Tag Archives: art fair

The second year of START Art Fair at Saatchi Gallery London gets the thumbs up

I’m delighted with the second edition of START and the response of collectors and critics. The gallerists’ presentations combined with START Projects has made for a unique platform and we all look forward to taking this onto the next level for the third edition which will take place from 22 to 25 September 2016. Niru Ratnam, Director of START

A quick post about the response from the Second edition of START from the press release issued today. I was so pleased to see that teamLab was a hit with the press, audience and collectors alike—although, to be honest, it’s no surprise that teamLab’s ‘Flutter of Butterflies beyond Borders’ presentation “received a tremendously positive critical response and was the subject of much press attention, including the Evening Standard during the run of START. As a result, it has been given an extended run from Tuesday 15 to Thursday 17 September with START and the Saatchi Gallery throwing open the doors free of admission.”


Photo © Alexa Hogar

All text below is from the press release:

The second edition of START, presented by Prudential, closed its doors at the Saatchi Gallery on Sunday 13 September with exceptional gallery presentations, increased attendance figures and extremely positive critical response. START will take place again at the Saatchi Gallery in 2016 from 22 to 25 September.

Galleries were delighted with the response of collectors, press and the public alike. Established collectors who visited the fair included Anita Zabludowicz, Fatima Maleki, Maryam Eisler, Catherine Petitgas and Charles Saatchi. START was also attractive to younger collectors including Kaimar Maleki, Will de Quetteville, Philippe Piessens and Arianne Levene. Other high-profile visitors included Middle Eastern financier and art patron Dr. Ramzi Dalloul, celebrity chef Lorraine Pascale and television presenter and choreographer Jason Gardiner.

START Projects received unanimous acclaim for its presentation of non-commercial exhibitions by teamLab, Chim↑Pom and Prudential Eye Zone, which featured contemporary Singaporean artists.

Many galleries reported robust sales of artists new to London’s collectors. Hafez Gallery (Jeddah) were delighted to report sales of Saudi photographer and Goldsmiths’ graduate Nora Alissa whilst +MAS Arte Contemporáneo (Bogota) placed the works of Pilar Vargas into one of Europe’s most important collections. Alludo Room Gallery (Kitzbühel) sold a number of works by New York-based artist Rachel Libeskind, whilst Gallery SoSo (Seoul) placed a number of delicate ink on paper works by Kim In Kyum. Skipwiths (London) enjoyed great success with Korean artist Kwang Young Chun.

The inaugural START Museum Acquisition Prize was awarded to Roman Road (London) with the New Art Gallery Walsall acquiring works by Aida Silvestri.

Marisa Bellani, Director of Roman Road said, “I’m really happy with the institutional support that Aida’s work received. In addition to the acquisition by the New Art Gallery Walsall, her work was also bought by a Tate Patron and we are now starting to get major interest from a number of collectors.”

Nelly Alegre from Osage Gallery which presented the solo exhibition of Au Hoi Lam said, “We are really happy and delighted to have participated in START. It is a good platform for us to know more about the European market. There’s a great level of energy here at START and we’ve had some really good exchanges with both collectors and visitors to our booth.”

Carl E. Smith from CES Gallery (Los Angeles) said, “I think START is amazing. It’s been a great interaction with a new client base. Collectors are extremely interested in the work, the location is beautiful and I’m honoured to be here.”

Kristin Hjellegjerde, owner of Kristin Hjellegjerde Gallery said, “I am very happy that I have been part of START. I’ve met some of the biggest collectors in London and several of my own collectors who visited thought it was a high-quality event. The space is fantastic and I believe the fair has a great potential in the future.”

Heejin No, Director of Skipwiths said, “As a young gallery, we’re delighted to have had the opportunity to exhibit with START in such a beautiful environment as the Saatchi Gallery. The space is amazing and the quality of collectors has been very good.”

Carlos Vargas from +MAS Arte Contemporáneo said, “We are a returning gallery and have really enjoyed growing with the fair. The second edition was wonderful and it is a delight to exhibit at the Saatchi Gallery.”

Ludovica Rossi Purini, Director of Alludo Room Gallery said, “We would love to come back to START next year! In the last few days, we’ve met the most interesting collectors ever and we’ve made some really great sales!” The gallery was exhibiting new pieces by Rachel Libeskind, whose work was placed with a number of collectors.

Positive Critical Response
The critical response was overwhelmingly positive. Louisa Buck said in The Art Newspaper, “’START Art Fair is a truly global affair… There are galleries from Bogota to Budapest via Colombo and Cape Town, Jeddah, Lagos, Riga and Seoul which combine a high level of quality with some genuine surprises….Is there room for another art fair in London? In the case of START, the answer has to be a resounding YES!”

Grace Banks, writing for Forbes.com, described the fair, “START offers collectors, writers, curators and art lovers to see some of contemporary art’s most exciting and ground breaking new art all in one place….START [is] one of London’s fastest growing global art fairs.”

Jan Dalley, writing in The Financial Times Weekend said, “The pieces that teamLab creates are beautiful all right, giant immersive works in stunning colours; a cloud of butterflies defies their apparent boundaries.”

Lorena Muñoz-Alonso wrote in artnet.com, “The intimate scale of the fair, which is also peppered with a number of non-commercial exhibitions as part of its Projects section, makes for accessible and pleasurable viewing.”

“Mark Beech wrote in ArtInfo, “There have been lines of people waiting to get in, both because of the quality of the art and the location at the Saatchi Gallery. While there must be a question on how many more fairs the British capital can take, all competing for collectors’ attention and casual browsers, this one is attracting the curious and is spread across all three floors of the gallery.”

START also received coverage during its run in The Evening Standard and on the Robert Elms show on BBC Radio London 94.9FM. London’s audience responded by visiting in very high numbers, complimenting the collectors, critics and curators. The overall audience visiting START was up by 40% from the inaugural edition.

Please visit www.startartfair.com for the latest information on START.


Photo News with a Gallery theme – Another Soggy Wednesday in London

© Jane Hilton, Dead Eagle Trail

Today’s post has a gallery theme with some statistics on visitor numbers, a couple of exhibitions opening in London but focused on America and Russia, as well as  a collecting art scheme from the Arts Council England for UK-based galleries.

Almost 40 million visitors went to galleries and art fairs in the UK last year, according to a press release issued today by the Whitechapel Gallery. It reports that, “On the last day of the financial year galleries across the UK reported record numbers of people coming through their doors over the last 12 months. Public galleries, private galleries and art fairs across the UK saw 38,905,533 million visitors* for the 09/10 financial year, an increase of 3.2% from 2008/09. *Attendance figures provided by over 350 organisations.

“Art has never been so popular, with exhibitions attracting bigger crowds than football matches. Visits to galleries and art fairs outstripped tickets to football matches attendance by over 13 million. A groundswell of hundreds of organisations contributed to the figures – from Tate Modern to HICA in Invernesshire, from small experimental spaces to the Frieze Art Fair.

“Iwona Blazwick OBE, Director, Whitechapel Gallery, said, ‘There is a huge appetite for art in Britain. At the recently expanded Whitechapel Gallery we have received almost half a million visitors in the last 12 months – an increase of 120%. In these challenging times it demonstrates everyone increasingly values a direct experience of art.”

With this in mind, I point you to Jane Hilton‘s book launch and show Dead Eagle Trail (see photograph) opening from April 21 until 15 May at Host Gallery, London. I interviewed Jane for HotShoe (February/March issue) about the evolution of the work and present an extract from the feature Dead Eagle Trail.  Also, there’s a  show at the Haunch of Venison gallery in London Glasnost: Soviet non-conformist art from the 1980s from 16 April to 26 June.

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