Harold Cohen, The Richard Hamilton Suite 1967. Courtesy of Dominic Kemp.
The 20|21 International Art Fair, which took place at the Royal College of Art in Kensington Gore, shows Modern and Contemporary art from Britain and around the world, providing a truly eclectic selection of works. A.A. Gill, who opened the fair, said that “This is where the true heart of art still lies. If you like your art with craft in it, then you’ve come to the right place”. Below is a selection of our favourite works.
Jimmy Lawlor, Sound Byte, The Contemporary Fine Art Gallery
Jimmy Lawlor’s work is based not only on the Irish sense of humour, but also on the realization that the old way of life is slowly disappearing, and will most likely be extinct by our next generation. “I call my work surrealism. It takes elements from my surroundings and mixes them with the people of the place, in their environment and doing what they love best”. He observes that distinctive characters and characteristics are essentially the same throughout different towns.
Tim Kent, The Mistress Chatsworth, Moncrieff-Bray Gallery
Tim Kent, an art history enthusiast, focuses his work around paintings within paintings. He is intrigued by the collections in historic houses and the sense of time passing and past ownership. His paintings are deserted, and the paintings in the rooms play out the central role, hence the title of this particular work. The Mistress refers to the lady in the painting dominating the room, as if laid for a banquet without people.
Christopher Gilvan-Cartwright, 6am, Nicholas Bowlby
Christopher Gilvan-Cartwright makes his paintings instinctively and looks for them to fizz as both luscious and decrepit, to feel epic and frail, beautiful and grotesque. His paintings explore rapturous, dark and hallucinogenic spaces yet reveal ambiguity. Aesthetically they need to be intense, sparkling and jewel-like. He works straight onto the canvas employing an automatic drawing technique, exploring intricate and gestural line through automatism. Once a fresh image is formed he’ll build up the painting with layers of thin washes, glazes and passages of painterly excess.
Carl Melegari, Eligio 2013, Edgar Modern
Melegari’s strong monochromatic palette is at play in his deep and arresting selection of 30 new paintings, with figures emerging from the depths and stepping forth with sculptural solidity. Through the veils of paint we become consumed by the density and inspired by the life within it. Melegari replicates the unmasking of self through the stripping back and layering of paint. Ghostly apparitions through painterly gestures emerge to create a figural imprint of the observation and imagination of the artist.
Chris Orr RA, Who done it?, John Iddon Fine Art
“Many of my pictures are composed of well-mixed metaphors, arcane references, allusions and jokes but I have always drawn from life and seen the role of the artist as a viewer and a voyeur.” He summons viewers to not only look at his works but to ‘read’ them. The subject here is a comically handled mystery – the viewer sees a house full of gruesome sights including murder and torture, as well as some very suspicious looking characters. The fun is in discovering the horrors and then trying to guess ‘who done ‘t?’!
Adam Lach Lunaris, Daydreaming – Soul Travels, Vernissage
Adam Lach Lunaris strives to create provocative, multidimensional art, which captures various emotional states, desires and dreams of a contemporary human being. Lach Lunaris experiments with various techniques merging Polaroid, negative and digital photography. Since 2006 Lach Lunaris has been creating and developing an innovative field of art named luna-graphy, by which the artist has established a dialogue with works of Dutch Old Masters such as Rembrandt van Rijn or Johannes Vermeer.
Hazel Mountford, Upward Fox, Quantum Contemporary
Hazel Mountford uses her passion of animals to paint them in different poses and on different panel shapes. Her current work is dedicated to the wildlife of Great Britain, both past and present, and the changing ratio of space between humans and animals. They are painted life-size in acrylic on angled self-crafted gesso panels. “My works began to visualise the mixed fortunes of varying populations, and the angled panels are deliberate and carefully thought-out, relating to the rise and fall”.
The Contemporary Fine Art Gallery:
John Iddon Fine Art: