Mayor of London Opens Photo London – Most Important New Art Fair in London for a Decade


Over 70 galleries from all parts of the world will participate in the first Photo London opening to the public at Somerset House on Thursday 21 May 2015.

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, will officially open Photo London at an evening reception attended by some of the world’s leading international photographers and galleries on Wednesday 20 May.

“At a time when so many of us are using our smartphones to capture images of the people and sights around us, we shouldn’t forget photography’s significance as an important and longstanding art form. Photo London is an exciting addition to the capital’s art and design festivals that draw visitors from across the UK and around the world.” Mayor of London, Boris Johnson

Photo London breaks new ground for London as a world centre for photography, sparking a city-wide photo week, and attracting the world’s leading photographers and galleries to London.

The full range of photography from rare historic prints to work by the youngest and most exciting talent in the field will be on view at Photo London, with a special focus on the work of London photographers, at prices ranging from £600 to £700,000.

Among the well-known names featured are Nobuyoshi Araki, Diane Arbus, David Bailey, Bill Brandt, Matthew Brandt, Henri Cartier Bresson, Thomas Demand, Patrick Demarchelier, Susan Derges, William Eggleston, Mitch Epstein, Elliott Erwitt, Elger Esser, Horst P Horst, Tom Hunter, Nadav Kander, Yousef Karsh, Rinko Kawauchi, André Kertész, Karen Knorr, Gustave Le Gray, Anne Leibovitz, Robert Longo, Daido Moriyama, Vik Muniz, Martin Parr, Rankin, Man Ray, Aleksandr Rodchenko, Herb Ritts, Paolo Roversi, Thomas Ruff,  Sebastião Salgado, Alfred Stieglitz, Hiroshi Sugimoto, Henry Fox Talbot and Andy Warhol.  

Photo London has commissioned five exhibitions at Somerset House. Beneath the Surface, some 200 rarely-shown photographic works from the Victoria and Albert Museum’s Photographs Collection; previously unseen large-format platinum prints from Sebastião Salgado’s Genesis series; the first UK exhibition of Iranian photographer Kāveh Golestān’s Prostitute series; The Teaser, a public lightbox installation to be shown in the courtyard produced by Rut Blees Luxemburg in collaboration with Alexander García Düttmann and Nuno Salgado, and Sohei Nishino’s Diorama Map London, a new Goliga edition of the photographers Cities series. 

Curzon Cinema Chelsea will also screen Sebastião Salgado’s Salt of the Earth to coincide with the presentation on 23 May of the first Photo London Master of Photography Award to Salgado and an exhibition of his work at Somerset House.

An award, supported by the John Kobal Foundation, will be given to the most outstanding emerging photographer to be shown at Photo London. The winner receives a two month residency in New York with Residency Unlimited. Photo London also hosts the Magnum 30/30 award.

Over 50 international photographers and curators have come to London to participate in the talks programme for Photo London, curated by Professor Francis Hodgson, throughout the week. The National Portrait Gallery will host lectures by Todd Hido and Stephen Shore. Steve McCurry discusses the communities portrayed in his new book In These Hands: A Journey Along the Coffee Trail at King’s College and the Courtauld hosts Simon Schama on Portraiture.

The Deadhouse space beneath the courtyard will host four evening events in which music photography is matched to live DJ sets. This programme will include collaborations with YoYo, Just Jam and Rinse FM with imagery from Beth Lesser and disco photographer Bill Bernstein.

In addition to its special exhibition Beneath The Surface, the V&A will present American Power, a photography and music collaboration between the celebrated American photographer Mitch Epstein and cellist Erik Friedlander. Tate Modern are hosting the first London edition of Offprint, a photobook fair, which include events and workshops curated by Self Publish, Be Happy founder Bruno Ceschel. Highlights include a photographic tattoo parlour by Thomas Mailaender and Selfie Stick Aerobic by artist Byström.

The arrival of Photo London has been the catalyst for a number of unofficial Fairs and Group shows – reflecting the new found vibrancy of London’s photography scene. The London Photographs show will be at Temple Place and further off site, Seen Fifteen presents a four day exhibition of over 150 contemporary photographic and video works by French collective, Agence MYOP, staged within the dramatic stripped-out shell of two derelict Victorian terraced houses in Peckham.

All three major auction houses hold their photographic sales in London this week. Christie’s’ online only auction runs through 21 May. Phillips’ Photographs sale takes place on 21 May at 4PM and Sotheby’s’ sale takes place on 23 May at 2PM.

Image – Untitled – Prostitute series 1975-1977 – ©Kaveh Golestan Estate

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