Photo London is back with another exciting line-up of exhibitions and talks.
The fifth edition of the fair at Somerset House features more than 100 of the world’s leading galleries.
Exhibitors are presenting an exciting mix of more than 400 artists, some making their first appearance at Photo London.
Founding directors Michael Benson and Fariba Farshad said: “We are delighted to announce such an outstanding line-up of exhibitors and special projects for our fifth edition and deeply honoured to present Stephen Shore as our 2019 Master of Photography.
“As his recent retrospective at MOMA (New York) admirably demonstrated, Stephen is a truly pioneering photographer who has consistently pushed the boundaries of image making throughout a long and successful career.
“His Photo London show continues that process presenting work made since his MOMA retrospective.”
Speaking at the press launch, Somerset House director Jonathan Reekie thanked Benson and Farshad for their ‘imagination and determination’.
“We are really proud to host Photo London and wish you the very best at five,” he said.
An expert curatorial committee, led by Philippe Garner, selected this year’s exhibiting galleries.
Art consultant and curator Tristan Lund, who has curated the Discovery section since 2017, also played a key role in the overall curation.
The fifth edition of Photo London includes galleries from 21 different countries showcasing 440 artists.
In what is quickly becoming known as ‘Photo London Week’ there are more than 100 different independent pop-up events taking place across London in addition to the main fair.
“Everyone tells us that in its first five years Photo London has established itself as an unmissable event in the international photography calendar,” said Benson.
“It is clear we have unleashed powerful forces.”
The widely-acclaimed Discovery section this year features a curated selection of 23 galleries.
It focuses on new and emerging talent, including several from the fast-developing photography scene in London alongside international galleries.
As a sign of confidence among exhibitors, the 2019 fair also features 16 focused solo presentations.
Highlights include new work by Mitch Epstein at Galerie Thomas Zander, Tony Gum at Christopher Moller Gallery, Tom Wood at Sit Down Gallery, Ivars Gravlejs at careva contemporary, Dag Alveng at Shoot Gallery, Max Pinckers at Galerie Sofie Van de Velde, Giulio di Sturco at Podbielski Contemporary, Adam Jeppesen at Black Box Projects, Edouard Taufenbach at Galerie Binome and Casper Sejersen at Cob Gallery.
Master of Photography
US photographer Stephen Shore is the Master of Photography for 2019.
Shore’s photographs explore and document the ordinary scenes of everyday life.
He transforms seemingly mundane scenarios and objects into thoughtful consideration.
Known for his pioneering use of colour photography and early experimentation with new technologies, Shore’s work has been widely published and exhibited for 45 years.
However, he believes there is always something new to be explored.
“I have taught for almost 40 years,” he said.
“Young photographers say ‘there is nothing new to be photographed’. But I remember 40 years ago people said that and then someone comes allong with a new vision.”
The Photo London Master of Photography award is given annually to a leading contemporary photographer who is the subject of a special exhibition.
As part of 2019’s Public Programme, Shore is showing a series from 1969 titled Los Angeles, featuring 60 small photographs taken throughout one day in 1969 in LA.
He is also presenting a new body of work, shown for the first time in the UK.
“I was doing a retrospective at MOMA and I have done enough shows in my life to know that there is always that feeling afterwards of ‘now what am I going to do?’,” said Shore.
“I got around that by starting a new project half a year before the show opened.
“I am still working on that and that is what is here.”
The exhibition is produced in association with Sprüth Magers and 303 Gallery.
Shore will be speaking as part of the Photo London Talks Programme on Thursday, May 16.
A select group of participants have created special projects as part of the Public Programme, supported by the Luma Foundation.
Ben Brown Fine Arts is presenting a new project in collaboration with Photo London and Somerset House by leading British artist Gavin Turk featuring a giant bronze egg sculpture installed on the River Terrace.
Howard Greenberg Gallery is showcasing a selection of works by the late American street photographer Vivian Maier, marking the first major presentation of the work in the UK.
Essential works by pioneering photographer Roger Fenton, known as one of the first war photographers, are on loan from the Wilson Centre and the Victoria and Albert Museum.
Irish photographer, electronic music producer and DJ Eamonn Doyle is showing audio-visual work titled Made in Dublin in collaboration with Michael Hoppen Gallery.
The New York Times will display a selection of drone images by staff photographer and senior editor for photo technology Josh Haner on the theme of climate change.
Artuner, an online contemporary art platform developing international projects in both the physical and digital worlds, will present an exhibition exploring the boundaries of the medium of photography through the works of Ana Elisa Egreja, Paul Kneale, and Tabor Robak.
Pavilion Commission Programme
This year’s Pavilion Commission Programme installation theme is Women in Photography.
Supported by The Royal Photographic Society and Sea Containers London, it celebrates the work of three very different women photographers – Rachel Louise Brown, Mary McCartney and Susan Meiselas.
Their work will appear on the sides of the fair’s main Pavilion in the central courtyard of Somerset House.
McCartney’s work Off Pointe – A Photographic Study of the Royal Ballet After Hours captures dancers in unguarded moments.
Although the images were taken in 2004 this is the first time they have been officially exhibited.
McCartney said she loved the scale achieved by the Pavilion Commission.
“When you are looking at the pictures you can fall into them in a way you don’t see on the smaller scale,” she said.
Almost half of the galleries taking part in this year’s fair are run by women.
Forty per cent of the artists on show are women, significantly higher than the overall art fair participation of 27 per cent announced in the latest Art Market Report by Art Basel/UBS.
However, Farshad believes there is still work to do: “Although our own participation figures show an encouraging trend, they cannot mask the fact that photography remains a male-dominated profession.
“Our first courtyard commission – even before we began building pavilions in that space – was Rut Blees Luxemburg’s The Teaser.
“We selected that work because we were determined, from the outset, to inspire and empower women artists.
“With this year’s commission we seek to take that ambition to another level by celebrating the work of these three outstanding artists.”
This year’s programme showcases the rich and diverse history of photography up until the present day.
It explores the current and future direction of the medium in a dynamic format.
The programme features talks with some of the world’s most important and innovative photographers, artists, curators, critics and authors.
It includes many celebrated practitioners including Erwin Olaf, Susan Meiselas, Ralph Gibson, Hannah Starkey, Tim Walker, Maja Daniels, Ed Templeton and Vanessa Winship.
The Talks Programme also includes:
Martin Parr discussing British identity in his work with historian and broadcaster Dominic Sandbrook.
Acclaimed biographer Ann Marks in conversation with author Anna Sparham on the legacy of Vivian Maier.
Zackary Drucker discussing her work on transgender identities in photography with Chris Boot, executive director of Aperture Foundation.
Contemporary portrait photographer Martin Schoeller in conversation with publisher Gerhard Steidl.
Liz Johnson Artur in conversation with Hans Ulrich Obrist.
Panel discussions on subjects including representations of the body, collecting photography, the future of curation and the legacy of the pioneering Roger Fenton.
Photo London 2019
Photo London is on from May 16 to May 19 at Somerset House, London.
Now in its fifth edition, it has established itself as a world-class photography fair.
For more information and a full programme of talks visit photolondon.org
Main image: Eamonn Doyle Made In Dublin 05 © Eamonn Doyle