London Art Fair: 5 To See

This year, London Art Fair returns for its 36th edition. LAF introduces and champions over 120 galleries from the UK and beyond, including Japan, Portugal and Turkey. Visitors are invited to explore modern and contemporary art through curated displays, guided tours, inspiring talks and live performances. The fair features projects from global names working across a wide range of media such as ceramics, prints, paintings, photography, installation and sculpture. Here’s Aesthetica’s highlights from the event.

Museum Partner – Charleston

In 2024, LAF’s annual Museum Partnership highlights Charleston, Lewes. The creative centre was once the home of painters Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant, and the meeting place of some of the 20th century’s most radical artists, thinkers and writers known collectively as the Bloomsbury Group. Charleston’s public programme contains mixed-media shows of the Bloomsbury Group’s fashion, Jonathan Baldock’s organic sculptures, David Hockney’s rarely-seen drawings and Osman Yousefzada’s textiles. At LAF, the display showcases works like Bell’s portrait of Virginia Woolf, as well as ceramics from private collections.

Curated section – Platform 

Inspired by LAF’s partnership with Charleston, this section is titled A Million Candles, Illuminating Queer Love and Life. Curator Gemma Rolls-Bentley says: “I’m fascinated by the historic house and the stories of the creative community that thrived there.” Platform collates 10 galleries that reflect the resilience, beauty and passion of queer love and life from a wide range of diverse perspectives. Artworks include Ghada Kunji’s photographic collages, Olivia Sterling’s paintings and Olivia Strange’s anthropomorphic object.

Contemporary Photography – Photo50

Photo50 examines photographic practices that expand the boundaries of the medium. The section is titled Grafting: The Land and the Artist, and it looks at themes of communion, co-dependence with the environment, regeneration and resistance. A highlight includes Eugénie Shinkle’s Ideal City (Somebody Else’s Landscape) which rebuilds parts of paintings by JMW Turner (1775-1851). The installation draws on the culture shock the artist experienced when moving to the UK from Canada in 1997. Shinkle used snapshots of London as individual “pixels” to stage the landscapes. Named after the horticultural technique of grafting – when plants are joined and grow together – the show proposes a closer connection with nature.

Curated Section – Encounters

Encounters collect international practices, as well as projects by mid-career artists who work with new mediums. Curator Pryle Behrman says: “This year, the show expands on how an “encounter” can refer to an unexpected meeting, perhaps one that leads to the discovery of a new artist or, alternatively, a surprising style or subject from a well-known artist.” Highlights include Juliana Sícoli, Lucia Adverse and Sylvia Morgado’s paintings that explore female resistance, through the interplay of their respective pieces.


London Art Fair also presents an installation by artist Atau Hámos (b. 1999). The Berlin-based creative practitioner says: ” I experiment with the medium tape and question its basic principles. Through cuts and omissions, I dissolve straight lines, integrate circular shapes, and leave gaps through which the materiality of the surface becomes visible.” Hámos’ colourful piece creates an entrance into the Encounters section.

London Art Fair

17-21 January

Image credits:

1. Li Chevalier, Mirage To Karol Beffa, 2022. Photography on aluminium. H39xW85. Courtesy of April Contemporary.

2. Dior Men Summer 2023 group shot in front of Charleston reconstruction; photograph: © Brett Lloyd (full collection and set not shown in exhibition)

3. Ghada Khunji, FaRIDA X, 2019. Photomontage printed on Hahnemuehle paper. 116.8 x 116.8 cm. Courtesy of Janet Rady Fine Art

4. Eugenie Shinkle, Ideal City (Somebody Else’s Landscape), 1998. Image courtesy of the artist.

5. Lac Rose no.8 Denisse Ariana Peres, Photography 2021 edition of 10 60cm x 90cm £1,100 Open Doors Gallery.

6. Atau Hámos, Installation at London Art Fair 2024.