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London Art Fair 2011: Our highlights

Posted by Lorena Muñoz-Alonso on 21st January 2011

This week we visited the 23rd edition of the London Art Fair, UK's largest Modern British and contemporary art fair. The 2011 edition opened last Wednesday and it finishes on Sunday, so any Londoner that might be interested still has a couple of days left to go to the Islington Business Design Centre and enjoy the selection of 124 galleries gathered under its roof.

View of the London Art Fair 2011

Even though its highlights are mostly related to British Modern Art –rather than the cutting edge and more risqué works that populate Frieze– the London Art Fair does offer quite a few pleasant surprises for the followers and budding collectors of contemporary art and multiples.

From the main section, we were particularly pleased with Danielle Arnaud's stand. Danielle, who happens to be one the curators on the Rise Art board of experts, presented a selection of works by five of her artists: Katie Deith, Karin Kilhberg & Reuben Henry and Tessa Farmer, whose delicate and gothic miniature sculptures of insects transported us to fantastic and slightly macabre fairy tale lands.

View of the stand of Danielle Arnaud at the London Art Fair

We were really intrigued by the oil paintings of the artist David Price, that we saw in the stand of Art First gallery. Price completed his MA in Printmaking at the Royal College of Art in 2009 and then was seleted to take part in that year's Bloomberg New Contemporaries. To tackle his drawings and paintings he draws inspiration from classical subjects and other motives borrowed from the history of art, but he reworks this material in such a humorous and yet poignant manner he left us wanting to see more.

David Price 'St. Jerome' (2010). Oil on panel. Courtesy of Art First gallery

Art Projects, the 'edgier' section, brings together 30 international projects, curated by the art journalist and curator Pryle Behrman. Here we found a mix of young commercial galleries like NETTIE HORN or Monika Bobinska and essential not-for-profit spaces like Chisenhale gallery, Studio Voltaire or even Whitechapel Gallery, whose stands were devoted to the sale of their limited edition programmes.

Sinta Tranta's 'Gentlemen Prefer Blondes' (2011), the floor installation part of Salon Vert's display

It was very refreshing to see the stand of the Florence Trust, where Rise Art artist Andy Wicks is currently doing a residence and expanding his studio practice.  And, also part of the Art Projects section, we were delighted to see the work of another of our artists, Chris Shaw Hughes, who has series of original drawings on display at the stand of ROOM London . Chris' extraordinarily precise architectural drawings revolve around the idea of 'places of trauma' and it has been a pleasure to see both his work and reputation grow exponetially over the last year. Actually, also until this Sunday you can see his works at the ICA, in the Bloomberg New Contemporaries 2010 exhibition. A highly recommended show.

One Chris Shaw Hughes' original drawings at the stand of ROOM London /strong>