Recent London Art Fair is a good example of art fairs getting more and more busy. Popularity of art is always a good indicator of how the economy is doing. UK’s economy is one of the fastest growing in Europe at the moment, so it is not a surprise that London Art Fair just broke an all time record with 30,694 visitors.
This fair has grown quite substantially since my last visit a few years ago. It was great to see that the standard was high, however in my opinion compared to other recent art fairs and exhibitions the key word was commercial. The works were generally not groundbreaking or challenging the viewer, instead safe choices to invest and easy to appreciate.
By far the most popular choice of medium was painting, which is a stark contrast compared to recent emerging art exhibitions New Sensations and New Contemporaries which presented lots of installations and digital art.
Using upcycled materials in sculptures is spreading widely, yet I managed to see only a few pieces here.
African art is another emerging area. Goncalo Mabunda from Mozambique uses metal and recycled weapons as a source material for art and furniture. The objects have strong political connotations which carry collective memory.
A fine example of established art was an exhibition of Japanese Gutai artists. Ghiyu Uemae is 95 years old and still painting actively. The unique technique using detailed stitching in multi-layered three dimensional texture is combined with stunning, bold but simple colours.