Glorious work on show at the London Art Fair in Islington with a satisfying amount of paper collage art on display: 17 – 21 January 2018.

The London Art Fair is celebrating its 30th year and the show runs from 17 – 21 January at the Business Design Centre in Islington.  I’ve been going to this show for years.  It’s not to large and not too small….just right for a couple of happy hours scouring stands from some of the world’s top galleries and having the chance to see what’s new, what’s current and what’s fashionable. 

There’s a reassuringly high proportion of contemporary art on show but clearly a strong showing from ‘mid-century’ artists such as John Piper, Matthew Smith, Jacob Epstein, Eileen Agar et al. 

Being a paper artist myself I’m always helplessly drawn to works which have been made by fellow paper enthusiasts. So I’ve included photos of some of my favourite finds at this year’s fair.  On balance, I think the standard and quality of work was very high.  For example, if there’s a John Piper in the room I’ll make a bee-line for it.  I love his energetic collage work mingled with pen and ink and a variety of media.  You can see he’s used wax as ‘resist’, bits of paper stuck on top of the drawing giving it the collage credentials plus a mix of ink, wash and gouache. I rather think it must have been done at high speed too.  This was at the Christopher Kingzett stand.

IMG_9013 (2)I was really fascinated and impressed by the work of Marzia Colonna. She is a real collage artist working on a grand scale. This collage of West Bay (of Broadchurch fame!) is 44 x 71 inches – pretty massive – and wonderfully painterly, from a distance.  I took a close up of the work too to see that she’s used a variety of pre-prepped paper. Very inspiring.  This was at The Portland Gallery stand.

IMG_9024 (2)IMG_9026 (2)I was very intrigued by the work of David Wightman.  I know about these textured wallpapers which can be used in so many ways. (I use them too, but in a more random way). He’s used them with great precision cutting to get a very impressive effect which incorporates great colour and tone to cleverly create a sense of perspective.  These pieces were on show at the Long & Ryle.

IMG_9036 (1)IMG_9035 (1) And finally, there’s Peter Clark, a stalwart collage artist who makes wonderfully entertaining and variety-packed works.  This year we’re seeing fish, and what jolly things they are.  I took a photo of the Blue Smoked Fish and Smoked Salmon at the Portland Gallery. Who says art has to be serious!

So, I’ll be ripping up my paper with renewed confidence and pleasure safe in the knowledge that I am not alone in having a passion for paper!

The London Art Fair  17 – 21 January 2018, Business Design Centre, Upper Street, Islington, London N1

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