Our Story

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London Art Fair 2020
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London Art Fair 2020

We were founded in 1989 by London’s Business Design Centre in Islington – where the Fair still takes place today – with the aim of providing a space to showcase exceptional Modern and Contemporary Art, to discover and to buy. We launched with just 36 UK galleries (some of whom still exhibit at the Fair today) and have grown steadily over the following years. Whilst we were unable to run London Art Fair in its usual format at the Business Design Centre in 2021, we remained focused on delivering a unique opportunity to discover and champion the very best Modern and Contemporary Art. Presenting for the first time a digital alternative, London Art Fair: Edit, offering a unique opportunity to explore online 63 leading galleries from across the globe, a space for debate and discussion through the digital Talks Programme and a broad collection of Workshops to ignite every art enthusiast’s  creative spark. Explore the full programme here.

For the Fair’s 32nd edition we welcomed 129 galleries from 14 different countries and over 23,000 attendees and we invite you to join us as we celebrate our return to Islington in January 2022.

With the 2021 edition of London Art Fair taking place during such exceptional times, this year’s Fair has been specially curated to ensure visitors can experience the very best collection of Modern and Contemporary Art in a safe and spacious environment.

We look forward to inviting visitors to join us to enjoy one of London’s most established cultural highlights, with the confidence of knowing that the Fair has been carefully planned adhering to government guidelines to ensure the safety and comfort of our visitors, exhibitors and staff as our highest priority. For further information on the measures we are putting in place click here.

London Art Fair 2020

The Fair still provides a home for Modern British Art, as well as, embracing an increasingly international and contemporary outlook, with new galleries from around the world expanding our offer and reach – these now make up 25% of our exhibitors, and continue to grow.

We nurture collecting at all levels, from prints and editions starting in the hundreds, to major works by internationally renowned artists (notable sales at the 2020 Fair included works by Grayson Perry, Christopher Hanlon, Bambi and David Bomberg).

We provide a platform for nurturing talent too and have played host to acclaimed artists early in their career as well as established names, with Chris Ofili and Jenny Saville awarded ‘rising star’ awards at the 1996 edition.

The Fair’s extensive gallery line up showcases a diverse cross-section of art from emerging talent to established art world favourites; alongside an inspiring programme of curated talks, panel discussions and artists insights.

The Fair will also provide expert insights into innovative curatorial concepts in contemporary art through its critically acclaimed curated spaces: Art Projects, offering a platform for the next generation of artists and gallerists; Photo50; showcasing current trends in contemporary photographic practice; and Platform in featuring a selection of galleries presenting well-known, overlooked and emerging artists that align to an overarching annually changing theme.

Since 2014, we have also selected a regional museum partner to work with each year, who creates a unique exhibition that enables our visitors to experience the heritage, quality and significance of regional collections. For the 2020 Fair, we partnered with Southampton City Art Gallery based in the South of England. The Gallery is home to an arresting collection of modern British and contemporary art, which are considered to be amongst the finest in the UK outside of London; earning ‘Designated’ status from Arts Council England in 1998.

We are delighted to announce our 2021 Museum Partner Charleston, once home to the 20th century’s most pioneering artists, writers and thinkers, The Bloomsbury Group.

Launching the international art calendar, London Art Fair, invites you to join us between 20 – 24 January 2021 (Preview 19 January) to discover, learn and engage with a thoughtfully selected presentation of exceptional art and an experience to match.