Art Fair Illusions – Axis Staff Blog


Art Fair Illusions

Annie Nelson looks back on her visit to Art14 and worries about the conversion of contemporary art into a commercial commodity.

The art fair has become the place to show. With commercial galleries popping up around the globe, the number of art fairs has also rocketed. Although a costly investment for any gallery, art fairs provide the opportunity to be ‘discovered’ by collectors and possibly offer up a more open playing field than out in the ‘real’ world. You might expect that the market would have reached its limit by now, but there was little sign of this at Art14. This international art fair, now in its second year, showcased over 180 galleries from over 40 countries, and even with the spacious high roof of Olympia Grand and the large walkways, it was still bustling with people.

The mix of work at Art14 was very eclectic, lying somewhere between the established commercial fairs such as London Art Fair and more cutting-edge contemporary fairs such as Frieze. More commercial work sat side by side with a less object-based approach, such as David Sherry’s performance at Patricia Fleming Projects stand. Amongst the established commercial galleries it was refreshing to see dedicated performance spaces, and although there was a jumbled feeling, the ‘Emerge’ section was the heart of the art fair, in contrast to London Art Fair, where you find the most exciting and cutting-edge work tucked away upstairs in the ‘Projects’.

Read the full review in the Staff Blog section of the Axis website:

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