The fair focuses on emerging artists and new art scenes with 70 galleries taking part from cities that range from London to Seoul, Buenos Aires to Cape Town. New exhibitors at START include a.m. space (Hong Kong), ART+TEXT BUDAPEST (Budapest), Bosse & Baum (London), Exhibit320 (Delhi) and Lin & Lin Gallery (Taipei). They join returning galleries such as Christine Park (London), DSC Gallery (Prague), ERDMANNCONTEMPORARY (Cape Town) and THE LOFT at Lower Parel (Mumbai).
START features an evenly balanced selection of group presentations and solo presentations with START Solo taking over the entire second floor of the Saatchi Gallery. Artists showing in this section include Caterina Silva (b.Rome, 1983) whose layered gestural paintings are often painted on both sides, rolled, wrinkled and re-stretched, presented by Peckham-based gallery Bosse & Baum. Amin Montazeri (b.1992 Tehran) will be showing his intricate paintings that draw on archetypes and myths for the first time in the UK with Dastan’s Basement, the Tehran-based gallery returning to START. Gallery SoSo will present a suite of meditative paintings by Kim Eull (b.1954 Goheung), a highly respected artist in South Korea whose works have rarely been seen outside that country. S. Mark Gubb (b.1974, Margate) will display work rooted in observations of contemporary culture with Nottingham-based SYSON.
Caterina Silva, ‘Paolo’ (2015), acrylic, spray-dust, fire and fabric on canvas / Courtesy of Bosse & Baum
Kim Eull ‘Tomb 1’ (1998), oil on panel / Courtesy of Gallery SoSo/span>
S Mark Gubb ‘For a short moment, I felt nothing’ (2012), Perspex-reverse mounted archival c-print / Courtesy of SYSON/span>
START Projects include ‘Baghdad Manifesto’, the debut London solo exhibition by Iraqi-born artist Mahmoud Obaidi (b.Baghdad, 1966). Obaidi’s work is rooted in the recent history of Iraq, often using domestic appliances to make darkly humorous objects that bring home the violence. The artist has also curated ‘Identity, Construction and Deconstruction’, a presentation of works by emerging artists who have taken part in the Fire Station Artists in Residence programme in Doha, Qatar. The artists featured are Shaha AlKhulaifa, Maryam Y Al Homaid, Roda Al Nassr, Hana Al-Saadi, Aisha Al-Sowaidi and Waseem Marzouki. Mahmoud Obaidi’s participation as both artist and a curator in START Projects emphasizes the important role that established artists play in nurturing emerging talent in new art scenes where there is a relative scarcity of public institutions.
Mahmoud Obaidi, 'Peace, Project Confusionism' (2013) / Courtesy of the Artist
Mahmoud Obaidi, ‘Struggling Thrones’ (2013), steel and wood, 100x90x50 cm / Courtesy of the Artist
‘Future Island’ is a START Project that focuses on a new generation of Taiwanese artists curated by Mehta Bell Projects, featuring artists such as Su Yu Xin and Ting Tong Chang. Many of these artists investigate issues such as identity, the environment and the unique position of Taiwanese culture in a contemporary context. The project complements the debut presentations of two Taiwanese galleries in the fair, Lin&Lin and Galerie Grand Siècle.
Su Yu-Xin, ‘The End #2’, 2014 / Courtesy of Mehta Bell Projects
Liu_Shih-Tung, ‘Rhyme’ (2012-2016). Courtesy Lin&Lin Gallery
Beso Uznadze (The Fragrant Orchard Of My Mother’ (2016) / Courtesy Project ArtBeat
A fourth START Project by Sumakshi Singh (b.1980 New Delhi) titled ‘In the Garden’ is an immersive installation that is a homage to two gardens that Singh has researched. The installation features delicately constructed white plants made of lace, embroidery suspended from the ceiling and translucent screens displaying a stop-motion animation of a garden of light that grows and disappears among flickering fireflies and hummingbirds. The Project is a development from Singh’s critically-acclaimed presentation of the installation at Exhibit320, Delhi, earlier this year. Singh is one of the brightest talents of a new generation of artists emerging from India.
Sumakshi Singh, Installation view of ‘In The Garden’, 2016. Details of the stop-motion animation / Courtesy of Exhibit320
Niru Ratnam, Fair Director, said: “I’m really excited by the range of this year’s START Projects which go from in-depth presentations of one artist’s practice through to a vibrant group show of Taiwanese art and an artist-curated project. I was also delighted to bring Sumakshi Singh’s project to London having initially seen it in India earlier this year. Each project strongly links back to our aim of introducing artists and art scenes that are new to London’s audiences.”
A new section START Editions will be introduced, featuring a selection of galleries and publishers who focus on limited editions. START will continue to work with The Prince’s School of Traditional Arts as its Education Partner.
Please visit www.startartfair.com for the latest updates on START’s programme and the full list of exhibitors.