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.


David Franchi – Wednesday, 29th October 2014.

Frieze Masters 2014Following great consent for the first two editions, Frieze Masters 2014 has seen an ambitious global reach, together with a significant representation of galleries from the UK and US. Togehter with twin exibition  Frieze Art London, the two fairs are the focal point of a season of significant exhibitions and art-related activities across London.

For Frieze Masters was another year of extensive approval and positive sales. Dedicated to art from ancient to modern, Frieze Masters benefits from a contemporary, elegant environment where ancient and modern art can be shown side by side. Coinciding with and within walking distance of Frieze Art London, together the two fairs encourage a crossover between audiences of contemporary and historical art.

Frieze Masters was a carefully selected presentation of 127 of the world’s leading galleries. Frieze Masters 2014 saw 37,000 visitors over the six days of its opening, demonstrating the event’s popularity.

Frieze Masters Talks 2014 featured conversations between celebrated contemporary artists and the curators of historical museums from around the world, as part of Frieze Masters. Supported by Gucci, new Associate Sponsor of the fair and sponsor of the Talks this year, the programme also introduces a discussion, ‘Collecting Beyond Contemporary’.

Frieze Masters 2014 was designed by New York-based Selldorf Architects and was sponsored by Deutsche Bank for the third consecutive year.

Together Frieze Masters and Frieze Art London signed the landmark for top rank exhibitions and art-related activities across London. For the second year the Frieze Sculpture Park included works from both Frieze London and Frieze Masters. Selected for the third year running by Clare Lilley, Director of Programme at Yorkshire Sculpture Park, UK, this year the Sculpture Park displayed significant modern works alongside some of the newest sculptural practice. With free public access, Frieze Sculpture Park gives visitors to The Regent’s Park an unusual occasion to see an important selection of public art in the open air.

Frieze Masters fair took place from 15th until 19th October 2014 on Gloucester Green, Regent’s Park, London.


David Franchi – Monday, 27th October 2014.

Frieze Art Fair 2014 London Once again Frieze Fairs were successful, at Regent’s Park, London. The 3rd week of October is an unmissable appointment to visitFrieze Art Fair and Frieze Mastersin London, although there are many other fairs at the same time. This week is the London Art Week par excellence and lovers, fans and supporters have to run aroundLondon to cope with it.

The 12th edition of Frieze Art London brought together over 160 of the world’s leading contemporary galleries from 25 territories, under one roof with visitor numbers in the region of 60,000 during the five days of the fair. This year also saw the introduction of ‘Live’, a new section sponsored by Alexander McQueen and committed to ruthless performance-based installations, located throughout the fair.

Frieze Art London is one of the world’s leading contemporary art fairs. Every October, it brings an international art audience to London. For the third year, Frieze London coincided with Frieze Masters, a fair that gives a contemporary perspective on historical art, which also takes place in Regent’s Park, London. Together the two fairs attract an incomparable range of artworks and artists, together with a significant international art public and it benefit from a crossover between visitors of contemporary and historical art.

The London-based creative consultancy Universal Design Studio was the architectural team for Frieze London 2014. It created new interiors and lighting for the 2014 edition of the fair, with a new layout that radically altered the fair experience for exhibitors and visitors alike. Universal Design Studio was founded in 2001 by Edward Barber, OBE and Jay Osgerby, OBE to focus on architecture and interiors, building upon their award-winning product and furniture design portfolio.

Frieze Projects at Frieze Art London 2014 brought together seven new commissions, realised both at the fair and in a number of offsite locations around the city. Curated by Nicola Lees, Frieze Projects is the programme of artist commissions that takes place annually at Frieze London, and this year had a focus on artists whose works interconnect with other disciplines including dance, film and music. The collaborations born between institutions of London lead to productions that have arisen attention to the cultural network of the city.

This year Frieze Film has commissioned Cally Spooner to make a project that was screened in the auditorium at Frieze London 2014. Established in 2007, Frieze Film is a series of new artist films screened annually at Frieze London. Frieze Film 2014 is curated by Nicola Lees, as part of Frieze Projects, the fair’s acclaimed not-for-profit programme.

The winner of the inaugural Frieze Artist Award was Mélanie Matranga. The Frieze Artist Award allows an emerging artist to realise a major project at Frieze London as part of the critically acclaimed Frieze Projects programme. For Frieze London 2014, Matranga creates a series of online videos that follow a young artistic couple as they negotiate ‘freedom, success and the proper functioning of a couple.’ The episodes will be filmed during the construction of Frieze London in Regent’s Park, including a purpose-built café, which Matranga has designed for use by visitors. The narrative structure of the video focuses on the simultaneous building of both the couple’s relationship and the set of the café itself. By bringing together these two storylines, the project looks at the coming together of emotional and monetary trade economies. Each three- to five-minute episode is co-directed by Valentin Bouré and broadcast online.

Victoria Siddall has been appointed as Director of Frieze London and Frieze New York in addition to her existing position as Director of Frieze Masters. Founders of Frieze, Amanda Sharp and Matthew Slotover, focused on developing new projects for the organization. Victoria will start her new role from Frieze London 2015 onwards. Supporting her in the development of the art fairs will be two Artistic Directors, one based in London and one in New York.

Frieze Art London 2014 was sponsored by Deutsche Bank for the 11th consecutive year.

Together with Frieze Masters 2014, the two fairs are the focal point of a season of significant exhibitions and art-related activities across London.

Frieze Art London 2014 took place from 15th until 18th October 2014 in Regent’s Park, London.