Building on last year’s accomplishments, Art14 London returned to the Olympia Grand Hall in Kensington, England from February 28th till March 2nd 2014 to stake its claim as one of the hottest and most successful modern and contemporary art fairs in the world.
In only its 2nd year, Art London presented 180 galleries from 40 different countries and showcased over 700 artists. The event was greatly anticipated and highly attended by curators, collectors and art lovers alike. The total attendance of over 31,000 people (up 22% from last year) is an accurate testament to its success and early indications show a strong amount of actual commerce.
There is an element of courage that attributes to the success of the fair, a commitment from the board, committee and organizers to showcase emerging talent as well as established artists from traditional and non-traditional geographic regions in the art world. “It’s a fair that feels different, it feels fresh, you see art you don’t see at every other art fair.” explains Fair Director Stephanie Dieckvoss. With such diversity in origin, the event offers attending patrons a symphony of aesthetic pleasures. Many of the works radiate a creative boldness and in some instance a sense of youthful vulnerability in which both add to the appeal of the artwork.
A considerable portion of the floor space is reserved for art from the Asian continent. Many of the works are a refreshing illustration of a continent that is in the midst of assimilation between modern and ancient influences. The traditional values, principles and beliefs seem to be the catalysts behind the process, however the mediums and subject matter reflect a progressive and contemporary ideal.
The appeal, charm and ultimate success of Art14 London can be somewhat attributed to the venue itself. The Olympia Grand hall is a truly magnificent structure. A massive open space capped with an intricate lattice of brilliant white painted iron and untarnished glass that allows the room to fill with an abundance of natural light. The artist’s creations and ambient light work together in harmony, each deserving of one another.
The floor plan is simple and practical. A basic grid of alleys and passages lined with the galleries on each side. There is ample space to browse, review and enjoy the artwork without stepping on someone’s toes or breathing down anyone’s neck. The ease of access to each piece allows for a truly enjoyable experience.
This Art fair is really a proclamation that London can be, and will be a center for modern art. As one of the most accessible cities in the world with a logistical infrastructure that rivals any other, it just makes sense.
The city also provides a critical but appreciative audience and more importantly, purchasers and benefactors who will guarantee that artists, gallery owners and patrons will enjoy London as “the” destination for modern and contemporary art for many years to come.