The 16th edition of Art Projects brought together 19 international projects, curated solo shows and group exhibitions. Pryle Behrman, art critic and member of the Art Projects Selection Committee, introduced this section for London Art Fair 2020. Presenting works that reflect on the dominant social, political and personal issues affecting artist’s around the world in this year’s Art Projects section, along side the Screening Room.
Hosted as part of Art Projects, the Screening Room was an accompanying programme of collaborative video and new media initiatives. Playtime, curated by Pryle Behrman, explored the increasing commodification in our society and how this encroaches on our leisure time.
Cork Printmakers exhibited work by a diverse group of artists, drawing upon the cultural history which has shaped the Irish landscape. Highlights include Catherine Hehir and Noelle Noonan’s new series Brides of Print with mysterious signifiers. Robyn Litchfield at Nunnery Gallery employed landscape painting to reflect on her own cultural heritage, drawing on archival material and personal documents relating to the early exploration and colonisation of her native country New Zealand. Meanwhile at ED CROSS FINE ART, Peruvian artist Cesar Cornejo’s installation proposed a new kind of monument which reflected the social reality of those living in shanty towns in Latin America.
ED CROSS FINE ART, London Art Fair 2020
Standpoint Gallery, London Art Fair 2020
A number of galleries featured in Art Projects exhibited artwork that explored our fragile relationship with the natural world. In her bright landscape paintings, Canadian artist Judith Berry at Art Mûr rendered natural elements such as sticks, grass and vegetation to appear manufactured, posing the pressing question – what are the consequences of our interference with the natural world? Anna Reading’s sculptures presented by Standpoint Gallery are built using a range of found material – from shredded foam to oyster shells – bringing into question the relationship between organic and synthetic items, whilst Olivia Bax’s large sculptural forms transform elements that are familiar, such as a handle or a pipe, into an unconventional form. A solo exhibition of Tom Down by Mint Art Gallery considered how the natural world has been idealised from the traditional Romantic landscape to today’s media. Taking visual clichés such as alpine vistas and forest idylls, he re-creates these scenes as maquettes using polystyrene, cardboard, glue and paint, before realistically rendering them in paint.
A number of exhibitors showcased artists who incorporate mathematical and technological ideas into their practice. DAM Gallery exhibited code-based art by a range of early pioneers and middle-generation digital artists, including Frieder Nake’s plotter drawings produced by an algorithm trained to draw lines at random, questioning the ‘clean’ digital aesthetic that dominates the world of technology. In contrast, Eagle Gallery / EMH Arts presented a more recent form of systems-based art with the work of Natalie Dower, a friend and colleague of many of the original British constructivist and systems painters of the 1950s and 60s. Her paintings and three-dimensional works, rooted in mathematical geometry, codes of proportion and colour theory, were shown in counterpoint with works on paper by six contemporary artists responding to her work. Meanwhile Nadav Drukker at Knight Webb Gallery created unusual vessels in clay to communicate his research into theoretical physics to a wider audience.
Frieder Nake, Walk-Through-Raster-Series, 1966. Plotter drawing, 26 x 26 cm. Courtesy of DAM Gallery
Tamar Dresdner, London Art Fair 2020
White Conduit Projects presented a group exhibition drawing upon our anthropomorphic relationship with “things”, featuring brooches, paper sculptures, and ‘shoulder sculptures’ by artists Dunhill and O’Brien, which will be worn by staff members during London Art Fair. Textiles were also featured in Tamar Dresdner Art Projects ’ installation of hanging embroidered objects by Israeli artist Batia Shani, which addressed the global refugee crisis.