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Excellent Visitor Figures, Strong Sales and Positive Feedback at London Art Fair
A visitor walks past "Premonition of a Plague" by Nicholas Jolly at the London Art Fair. The London Art Fair, which is in its 22 year, is the largest Modern British and contemporary art showcase in the UK. REUTERS/Suzanne Plunkett.

LONDON.- The 22nd edition of the annual London Art Fair closed on Sunday 17th January 2010, reporting excellent visitor figures, strong sales and positive feedback.

The show drew 23,219 visitors and 250 media representatives from the UK and around the world. On the first night, 3731 people attended.

VIPs who visited the Fair included Sir Peter Blake, Gavin Turk and Vic Reeves, Nicholas Serrota [Director of Tate], Matthew Collings, [Broadcaster and British Art Critic]. Celebrities such as Johnny Borrell [Frontman of the rock band Razorlight], Emma Thompson, Damien Lewis, Victoria Wood, Emilia Fox and Bill Bailey also came.

116 galleries took part in total, compared with 112 in 2009, making this year the largest since it began in 1988. 86% galleries were returning from 2009, a significant figure given the current economic climate. Participating galleries displayed their most interesting pieces and presented them in carefully curated booths.

London Art Fair confirmed a strengthening art market. Collectors rewarded excellent material and smart booth presentations with top sales throughout the week:

• John Martin Gallery sold 70% of his stand including 11 paintings by Andrew Gifford with prices ranging from £6,500 to £20,000 and two sculptures by William Peers at £14,000.

• Piano Nobile sold one oil on canvas by Harold Gilman entitled the Blue Dress for £95,000.

• Long and Ryle enjoyed considerable interest for Katharine Morling’s ceramics and have sold pieces for £1,200 and £2,000.

• Paul Stolper sold several editions of Damien Hirst’s Silkscreen’s Studio Half Skull, Half Face (with diamond dust) for £5,875 and Sir Peter Blake’s Diamond Dust Warhol, 2009 for £1,175 and hard-coloured etchings for £2,115.

• Offer Waterman & Co has sold an early 1930’s John Piper’s collage and a picture by Michael Landy.

Art Projects, the curated section of the fair saw good results as well with:

• Whitechapel selling 30 pieces between £95 to £3000 and a lot of memberships which confirms London Art Fair support to public galleries.

• Monika Bobinska sold 6 works by Alex Pearl – sculptures, videos and drawings - up to £500. “We’ve made a large number of contacts and have met a good range of collectors” Monika said.

• Foley Gallery sold 8 pieces by American artist Thomas Allen, ranging in price from £1,600 to £1,900.

• Bearspace, another highlight of the Fair with their PRINT NOW project, reported the sale of 30 works for around £300 on average.

• Ordinary Light are pleased and have sold 8 vintage original photographs of the first successful atomic bombs and have 8 pending requests. Prices range from £650 to £900.

• CHARLIE SMITH London sold two paintings by Emma Bennett for £5,500 each. Amongst the buyers, a collector was from Chicago.

Discussing their experience at London Art Fair, gallerists offered positive reports such as these:

Piano Nobile’s Director, Dr Robert Travers, reported interest by a National Museum to the painting by Mark Gertler entitled Bathers (1917-1918).

Penny Marks from Richard Green Gallery has declared herself “impressed by the attendance”. She continued “some people would stay three hours on our stand and we’ve sold a couple of paintings. We’ve sold museum-quality paintings by Sir Terry Frost and Ken Howard.”

“We’ve sold 2 Picasso drawings and some Chagall’s works as well as a Bacon print. We had to bring two original oil and collages on paper by Andy Warhol to fill the gaps on our walls.” Offer Gildor, Director, Gilden’s Arts Gallery, London.

James Holland-Hibbert, Director of Hazlitt Holland-Hilbert’s said: “We’ve had a really nice fair.”

David Roberts from Alan Cristea said: “we’re really pleased, we’ve sold works by Julian Opie, Boo Ritson, Dexter Dalwood and Joe Tilson and it’s interesting to see that people don’t stick to the same artists”. He continued “despite the snow at the beginning of the fair, it’s been busier than ever at the end of the show.”

London Art Fair will return next year and the dates have been announced:
20-24 January 2011.

London Art Fair | Sir Peter Blake | Gavin Turk | Vic Reeves | Nicholas Serrota |

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