It’s January and the start of the 2017 art cycle with the London Art Fair at the Business Design Centre in Islington. Now in its 29th year, the Fair presents galleries showing work from modern artists such as Eduardo Paolozzi (“Richard Rogers as Newton”) and Alexander Calder (“The Yellow Shock Absorber”) plus artists such as Picasso and Joan Miro, alongside the best of contemporary art with curated areas focusing on contemporary photography at Photo50, new and younger galleries at Art Projects and this year’s museum partner, the Ingram Collection from the Lightbox in Woking.
Sitting quietly, watching the visitors to the Fair is Sean Henry’s “Maquette for John”.
So, what is new? Artists continue to move into digital and new forms of art. Brian Eno for example has both traditional geometric etchings and new work in the same style that, with LED lights, is moving into the 21st century, while Hwang Seontae’s interiors including “The Sunshine Room” come alive with LED backlighting.
Possibly the newest artwork at the show, Jacky Tsai’s “Sanctuary Skill Lenticular” (2017) is a changing holographic image with a skull containing architectural interiors while Davy and Kristin McGuire’s “Jam Jar Fairies” Series has video images of fairies trapped in glass bottles. Benjamin Schubert’s “Schuhe” has twisting curving steel with neon lighting and Fabien Chalon “L’enchainement” is one of several sculptures which incorporate movement, sound and light, like old-fashioned automatons.
Using different materials without technology, Jaye Moon’s has her urban city in Art Projects, but also has playful installations throughout the show in Lego blocks intertwined with the architecture of the Business Design Centre reflecting on nomadic housing and environment, Mattia Novello’s “Relative Balance” is a basketball held aloft on another ball in the impossible point of the tip of a finger and Natasja Van Der Meer’s “Hanging Tree (Black)” uses beads to create new three dimensional images created in beads, along with other works to create three dimensional union jacks and black grenades.
Perhaps more restrained than the December shows in Miami, reflecting the atmosphere in the UK as the country moves forward into Brexit.