It’s London Art Fair 2014, and galleries from all across the UK (and further afield) have descended upon the grandiose Business Design Centre in Islington for a week.
The venue sets the bar for the event; high glass domes and ceilings look above you whilst actual business premises and offices flank the sides of the exhibition area. This place screams art collectors.
A true smorgasbord of artistic offerings, CUB Arts entered the white-washed labyrinth to try and dig out some highlights, and take on the challenge of trying to find some student loan-friendly souvenirs.
Whilst the fair is very much aimed at a wealthy audience of collectors and curators (of which we can but dream of joining), don’t let the daunting ‘Price on Application’ labels daunt you. A high-quality contemporary art pick and mix has been conveniently assembled for you under one roof, and even if you cannot afford the £55,000 miniature Moore, there’s plenty more to peruse.
The main area is very painting-heavy, with a smattering of sculpture and sprinkle of photography. There’s a reasonable enough mix of styles to ensure that whether you enjoy impressionistic oils, YBA-esque sculptures or abstract cubist statements; you’re catered for.
The side rooms are really where all the fun is hidden. As well as a film screening area, ArtProjects presents a side exhibition of UK-meets-International collaboratively-curated mini galleries. In this room there’s art press outlets for you to chat or network with, a robot whose face follows your movements before telling you about Armageddon, a warm, comforting yellow space amongst the endless white, and VitalArts; an arts charity that works within and for the Barts NHS Trust.
If rubbing shoulders with the world of the arts traders, curators and arts media personalities appeals to you, then this fair is a must-do. And CUB Arts did manage to successfully scout out some student investment pieces; search hard enough and you will discover £4 postcards or badges sets, £25 unframed prints, or for the ceramic connoisseur there are pots and pieces from £75.
London Art Fair is at The Business Design Centre 15th – 19th January. Angel is the nearest tube, less than 5 minutes away and concession tickets are £12. There is a full programme of talks as well as the main exhibition so be sure to check out the website at www.londonartfair.co.uk