London’s international art fair returns this year to the Olympia Grand. Art15 is in the true spirit of London as a city that brings together the very best that the world produces. This is something that the art fair has been praise for. The globally focused art fair brings together galleries from all over the world. This year the art fair gathered 150 galleries and institutions from 40 countries and was bigger than ever before. There is a focus on galleries representing African and Asian art in particular this year. Sculpture also features prominently. We recently attended the fair and selected some of our favourite booths for you to take a look at.
22nd May 2015 Aaron Price
October Gallery, Booth A9 - El Anatsui
October Gallery has been instrumental in bringing worldwide attention to many of the world’s leading international artists. This includes the now well renowned artist El Anatsui featured in the above image. The gallery promotes the very best in contemporary art and with a particular interest in African and Asian Art. El Anatsui is probably one of the most famous artists represented in the booth at Art15, with his unique tapestry work created from found bottle caps. Another artist of particular interest in the booth is Govinda Sah ‘Azad’ from Nepal. The artist creates mesmerising paintings that capture the imagination. The contemporary pieces focus on themes such as the sea, sky and universe and are well worth a visit.
Skipwiths, Booth C13
The London gallery host a strong showing at Art15 with some of the best Korean artwork. The gallery now represents a strong group of Korean artists. Skipwiths is not open to the general public but viewings of their collection can be arranged by appointment. This offers a unique opportunity to see some of their fantastic artwork on display at Art15. Of particular interest in the booth are the works by Kwang Young Chun, who creates installations out of what resemble’s medicine boxes. These can be seen on the far wall in blue, on the left in white and on the right in orange.
Gazelli Art House / UK, Azerbaijan – Booth D8
Located right by the Collectors Lounge at Art15 is the Gazelli Art House Booth. Undoubtedly the most eye-catching booth at the fair it is definitely not one to miss. The contemporary art gallery supports and presents a wide range of international artists. They also present a broad and critically acclaimed program of exhibitions to a diverse audience. The gallery was founded in Azerbaijan in 2003 and arrived with a permanent space in London in 2012. The gallery presents a one-artist exhibition in their display of work by James Ostrer. The artist’s work often tests the limits of the body of politics, sexuality and society in his work. The human body is often his subject as is the case in the showing at the booth.
Ayyam Gallery / UK, UAE, Lebanon – Booth C16
The gallery was founded in 2006 and is now a leading arts organisation. They manage the career of a diverse roster of established and emerging artists from the Middle East. They have blue-chip art spaces in Beirut, Dubai and London with a series of other projects internationally. This has furthered the gallery’s mandate of expanding the parameters of international art by introducing the dynamic art of the Middle East to a global audience. The gallery presents one of the nicest group showings with prominent artists such as Safwan Dahoul, Sama Alshaibi and Afshin Pirhashemi. The work by Pirashemi can be seen clearly at the back of the booth. His work examines the complexities of life in modern day Iran through incredible photorealist portraits.
Omer Tiroche Contemporary Art / UK – Booth B15
The London based gallery certainly has one of the strongest showings of established contemporary artists at the fair. The artwork we have included comes from Julian Opie, Banksy, Allen Jones and Damien Hirst. The booth features some of the finest talent in contemporary art on display at Art15. Some of the other renown artist on display at the booth include Howard Hodgkin, David Hockney, Grayson Perry and Anish Kapoor.
UNIX Gallery / USA – Booth A18
The booth is one of the most fun and engaging at Art15. The gallery represents an international group of established and emerging artists. The gallery helps establish emerging artists with compelling and unique visions. They embrace a ranging spectrum of traditional and contemporary artistic practices from painting, sculpture and photography to large-scale installations. One of the most innovative artists on display in their booth is Display Obtain Cherish. Since his emergence as a street artist in the early 2000s, DOC has become known for his work as a pop sculptor. He works across a range of styles including street, pop, and conceptual art.
Gallery SoSo / South Korea – Booth B4
Gallery SoSo’s booth has an intriguing design, it’s nearly a one artist booth that clearly knows how to show off established Korean artist In Kyum Kim. The gallery opened in South Korea in 2007. They represent some of the best contemporary Korean art and the fair offers a unique opportunity to see some of the work in their collection. Of particular interest at the fair is the work by In Kyum Kim. In Kyum Kim creates beautifully understated sculptures that deceive the eye. It allows the viewer to see how the artist goes from the first stage to the final product.
Sulger-Buel Lovell / UK, South Africa – Booth LF9
The most interesting newcomer in the London First section of Art15 is Sulger-Buel Lovell. The London First section features galleries under five years old at their first exhibition in a London Art Fair. In 2014 the collector Christian Sulger-Buel and gallerist, Tamzin Lovell Miller, partnered to launch the new gallery in London. The Cape Town gallery has been operating since 2009. The artist represented at Art15 is Isabelle Grobler, who specialises in sculptural installation, printmaking and drawing. Her work explores absurdities inherent to the manifestation of power and authority in social and economic relations. We spoke with the artist at the fair who described her work as monsters that represent figures in modern society. The works are created from found objects and the carefully placed lighting casts equally monstrous shadows across the background.
Artistique Design Gallery / Qatar – EM5
One of the best booths from the Emerging section of Art15 is the showing from newly launched gallery Artistique Design. The establishment holds one clear and specific objective in mind, which is to achieve an artistic and aesthetical qualitative leap through the design, execution and development of several artistic projects. They aim to design artistic installations for towers, hotels, public squares and other locations. The work on display at Art15 is particularly engaging with the audience. The work by Fatma Alshebani was one of the most visited at the fair and the artist is pictured here behind her work.