18 January, 2006
Art in a Shed
Last night I was lucky enough to be taken to the "London Art Fair" by Nick Stephenson from Shangri-La. (Thank you Mr Stephenson!)
It was the preview evening, and held in the Islington Business Design Centre; which almost upstaged the actual art, given how fantastic a venue it is. An old, yet beautifully preserved, Victorian 'shed' - Nick was telling me that apparently it had been left for a considerable amount of time to literally rot. It was so decrepit during that time that trees were growing up through the building.
Not now though. It is a stunning space, with big high ceilings and Victorian ironwork throughout. It was previously the Royal Agricultural Hall, and has been restored in a way which combines the amazing architecture with a contemporary twist.
The art itself was great - although almost overwhelming in its volume. Nick was telling me that it is very much a 'commercial' fair - so the galleries who are exhibiting pay a high premium for the space; therefore they have to recoup whatever they can.
As a result, the galleries seemed to have pulled out their 'big guns'. Walking around, there were Warhols sitting next to work by Julian Opie and Catherine Yass; work by Gavin Turk, Damien Hirst and Tracey Emin; and even some original Picassos, a few Lucian Freuds and some Henry Moores!
Ziggy did not buy anything. Primarily due to the fact that he couldn't afford anything.