Art13 London: A Truly International Art Fair
Chiharu Shiota (Japan) Zustand des Seins (Fotoapparat) / State of Being (Camera), 2012; Metal, yarn, camera 30 x 30 x 30 cm; Alexander Ochs Galerie, Berlin
When I spent some time living in the British Virgin Islands, there were many things I didn’t miss about London. Driving along empty roads surrounded by lush green scenery, I didn’t miss being scrunched up in a Tube carriage whilst some irritable person on the platform shouted “Can you move down a bit please?” The ‘please’ part of that sentence being anything but polite or courteous even though to accede to her demand would have meant surgically removing at least three limbs. I also didn’t much miss being on the precipice of pneumonia for the half of the year.
What I did come to miss and appreciate was the abundance of art in London – and notably publicly accessible art. Londoners may tut and huff when they see a couple in fluorescent jackets, rucksacks on backs, engrossed in a map standing in the middle of the pavement completely oblivious to all around them. Yet one of the reasons London attracts so many tourists is the number of art galleries within the capital, many within walking distance of each other: The Courtauld Gallery, The National Gallery, The National Portrait Gallery, The Royal Academy and The Wallace Collection are all within a brisk(ish) stroll of one another.
London is also blessed by the number of different art fairs that take place throughout the year giving people the chance to see and buy works of art that are distinctly different from the works in museums and public galleries – complementary, but different. Some may argue that with such a crowded calendar of art events already in place, and I need hardly run off a list, do we need yet another art fair in London?
The answer is a resounding yes. Art13 London makes its debut at the beginning of March launched by Tim Etchells and Sandy Angus, the founders of ART HK, Asia’s premier art event with Stephanie Dieckvoss as the Fair’s Director. Why do we need one?
Lee Seahyun (Korea) Between Red 162, 2012 Oil on linen 200x300cm; Hackogoe , Seoul
According to Dieckvoss the fair will be “a new global art fair for Europe’s global city. Our aim is to translate a unique vision into a great experience for collectors and the general public alike”.
The claim to bring a global fair to the city is more than just rhetoric; Art13 London will have 29 territories represented in total across the fair, 50% of the work presented will be by non-Western artists and 70% of the galleries will be participating at a fair in London for the first time.
In addition to territorial diversity, the fair will cover the full spectrum of art including paintings, etchings, prints and photography.
Nobuyoshi Araki (Japan) Kaori, 2004 Michael Hoppen Gallery, London, United Kingdom
Galleries presenting photography at the Fair will include 2902 Gallery, Singapore, Jack Bell, London, Brancolini Grimaldi, London, Kleinschmidt Fine Photographs, Wiesbaden, Michael Hoppen Gallery, London and Galerie Paris-Beijing, Paris and Beijing. 2902 Gallery specialises in exhibiting photography from both established and emerging artists from Southeast Asia.
The Paragon Press, London will be launching a new series of prints by Anish Kapoor as well as bringing large-scale linocuts by Gary Hume together with Richard Deacon’s new series of etchings and Ged Quinn’s work ‘Utopia Dystopia.
Whereas when one is abroad, one misses the art at home, Art13 London will give people the chance to see a range of art which they would usually need to travel to the country of origin to see and purchase. As Dieckvoss says “bringing together exhibitors from all corners of the world, we offer visitors an unparalleled opportunity to see the extraordinary quality and variety of art produced across the globe.”.
London is a truly multicultural city and it will now have an art fair that reflects it. Only the most insular of minds could do anything but welcome that.
There will however be a distinct touch of Englishness as Art 13 London have partnered with Fortnum & Mason to create an exclusive bar and restaurant at the Fair giving visitors the chance to enjoy a glass of Champagne Louis Roederer, lunch or a spot of afternoon tea.
Art13 London sponsored by Citi Private Bank
1-3 March 2013 (VIP Preview: 28 February); Olympia Grand Hall
Judit Reigl (Hungary) Outburst, 1957 Oil on canvas 91×115 cm; Kalman Maklary Fine Arts, Budapest
(All images courtesy of Art13 London)