London Art Fair’s ambition this year is to connect galleries from around the world with seasoned and aspiring collectors looking to acquire exceptional works from both internationally renowned and emerging artists. The work we are exhibiting at the Fair from Wednesday 22nd to Sunday 26th January matches that exciting ethos, and we are delighted to be part of an event which, has developed such a specialism in Modern British and Contemporary art.
As in previous years, the London Art Fair offers the Nine British Art the ability to demonstrate the breadth and quality of work we offer. From the 1950s to the present day, from painting to sculpture, we’re confident there is something for everyone in the following snapshot of our busy stand at the Business Design Centre.
Starting with our earliest piece, Keith Vaughan’s Figures and Boats is an intricate, intimate piece taken from his career high-point working with gouache in the early 1950s, reminiscent of his celebrated Small Assembly of Figures in the Tate Gallery collection. We’re also pleased to offer two works from Vaughan's contemporary Adrian Heath at London Art Fair. Painting 1959 illustrates an artist at the very crossroads of his oeuvre, moving from more fixed abstraction into more expressive, fluid painting.
There’s something very moving, too, about its accompanying work from late in Heath’s career and life. Study (Avia No 2) from 1986 is a small panel that effectively sums up a life in art, featuring both the sensuous lines that he was beginning to explore in Painting 1959 and the constructive composition of his formative years. Famously, Heath taught Terry Frost how to paint in a Prisoner of War camp, so there’s a pleasing symmetry in the addition of a 1980s work from Frost to our London Art Fair catalogue. Moon Blue for M (1981) was a feature piece in a popular touring show in the late 1980s, the vivid colours and shapes surely referencing the work of his great love Matisse (perhaps the “M” of the title).
From the moon to the sun, figuratively speaking. Denis Mitchell’s Penhale (1970) is a small but perfectly formed sculpture named after a Cornish village near Newquay its polished semicircle reminiscent of the rising sun and other textural features lending a distinct coastal air. Like Penhale, Mary Newcomb’s Couple on the Rocks has been in a private collection for over 40 years. It’s a perfect example of why this visionary painter’s work became so collectable; intuitive, wry, lyrical and in tune with the East Anglian landscape she loved.
Coming right up to date, we have recent works by two artists who have confirmed their status among the 21st century’s most interesting contemporary British artists with recent solo shows at our gallery on Bury Street. First, Leigh Davis follows up his incredibly popular A New Perspective exhibition with Levant (Cornwall), a thematically similar exploration of the ever-shifting light and landscape of Cornwall. And in a geographical link, our fruitful partnership with Jeremy Gardiner continues with a stunning landscape detailing the rugged beauty of a place further up the north Cornwall coast, Perranporth.
Staying in North Cornwall, we ended last year with the highly successful Jonathan S Hooper exhibition at The Nine British Art, his first solo show in London. The earliest work in his In Landscape catalogue, Headland No.7 is a fitting way to celebrate Hooper’s dramatic, abstract yet paradoxically literal work at London Art Fair.
The Nine British Art is at Stand 40
22 - 26 January 2020 (Preview 21 January)
Business Design Centre, 52 Upper Street, Islington, London N1 0QH