London Art Fair announces details of Photo50

London Art Fair announced details of Photo50, its annual showcase of contemporary photography at the Business Design Centre, Islington, from 18–22 January 2012. With the title The New Alchemists: contemporary photographers transcending the print , curator Sue Steward has selected 50 works by contemporary artists whose practice sees them adorn, transform, subvert or deface the photographic print. They are: Veronica Bailey, David Birkin, Aliki Braine, Julie Cockburn, Melinda Gibson, Noemie Goudal, Joy Gregory, Walter Hugo, Lesley Parkinson, Jorma Puranen, Esther Teichmann and Michael Wolf.


Julie Cockburn, Boy, 2011.

Together, they provide a snapshot of contemporary artists working in photographic mixed-media in the UK and overseas. Many of the photographs in the exhibition are for sale, including a number of new artworks exclusive to the fair.

Sue Steward, critic, writer, broadcaster and curator of The New Alchemists comments:

”These artists are each virtuosos of their craft, but the photographic print is not necessarily the end-point of their work. Partially destroyed, decorated, re-built, or created with a focus on process over product, the photograph takes on a new dimension and becomes an original art work in its own right.”

The New Alchemists: contemporary photographers transcending the print, focuses on new techniques and approaches to re-presenting the photographic image and how artists are involving other media. Whether reclaiming traditional techniques, exploiting digital developments or employing other forms of craft and media, the work presented in Photo50 challenges our assumptions about what a photograph is, or can be.

Veronica Bailey has employed technologies contemporary to the Korean War to create Hermes Baby, a new installation work exploring American journalist, Marguerite Higgin’s front line experience of the conflict.

David Birkin, in his Profiles and Embedded series, focuses on conflict and censorship, using digital code to transform numeric personal information about the victims of war into colourful photographic representation.

Aliki Braine hole punches through medium format negatives as a way of abstracting and challenging traditional forms of landscape.

Julie Cockburn will exhibit exclusive new works for London Art Fair, from her ongoing series of found photographic portraits transformed by collage, embroidery and other craft techniques.

Melinda Gibson creates photomontage collages from found images in print media, often cutting out figures to fill their silhouettes with more abstract images.

Noemie Goudal takes photographs of meticulously constructed sets, layering images to create work that is vast, visually confusing and deceptive.

Joy Gregory chooses the arduous 19th century salt printing and kallitype techniques to capture everyday 21st century items in her Objects of Beauty and Handbags series.

Walter Hugo uses his scientific background to re-appraise old photographic techniques, such as taking portraits with a camera obscura or applying silver nitrate to surfaces other than paper.

Lesley Parkinson, a 2011 Brighton graduate discovered by Steward, has created a photographic inventory of the curios and possessions of a Victorian collector.

Jorma Puranen paints wooden blocks in reflective black gloss and leaves them outdoors in his native Finland, before returning to photograph the reflected landscape and weathered surface.

Esther Teichmann paints family photographs with inks and acrylics to create fantastical landscapes. She also works in black and white collage.

Michael Wolf, in his latest series Real Fake Art, photographs Hong Kong street artists alongside their reproductions of iconic work by the likes of Lee Friedlander and William Egglestone.

Alongside Photo50 a number of galleries at London Art Fair will be exhibiting work by contemporary photographers, including Alma Enterprises, BEARSPACE, Beers.Lambert Contemporary Art, Danielle Arnaud, England & Co, Eyestorm, FAS Contemporary, FOLEYgallery, GBS Fine Art Ltd, Hoxton Art Gallery, JECZA Gallery, Opus Art, Osborne Samuel Ltd, Other Criteria, Pertwee Anderson & Gold, Purdy Hicks Gallery, Richard Saltoun, Rise Art, Sarah Myerscough Fine Art, Serpentine Gallery, Stephanie Hoppen, T E N D E R P I X E L . , The Cynthia Corbett Gallery, Troika Editions, UNION Gallery and the Whitechapel Gallery.

A Photography Focus Day on Wednesday 18 January will examine contemporary photographic practice with debates, discussions and tours; all free to attend with a ticket to London Art Fair.

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