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Art14 London

Art14 London
Yinka Shonibare, Cannonball Heaven, 2011, Lam Galleries in association with Stephen Friedman Gall.

Myrto Katsimicha visits Art14 London and gives out this year's highlights.



With 182 galleries from 42 countries across the world and with visitor numbers exceeding 30,000 Art14 London (28th of February – 2nd of March) successfully completed its second edition last weekend raising the awareness towards the revitalisation of the art market. Following its inaugural edition last year, Art14 hosted a range of contemporary art galleries with a focal point given to galleries from Asia, Middle East, Africa and South America that are often inadequately represented within the context of a mega-fair. It remains an open – ended question whether this new interest in more emerging markets will actually manage to add an extra value to the contemporary art scene.


Among my favourite moments in this year’s art fair were Art14’s artist projects featuring 24 commissions by international artists, such as “Cannonball Heaven”, a multi-part installation by Yinka Shonibare, Ai Weiwei’s “Scale No. 1 and No. 2” along with a painting by Sven Druhl and “Waterfall” by the Chinese artist Zhao Zhao I, that enhanced the visitors’ multi-sensory experience. 




Ai Weiwei featuring Sven Drühl.




Zhao Zhao, Waterfall, 2013.



My visit concludes with a personal view of the highlights as spotted across the vast space of Olympia Grand Hall.




Ding Chien-Chung, Ordinary Instruments, 2009, Galerie Grand Siècle, Taipei.



Ding Chien-Chung’s (b. 1983, Taipei) kinetic installations explore the relationship between space and time and comment on issues of repetitiveness in everyday life. In “Ordinary Instruments” the device that rubbers against the wooden board seems infinite yet the process itself remains unique with the sounds produced changing constantly as the device wears out the board. 




Esther Mathis, 17 mm. maybe someday we will be two people meeting again for the first time, 2013, Christophe Guye Galerie, Zürich.



Esther Mathis’ (b. 1985) body of work evolves in the space between lightness and shadow. It is an archive of moments yet to be explored. Her practice often connected to science, such as physics, neurology and chemistry, unfolds as an approach towards the simple and complicated feelings that build our sentimental relations with the world and define our place within it.




Javier Pérez, El espacio que nos separa, 2012, Galerei Claudine Papillon, Paris.



Spanish artist Javier Pérez (b. 1968, Bilbao) combines everyday objects and fragile materials to reflect on humanity through the use of a symbolic language. By setting up a dialectic relationship within the components of his work Javier exposes the ambiguity, temporality and circularity that surpasses the human condition. 



Cristina de Middel, The Party, 2014, Black Ship Moment, New York.



At Black Ship Moment, a collaborative team of international artists, I came across Cristina De Middel’s (b. 1975, Alicante) “The Party”. De Middel was one of the nominees for the Deutsche Borse Photography Prize 2013 for her publication the “Afronauts” (self – published, 2011). Her work stresses the morality of photography as a document. In “The Party”, she creates a playful yet rather critical narrative between reality and the written word using as her main source the book “Quotations from Mao Tse Dong” from the Chinese Communist Party. 




Erwin Olaf, The Keyhole 3, 2011, Gallery K.O.N.G., Seoul.



“Keyhole 3” by Erwin Olaf (b.1959, Hilversum) catches the viewer’s eye for its highly stylised aesthetic. Going beyond the overlooked and then unspoken Olaf’s portrait touches upon the conventions of society to reveal the hidden essence of contemporary life. 



All Images courtesy of Myrto Katsimicha.

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