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London Art Fair Report: Part I

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Managing Director Lucy Myers outside the Business Design Centre

Managing Director Lucy Myers outside the Business Design Centre; photo by Michael Blythe

Over 25,000 people braved the snow last week to visit London Art Fair at the Business Design Centre in Islington. Outside  the Fair, Lucy Myers, Lund Humphries’ Managing Director, helped to brighten things up, the orange of her umbrella echoing that of  James Capper’s Tread Pad. Indoors, meanwhile, our Richard-Woods-designed stand proved another attention-grabber. Passers-by were captivated by the artist’s ability to transform completely our corner of the Fair with his part-Pop, part-Olde Worlde, fairytale-esque floorboards, each one hand-printed and individually affixed to the wall.

Lund Humphries' London Art Fair stand

Lund Humphries’ London Art Fair stand

There was mixed feedback on the success of the Fair from the galleries exhibiting, with several commenting that the poor weather combined with the gloomy financial climate had kept art-buyers away. Others, however, remained more upbeat, pointing out that attending the Fair was a good way to make and catch up with contacts during what is often a quiet month on the London art scene. (Keep an eye out next week for the second part of our London Art Fair report which will feature snippets of interviews with gallery owners and a more detailed assessment of the current market for Modern British Art.)

In Lund Humphries’ view, the Fair was a very positive experience. We launched The Art of Jeremy Gardiner on Friday 18 January, with a fascinating conversation between the artist and Simon Martin, curator at Pallant House Gallery in Chichester, and hosted two other well-attended events: a talk by Gerard Hastings and Philip Vann, authors of Keith Vaughan, and a book signing by Richard Woods. The Fair was a brilliant opportunity for us to meet the readers of our books and to listen to their opinions on what we are publishing and what we should publish in the future. We were also able to display the original, limited edition prints which we have commissioned for our range of special editions.

Every member of the Lund Humphries team was in attendance at some point during the Fair. Here are our individual highlights:

Lucy Myers, Managing Director: ‘My favourite moments from London Art Fair were the unexpected ones: seeing the Lund Humphries name for the first time above the door to the Fair; watching the excitement of Richard Woods fans as they entered our competition to win a signed piece of his artwork; witnessing two customers politely offer each other the last copy on our stand of The Art of Jeremy Gardiner; contributing colour with my orange umbrella to an impromptu photo in the snow outside the Fair; the many enjoyable conversations I had with artists, gallerists, authors and art-lovers. And the art itself, of course – so much of it that it was hard to take in. With London Art Fair now focusing on Modern and Contemporary British art it felt like a natural home for Lund Humphries. I think we’ll be back.’

Anna von Hahn, Senior Marketing & Publicity Manager: ‘The best bit for me was being able to talk to our readers  and to share their enthusiasm for our publications and the artists with which they engage. And of course it was fantastic to have Richard Woods design our stand and to meet and talk to this great artist when he was signing books last Wednesday.’

Sarah Thorowgood, Head of Editorial and Production: ‘I loved seeing so many Keith Vaughan paintings at the fair, having worked closely with the authors Philip Vann and Gerard Hastings on their recently published Keith Vaughan monograph. (I spotted him at Osborne Samuel, Agnew’s Gallery, Anthony Hepworth Fine Art, Cyril Gerber Fine Art and Lucy Johnson.)’

Lucy Clark, Commissioning Editor: ‘The Art Fair gave Lund Humphries a unique opportunity to meet the people we are striving to reach. It was wonderful to encounter so many enthusiastic supporters and to talk to those unfamiliar with our list too.’

Celia Dunne, Publishing Assistant: ‘It was great to be able to see so much interesting work in a single place. In particular, I enjoyed encountering pieces by Prunella Clough and Paul Feiler. The Art Projects area was an effective complement to the main body of the Fair. There, Joachim Froese’s photographs were what above all caught my eye.’ 


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