners such as the Contemporary Art Society, ArtTactic, Apollo Magazine, Lund Humphries, The Arts Desk, Photoworks and Sotheby’s Institute of Art.

London Art Fair 2015 was at the Business Design Centre, Islington, from 21 until 25 January 2015.