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Photo London: Focus on Historic, Vintage and Future Directions in Photography

Untitled, from Roja series, 2016, Shirin Neshat Courtesy of Gladstone Gallery, New York and Brussels and Goodman Gallery, London

The sixth edition of Photo London will feature a total of 109 exhibitors showing the best of international photography in the spectacular neoclassical architecture of Somerset House. To date, the Fair’s Curatorial Committee has confirmed 94 exhibitors from 22 countries.

This year, Photo London consolidates its commitment to showing the best historic and vintage international photography together with a focus on future directions in photography. This is particularly evident in the development of an exciting group of young galleries, many of whom – such as Black Box Projects, Webber and MMX Gallery— have previously exhibited in the Discoveries section and will now exhibit for the first time in the main section of Photo London.

Regular Exhibitors Scheduled to Return

Photo London 2020 welcomes back many regular exhibitors to the main section, including Flowers Gallery (London, celebrating their 50th anniversary), Michael Hoppen Gallery (London), Galerie Johannes Faber (Vienna), Sundaram Tagore Gallery, Persons Projects (Berlin), Peter Fetterman Gallery (Santa Monica), Akio Nagasawa Gallery (Tokyo) and Robert Hershkowitz Ltd. (U.K.).

In addition, the Fair welcomes a strong selection of new and international exhibitors including Autograph, FLATLAND GALLERY (Amsterdam), Joerg Maass Kunsthandel (Berlin), Miyako Yoshinaga (New York), Nicholas Metivier (Toronto), Prahlad Bubbar, Richard Saltoun Gallery (London), Vision Neil Folberg Gallery (Jerusalem) and Gabriel Wickbold Gallery (São Paulo).

In the Discovery section, returning exhibitors such as EQUINOM Gallery (San Francisco), A.I. gallery (London), UP Gallery (Hsinchu, Taiwan) and Sid Motion Gallery (London) are joined by a number of exciting new young initiatives showcasing the next generation of artists who are working to push the boundaries of photography still further, including Szena Gallery (Moscow) showing Igor Samolet; Vanessa Vainio (London) showing the sculptural work of Josefina Nelimarkka; Versus Art Project (Istanbul); Galeria Aura (São Paulo) bringing Julia Milward, Paula Scamparini and Renato Custodio; and Galerie Zielinsky (Barcelona) showing works by João Farkas, Romy Pocztaruk, Leonardo Finotti.

As a new addition to the Discovery section, Photo London has created an informal space to meet and network within the fair. This year, the space will host the inaugural event of Photoworks’ (Brighton) 25th anniversary program– a special exhibition celebrating Photoworks Annual magazine and interrogating the institution’s archive.

With exhibitors from Austria, Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Israel, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Portugal, Russia, South Africa, Spain, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Taiwan, Turkey, United Kingdom and the United States, Photo London retains its global perspective.

Master of Photography

Photo London will present the 2020 Master of Photography Award to the Iranian artist Shirin Neshat (b. 1957, Qazvin, Iran). The award is given annually to a leading contemporary photographer who is the subject of a special exhibition at the fair.

During the past three decades, working across photography, video and cinema, Shirin Neshat has dedicated her practice to an understanding of the religious and political forces of power that have shaped Iranian and other Islamic cultures. Her art centers on the contrasts between Islam and the West, femininity and masculinity, public life and private life, antiquity and modernity, and bridging the spaces between these subjects.

At Photo London, Neshat presents for the first time in the UK the photographic series ‘The Home of My Eyes’ (2015), recently on view at The Broad in Los Angeles as part of the artist’s major retrospective. The 55 intimate, close-up portraits in this series represent a shift in Neshat’s practice, as they depart from works that focus primarily on her Iranian society and instead reflect on other cultures.

Portraying the diverse people of Azerbaijan, the artist conceived of the series as “a portrait of a country that for so long has been a crossroads of many different ethnicities, religions, and languages.” Additionally, Neshat inscribed the portraits using calligraphy, the graphic element of the text – recurrent in her photographs – to report the subjects’ individual opinions on cultural identity and the concept of home.

The exhibition also includes the film Roja (2015) where Neshat – employing a surrealist lens and nonlinear narrative – reflects on her own experience of living in the foreign culture of the United States, tracing an Iranian woman’s nostalgia for her homeland.

In addition, Neshat presents a site-specific photo installation, comprising a collection of her unseen mood books, studies and finished photographs.

In a first for Photo London, the Master of Photography exhibition will be extended beyond the fair days until the 21st of June.

As part of the Photo London Talks Program, Shirin Neshat will be in conversation with Yasufumi Nakamori, Tate Modern’s Senior Curator of International Photography, on May 14, 2020. The exhibition Shirin Neshat: Land of Dreams is on view at Goodman Gallery, London, until March 28.

Andrea Hammer
About Andrea Hammer 259 Articles
Andrea Karen Hammer is the founder, director and owner of Artsphoria Inclusive & Collaborative Publishing, Media Group & Shop (https://www.artsphoria.org): Artsphoria International Magazine (https://www.artsphoria.com); Artsphoria Movie Reviews & Film Forum (https://www.artsphoria.us); Artsphoria: Arts, Business & Technology Center (https://www.artsphoria.biz); Artsphoria Event Advertising & Reporting (https://www.artsphoria.info); Artsphoria: Food for the Soul (https://artsphoria.live); Artsphoria Animation & Imagination World (https://www.artsphoria.net) and Artsphoria Shop (https://www.artsphoriashop.com). She is a Philadelphia-based freelance writer who has published articles in international publications.

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