A Review of the Sunday Art Fair in Marylebone, London
Sunday Art Fair is a youthful satellite fair running parallel to Frieze London, focusing on younger galleries showing emerging artists. Located accross from Madame Tussauds, Sunday is just a 10 minute walk through Regent’s Park from Frieze. Sunday takes over The University of Westminster’s Ambika P3, “a 14,000 square foot underground hangar once used to test concrete for Spaghetti Junction and the Channel Tunnel.” It is wonderful to step out of Regent’s Park and into a supersised science laboratory. Indeed the same experimental energy, thirst for discovery and innovation which must have driven the university’s engineering students is carried on by the dealers exhibiting at Sunday, and the artists they bring.
The fair was conceived during Berlin Gallery Weekend 2010 by Tulips and Roses, Croy Nielsen and Limoncello, who ran Sunday in 2010, 2011, and 2012. The 2013 and 2014 editions were organised by Rob Tuffnell and Lüttgenmeijer who in 2015 passed the baton to Thom O’Nions and Adam Thomas from London’s Supplement gallery. Being run by a changing committee of participating galleries definitely gives Sunday a different feel from the traditional art fair model. While loosing exhibitors is considered a bad omen for fair, at Sunday this is usually an indication they have graduated to Frieze, as we are reminded on Sunday’s website.
This year, London’s EMA/LIN did both, with a booth at Sunday and a performance by Augustas Serapinas at Frieze Live. Run by Leopold Thun and Angelina Volk, EMA/LIN opened on September 27th after successfully staging nomadic curatorial projects both in London and internationally. To Sunday, they brought large, powerful canvases by Stefania Batoeva, complemented by an interesting portfolio of her works on paper.
Paris’ Joseph Tang were their neighbours, exhibiting a beautifully curated selection of works by Daiga Gantina, James Lewis, and Alexander Lieck. In 2015, Tang’s corner spot was occupied by Southard Reid who this year mounted an exceptional immersive booth by Celia Hempton in Frieze’s Focus section. Interestingly, Southard Reid’s neighbours in Focus were Rome’s Frutta, who had also been next to them at Sunday in 2015. Sunday is unquestionably a staging ground for galleries, and I look forward to seeing what EMA/LIN and Joseph Tang will do in 2017.
LA-based Anat Egbi imported some California sun to London, setting up Neil Raitt’s Venice Beach Boardwalk inspired tent complete with sand, a deck chair and cactus to display his work. In addition to the more immediate juxtaposition of a beach tent in an underground cement factory, Neil Raitt looked to emulate the model of a “leisurely Sunday painter selling their wares at an outdoor arts and crafts fair.” New York’s Rachel Uffner featured a solo presentation by Strauss Bourque-LaFrance made of an assemblage of three dimensional drawings. Each shape is carefully handmade before being placed on the wall as part of a larger composite work.
The fair’s strong Editions section featured works from The Baltic, Glasgow International, Liverpool Biennial, in addition to their own Sunday Print Portfolio by Olivia Erlanger, Ian Law, and Oliver Osborne. Works from the 2015 Portfolio can also be found on Sunday’s website (http://www.sundayartfair.com/editions.html) including Kate Cooper, Eloise Hawser, Yuri Pattison, and Steve Bishop. Although at much higher pricepoints, entire editions (all the works from a set) had sold out at Allied Editions at Frieze London. Does an edgy environment conducive to discovery like Sunday also induce buying? Sunday has an enviable location halfway between Frieze London and the Chiltern Firehouse, the after-hours hotspot all week where many major international collectors chose to stay. While being off the beaten track is part of Sunday’s charm and appeal, getting more of those collectors through the door would certainly benefit all parties.
6—9th October 2016, Ambika P3, 35 Marylebone Rd, London, NW1 5LS
Written by Nathan Clements-Gillespie, a Contributor to Arteviste.com