Photo London was created to give London an international photography event befitting the city’s status as a global cultural capital. Now in its fifth edition, Photo London has established itself as a world-class photography Fair and as a catalyst for London’s dynamic photography community.

photo london

From the capital’s major museums, to its auction houses, galleries large and small, right into the burgeoning creative communities in the East End and South London, Photo London harnesses the city’s outstanding creative talent and brings together the world’s leading photographers, curators, exhibitors, dealers and the public to celebrate photography, the medium of our time.

Along with the selection of the world’s leading galleries showing at the Fair, Photo London presents the Discovery section for the most exciting emerging galleries and artists; there is an original Public Programme bringing together special exhibitions, installations, a Talks Programme curated by William A. Ewing, renowned curator and writer, former Director of the Musée de l’Elysée, and former Director of Exhibitions at the International Center of Photography, New York.

Each edition of the Fair also sees a number of Awards announced, headlined by the Photo London Master of Photography Award. Beyond the Fair, Photo London regularly hosts Pre-Fair Talks and related events engaging with the craft, market and knowledge of photography.

Photo London is a place to encounter the most innovative emerging artists, new work by established masters and rare vintage pieces, and as such is guided by a Curatorial Committee comprised of some the field’s most esteemed curators, critics and museum directors.

A high level Advisory Board advises on the development of Photo London. The members of the Board play a key role in encouraging the development of the various networks on which Photo London depends.

The Advisory Board is committed to maintaining Photo London as a major event in the international art world calendar.

Photo London is produced by Candlestar, an internationally renowned cultural consultancy with an outstanding reputation within the field of photography and the arts. Candlestar produces the Prix Pictet on behalf of the Pictet Group.


Photo London 2019 Pavilion Commission: ‘Simulations’ by Rachel Louise Brown

Wednesday 15 May – Sunday 19 May 2019 Somerset House

Photo London 2019 Pavilion Commission Simulations by Rachel Louise Brown is proudly presented by Sea Containers London and the commission will be curated by Maggie O’Regan.

Brown creates photographic work based on interactions with the unfamiliar. She observes the world as a stage, exploring places and situations that are foreign to her – often alone, often at night – capturing photographs on a medium format film camera whilst experiencing a heightened state of displacement. Through a second process she populates unfamiliar locations with strangers found via casting calls, recording their performative responses.

Simulations is an exploration of Florida using these methods. Inspired by Jean Baudrillard’s 1981 essay Simulacra and Simulation, the photographer explored the epicentre of the promoted American Dream; the land of escapism, entertainment and thrills by photographing local attractions such as the Palm Beach Zoo, Mar-a-lago, Fright Nights at the South Florida Fairground and The Breakers hotel.

As the project evolved, Brown posted casting calls in the Palm Beach Daily News and worked with local strangers in staging cinematic portraits. A search for further simulated environments took her exploration as far across the state as Walt Disney World, The Holy Land and the Mermaid Show at Weeki Wachee Springs.

On Brown’s final visit in 2017, she began working with local youngsters, who undergo intense training in order to compete and entertain an audience. These individuals included ballerinas, gymnasts and marching bands. Simulations is the result of Brown’s residency at the Palm Beach Photographic Centre, Florida.

A satellite exhibition of original photographic prints from Simulations will open at the gallery space within Sea Containers London from 15 May 2019.

Eamonn Doyle: Made in Dublin

Thursday 16 May – Sunday 19 May 2019 The River Rooms, Somerset House

“There is a threaded pulse that runs beneath the surface of this street. Sometimes, in one of those quiet, eerie moments of the night when the city briefly stills itself, as if to open out its sighs, you can almost hear it – you can hear it as a kind of low, insistent throbbing, almost a rhythmic sequence, and at once you’ll know that it contains dark information. It tells us that we are all being drawn in the same general direction. It tells us that we are all being led along the thread of the pulse. It tells us that we are all on the way out.”

Made in Dublin is a powerful nine-screen, surround-sound panoramic about a city on the move. It presents a continually changing cycle of events played out by the movement of people caught up in time and place. And that place is Dublin.

Built around the Dublin photographs of Eamonn Doyle, with production design by Niall Sweeney, music by David Donohoe and with the words and voice of Kevin Barry, Made In Dublin is a choreography of the city; its population, body and psyche – their combined forces continuously shaping and wearing away at the autonomy of the other.

At almost 6.5 M wide, the nine connected screens become a panelled myriorama, a kind of re-envisioning of Hokusai’s Views of Mount Fuji, with Dublin itself as the beautiful but threatening volcano – viewed from the inside. With its visceral, labyrinthine soundtrack, the city and its people merge and collide, braced against the light.

Giant and diminutive figures stride and stumble, taking position on a world-stage full of obstacles, and then all moving together – their constant ebb and flow revealing a collective unconscious dance, poised on a knife-edge of past and future. At moments it seems to stretch the city itself to breaking point, and yet it is always Dublin.

A large-scale exhibition of Eamonn’s Dublin trilogy and his new body of work, K, is on tour throughout 2019: at RHA Dublin (March-April) and Fundación Mapfre, Madrid (from September). He has published four acclaimed book-works to date (i, ON, End. and K) and Thames & Hudson have just published the 272 page Eamonn Doyle – Made In Dublin, featuring text by Kevin Barry; “an exhilarating surround-sound, cinematic experience in book form.” Eamonn is represented by Michael Hoppen Gallery, London.

Gavin Turk: Portrait of an Egg

Thursday 16 May – Sunday 19 May 2019 The Great Arch, Somerset House

At time of great political, environmental and social turmoil throughout the planet we look to simple things to guide us. With a life time interest in the surreal egg form, Gavin Turk is presenting his giant bronze Oeuvre (Verdigris) at Somerset House this Spring on the River Walk.

In association with Photo London he is simultaneously inviting the global art community to upload and contribute their own ‘portrait of an egg’ to be exhibited at the fair.

With spooky synchronicity this years social media phenomena has been ’The World Record Egg’ so this ambitious art collaboration is opening up ideas around social media, memes and the global obsession with recording the world photographically through our cyborg phones. The project will be launched on Thursday 28th of February with guest curators and a global campaign.

The New York Times: Carbon’s Casualties

Thursday 16 May – Sunday 19 May 2019 West Embankment Gallery, Somerset House

Since 2015, Pulitzer Prize winning New York Times photographer Josh Haner has worked across the globe documenting the pressing and wide-ranging realities of climate change. Combining the aerial freedom of dramatic drone footage with the intimacy of still photographs from the ground, the series is an intricate exploration of the many consequences resulting from a warming world, and Haner’s visual narrative starkly illuminates the ultimate legacy of climate change: the loss of our planet’s vast heritage.

The number of climate refugees grows globally as people displaced by rising sea levels, flooding and drought are forced to relocate. In China, families have fled the desert lands where they had built their livelihoods, and government settlements are built to house the country’s many thousands of ecological migrants. On the other side of the world, people who had lived off the waters of Bolivia’s second largest lake for generations lost their homes – and cultural identity – as it dried out. Meanwhile, islands and coastal communities are vulnerable to rising seas: the Pacific island of Kiribati is routinely engulfed in powerful tidal surges, while residents of Isle de Jean Charles became America’s first climate refugees. And Jakarta, the Indonesian capital, is rapidly sinking, with about 40 percent of the city already below sea level.

The lives of the planet’s other residents are also under siege. In the Galapagos, animals face an unpredictable future as their habitat changes around them, altering food sources for sea lions, birds and reptiles. Yellowstone National Park – crucial in restoring populations of bison, gray wolves and grizzly bears – is transforming so quickly that many creatures may not be able to adapt, and the growing frequency of natural disasters, like wildfires and storms, endanger animals and humans alike.

Haner began the initial instalment on Greenland’s thawing ice sheet, using a drone to create some of the first footage of a glacier melting in real time and cementing the technology as a key tool he would use in visualizing the effects of climate change. The views from the sky, illustrating how different environments around the world are broadly impacted and reshaped, are coupled with still images to bring to light the personal, and sobering, stories mirrored across continents.

From chronicling communities disappearing alongside the surroundings that once sustained them, to natural ecosystems on the brink of crisis, to disappearing sites of irreplaceable cultural history, Haner highlights the grave repercussions of a shifting world as natural ecosystems and ways of life are vanishing.

Vivian Maier

Thursday 16 May – Sunday 19 May 2019 The Studio Rooms, Somerset House

Photo London is delighted to present the first major presentation of Vivian Maier’s work in the United Kingdom.

Vivian Maier (1926-2009) worked as a governess for more than four decades as of the beginning of the 1950’s. Her entire life went inevitably unnoticed, until her photographic corpus was discovered recently (in 2007): a colossal work consisting of more than 120,000 negatives, super 8 mm and 16 mm films, various recordings, miscellaneous photographs, and a multitude of undeveloped films. In spite of the fact that there has not been enough time to compare the different scholarly and critical analyses of this work, it seemed appropriate to show a non-exhaustive yet representative selection of the photographer’s images. This first presentation provides a glimpse into the fine eye and subtlety with which Vivian Maier appropriated the visual language of her age.

In her spare time, Vivian Maier photographed the street, people, objects, landscapes; ultimately, she photographed what she saw abruptly, to put it simply. She knew how to capture her time for a fraction of a second. She narrated the beauty of ordinary things, seeking the imperceptible cracks and elusive inflections of the real in everyday banality.

Her world was the others, the unknown, anonymous people, whom Vivian Maier touched upon for a second, so that when she recorded with her camera was first a matter of distance – that same distance that turned those characters into the protagonists of an anecdote of no importance. And even though she dared imperious, disconcerting compositions, Vivian Maier stays at the threshold and even beyond the scene she photographs, never on this side, so as not to be invisible. She takes part in what she sees and becomes a subject herself.

The reflections of her face, her shadow that extends on the ground, the figure of her silhouette, are projected in the perimeter of the photographic image. Vivian Maier made numerous self-portraits in those years with the insistence of someone in search of herself. She cultivated a certain obsession, less for the image itself than for the act of photographing, for the gesture, like an accomplishment in the making. The street was her theatre; her images a pretext.

Artuner: Crossing the Borders of Photography

Thursday 16 May – Sunday 19 May 2019 Deadhouse, Somerset House

As part of Photo London’s 2019 Public Programme, Artuner will present ‘Crossing the Borders of Photography’, a group exhibition featuring Des Lawrence, Tabor Robak, Paul Kneale and Ana Elisa Egreja which explores how the medium of photography is constantly being reinvented, challenged, and reworked into contemporary artistic expressions.

The introduction of photography in the realm of fine art in the late 1800’s represented a watershed moment: it changed forever the trajectory of painting and introduced a new way of conceptualising ‘medium’ in the world of art.

In a similar way today the fast paced advancement of image-making equipment has led to the introduction of numerous technologies that do not only arguably surpass traditional analogue photography in accuracy, but also constantly challenge it and push the boundaries of what it means to photographically capture a fleeting moment.

Far from suggesting that the medium of photography is becoming obsolete, we propose to explore the boundaries where digital technologies are expanding and enriching the photographic realm, where contemporary artists are finding a field of enquiry that is engaging and speaks deeply to the core of contemporaneous society.

Drawing upon media photographs as his main theme and principal subject, Des Lawrence questions our image-saturated culture. From the newspaper obituary column, he seeks out images that through a loose relationship of aesthetic or historical association can encapsulate one of the recently deceased notables. Lawrence explores how we receive photographic images, how we place them in networks with each other and with contextual information.

In his enamel portraits, at times an object, a brand, or an architectural structure is asked to stand in for the subject’s bodily features, thus begging the questions: What are we leaving behind once we die?; What will we be remembered by, if at all?

Using computer generated imagery to create videos of an invented reality, Tabor Robak seeks to isolate and explore a secondary, digital reality. In doing so he disrupts the expected relationship between the digital photographic image and our ‘analogue’ reality. Even a digital camera has an indexicality to reality, reproducing it precisely and instantaneously on the screen in front of us. Robak manufactures digital images that are independent from reality and exist in solely in digital space, calling attention to the fact that all such images (whether photographic or invented) are abstracted from our analogue world in this way.

Paul Kneale employs the scanner to create non-figurative paintings in a way that mirrors the photographic process, in that he exposes and captures light. However, the absence of the camera and the represented object puts the focus squarely on the technological and mechanical aspects of photography. Kneale questions its techniques, blurring the boundaries between analogue as well as digital photography and painting, creating a medium with its own unique image structure and appeal to the viewer.

With a practice that combines hyper-realist painting with imagined environments collaged from photographs collected from the internet, or painted from unbelievable and fantastical ‘real life’ stagings, Ana Elisa Egreja acts as creator, film director, and documentarist in order to craft and document the incredible scenes born out of her imagination. Her paintings question the truthfulness of the photographic image and its limits, as her practice recalls the use of photography in the nineteenth century, shortly after its invention – to produce composite images through cut and paste, and as a compositional tool or reference guide for artists, whilst also making use of the digital networks in which photographs now sit and are accessed through in our information-saturated world.

Photo London Master of Photography: Stephen Shore

Thursday 16 May – Sunday 19 May 2019 East Embankment Gallery, Somerset House

Photo London is delighted to announce American photographer, Stephen Shore, as its Master of Photography for 2019. Shore’s work in the early 1970’s sparked new interest in colour photography and in the use of the view camera for documentary work.

As part of Photo London’s 2019 Public Programme, Shore will present his latest series of works, “Details”. This will be the first time this work has been exhibited in the UK. Shot exclusively with the Hasselblad X1D, the photographs in this series hone in on a new pictorial landscape, capturing found arrangements of natural material and street detritus, bringing their subtle nuances into macro focus. In addition to “Details”, he will be exhibiting his classic series “Los Angeles, California, February 4th, 1969”, a body of work shot over one day in Los Angeles.

Stephen Shore’s work has been widely published and exhibited for the past forty-five years. He was the first living photographer to have a one-man show at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York since Alfred Stieglitz, forty years earlier. He has also had one-man shows at George Eastman House, Rochester; Kunsthalle, Dusseldorf; Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; Jeu de Paume, Paris; and Art Institute of Chicago. In 2017, the Museum of Modern Art opened a major retrospective, spanning Stephen Shore’s entire career. He has received fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts.

More than 25 books have been published of Stephen Shore’s photographs including Uncommon Places: The Complete Works; American Surfaces; Stephen Shore, a retrospective monograph in Phaidon’s Contemporary Artists series; Stephen Shore: Survey and more recently, Factory: Andy Warhol and Stephen Shore: Selected Works, 1973-1981. In 2017, the Museum of Modern Art published Stephen Shore in conjunction with their retrospective of his photographic career. Shore also wrote The Nature of Photographs, published by Phaidon Press, which addresses how a photograph functions visually.

His work is represented by 303 Gallery, New York; and Sprüth Magers, London and Berlin. Since 1982 he has been the director of the Photography Program at Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, NY, where he is the Susan Weber Professor in the Arts.

‘The Essential Fenton’ An Exhibition by Robert Hershkowitz

Thursday 16 May – Sunday 19 May 2019 West Embankment Gallery, Somerset House

Previous Fenton scholars have presented his extraordinary, extensive career in terms of chronology and subject. However, the essential Fenton is best unveiled by examining aspects of his work, in both print and image, that are personal and recurring, irrespective of subject and circumstance. The mystery behind some of his most potent images is that they are simultaneously totally accessible, while also being seriously elusive. Though many nineteenth century photographers believed photography could teach the mind to see, Fenton’s images uniquely demonstrate photography could teach us to see the mind.

For tickets and further information visit:

(Article source: Photo London) 

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