Photo London returns to Somerset House for its 8th edition, presenting 125 exhibitors from 56 cities from across the globe.
Led by the Master of Photography exhibition ‘Martin Parr. Recent Works’, this year’s Fair also includes the group shows ‘Writing her own Script. Women Photographers from the Hyman Collection’ and ‘Fotografía Maroma’, Awards for young practitioners, a pavilion project and the Talks programme curated by Aperture.
A celebration of the medium in all its forms, Photo London presents the best of the past, present and future of photography. Highlights of the 2023 edition include:
Works from the dawn of the medium through to the latest developments of today — spanning the socio-political to the cinematic, the constructed to the hyper-real;
- This year’s Master of Photography, Martin Parr presents an exhibition of recent work
including the installation Beach Therapy;
- ‘Writing her own Script: Woman Photographers from the Hyman Collection’, a group
show celebrating many of the pioneering women photographers at work in the UK over the
past 100 years;
- ‘Fotografía Maroma’, an exhibition of contemporary Mexican photography co-curated by
Fariba Farshad and Patricia Conde and presented by Belmond;
- Prints by recently deceased legends Fan Ho (1931–2016), Susan Hiller (1940–2019), Peter
Lindbergh (1944–2019), Chris Killip (1946–2020), Jürgen Schadeberg (1931–2020), and
William Klein (1926–2022);
- Works by living luminaries Sonia Boyce, Edward Burtynsky, Thomas Demand, Ori
Gersht, Nan Goldin, Sarah Moon, Sebastião Salgado, Alec Soth and Thomas Struth;
- The Discovery section showcasing the freshest photographers and galleries, including
works incorporating AI technology;
- The Photo London x Nikon Emerging Photographer Award, with the winner announced
Wednesday 10 May at 6.30pm, and a display of last year’s winner Max Miechowski and his
fellow shortlisted photographers in the Nikon Gallery;
- Support for young photographers continued with the inaugural Photo London x
Hahnemühle Student Award with shortlisted photographers on view and the winner
announced on Saturday 13 May;
- Aperture leads the 2023 Talks Programme alongside Nikon and FT Weekend, offering
conversations with Lynsey Addario, Heather Agyepong, Alia Ali, Babak Kazemi, Joy
Gregory and Martin Parr;
- Photography workshops run by Nikon on dance photography and British fashion;
- The 100th edition of Photo London Magazine with an issue devoted to Iran;
- The pavilion project ‘I MATTER’, an outdoor photographic exhibition presented by the
non-profit organisation CASE Art Fund to raise awareness about children’s human rights;
- Photo London Digital returns for its fourth edition from 10 – 29 May.
When we started Candlestar we could not have imagined that exactly twenty years later we would be announcing the eighth edition of Photo London or indeed that the Fair would have become a key component of the international artworld calendar. Yet it has, and our eighth is our strongest edition yet with a dazzling array of photography in all its forms. As ever there’s a multiplicity of themes — from a celebration of British photography (for obvious reasons) to a focus on photography from Iran and Mexico; from the work of the early pioneers and masters of the form, to images made by a brash new wave of artists who are embracing the possibilities of new technology with the same experimental zeal that characterised the work of those early pioneers.
And more than that, we are thrilled to be working with a strong group of partners who are themselves deeply committed to the creative process. Our new principal partner the Royal Bank of Canada has, for example, both a rich tradition for collecting and for nurturing creative talent. Our presenting partner Belmond has — through ‘Fotografía Maroma’ and their recently announced ‘Legends’ programme — already established an impressive pedigree for supporting outstanding photography. Adding to the long term support of the FT and the awards for emerging talent developed with Nikon and Hahnemühle respectively, and with the brilliant Kamiar Maleki stepping into the role of Director of Photo London, it is clear that we have assembled all of the elements required to take the Fair to the next level and to become the undisputed leader in its field.Co-Founders of the Fair, Michael Benson & Fariba Farshad, comment on Photo London 2023
EXHIBITORS AT THE FAIR
Vintage and classic photography
In celebration of King Charles III’s coronation, two of the earliest works at the Fair are William Henry Fox Talbot’s “St. Georges Chapel, Windsor” and by Nicholas Henneman’s “Westminster Abbey” — both made c.1844 and presented by Robert Hershkowitz Ltd. The royal theme is also commemorated by the Aho-Soldan Foundation, showing the Claire Aho’s (1925-2015) early colour photograph of the jewel-bright ‘Finlandia Sweets’ presented by the Finnish company Fazer to Queen Elizabeth II in 1947 as a gift at her coronation according to a tradition going back to 1902.
At Galerie Sophie Scheidecker a group show on surrealism includes works by Man Ray, “L´Origine des Espèces” (1935) and Manuel Alvarez Bravo, “Instrumental” (1931) alongside contemporary artists such as Nan Goldin; Lee Miller Foundation is showing works by Miller and Roland Penrose documenting their Balkan journey as the world was on the brink of World War II; while Grob Gallery is showing rare prints by Édouard Boubat, Willy Ronis and William Klein — whose works are on sale at Photo London for the first time since he passed away last year — alongside pieces by Brassai, Cartier-Bresson, Sougez, Brancusi, Pierre Boucher and Bill Brandt.
First-time exhibitor Blue Lotus Gallery presents debut exhibition of two important photographers in the UK: works from the 1950s by the Hong Kong master photographer Fan Ho alongside blackand-white prints by the Japanese up-and-coming talent Yasuhiro Ogawa; while Zen Foto Gallery, also showing for the first time, exhibits Seiji Kurata’s seminal “Flash Up” series which depicted Tokyo’s nightlife in all its diversity between 1975 and 1978. Meanwhile The Li Yuan-Chia Foundation will exhibit works by Li Yuan-Chia, whose work fused 20th century Western abstract art with Chinese tradition and lived in China, Taiwan, Italy and Britain.
Everyday life and portraiture
Contemporary everyday life is the subject of Magnum’s booth curated by Gregory Halpern, Alec Soth and Lindokuhle Sobekwa. The exhibit features Soth’s gently surreal portraits of middle America and Bogotá in conversation with Halpern’s Rust Belt mysticism, Sobekwa’s images of contemporary Johannesburg, alongside photographs by Martin Parr and a selection of iconic vintage works by Chris Killip, as chosen by his former mentee and pupil, Halpern. Albumen presents a rich tapestry of historical and cultural strands, bringing together three photographers — Elizabeth Waterman, Monique Relova, Rosa Gauditano — whose works span different geographies and decades in portraits that reflect on gender identity and LGBTQIA+ rights.
In the Discovery section two solo shows shortlisted for the Photo London x Nikon Emerging Photographer Award present the everyday life of specific locations. At New Dimension British Photographer Sam Wright’s Napoli series is the romantic encounter of an outsider capturing his subjects at ease in gorgeous natural light; while at Gaotai Gallery the Chinese artist Hailun Ma turns her lens on her hometown Xinjiang, colliding fashion and tradition to at once better enable people outside of Xinjiang understand her homeland and also to help those living in Xinjiang rediscover its beauty. Also in Discovery, Homecoming mounts a group show of emerging photographers from different backgrounds including works by Derrick Ofosu Boateng, whose vibrant Iphone shots document everyday Ghana and wider continent through the lens of a fellow Ghanaian, and Pia Riverola’s candid street scenes which carry a deep empathy for her Mexican subjects and surroundings.
This year’s Fair includes several galleries supporting photographers from Iran: LS10 Gallery presents a focus on Iranian contemporary photography; Roya Khadjavi Projects /Nemazee Fine Art brings together the works of five Iranian photographers — Tahmineh Monzavi, Ali Tahayor, Dariush Nehdaran, Maryam Palizgir and Mo Jahangir — whose practice is based on a documentary engagement intertwining socially conscious and environmental works from urban communities to the rural landscape; and O Gallery based in Tehran is presenting works by the contemporary photographer Mohammedreza Mirzaei alongside rare prints by Kaveh Kazemi, whose photographs of the 1979 revolution and its aftermath represent one of the most important archives of that period.
The social, political and environmental issues of today’s Mexico are the focus of Patricia Conde Galeria which is showing Neo-Documentary works by contemporary Mexican photographers including Alejandro Cartagena, Cannon Bernáldez, Yael Martínes and Adam Wiseman. Meanwhile at Ed Cross the artist, curator and writer Leah Gordon is showing new works and highlights from her ongoing project “Kanaval” documenting the annual Mardi Gras festival in Haiti and Mário Macilau presents new work from his ongoing series ‘Faith’ (2015 – ), a long-running project documenting the spiritual lives and rituals of rural communities in his homeland Mozambique and the landscapes surrounding them, both threatened by climate change.
Social justice issues further come to the fore in a dual presentation mounted by Bonne Espérence of Jürgen Schadeberg — often considered the God-father of South African photography — spanning his entire career from his depictions of poverty in Northern England and Scotland in the ’60s through to his images of his homeland in the post-apartheid era, shown alongside Lee-Ann Olwage’s documentary portraiture from South Africa which explores ideas of identity and collaboration. Meanwhile at ATLAS Gallery the focus is on the British history of civil rights and anti-racist movements with works from the ’60s and ’70s by Jamaican-British photographers Charlie Phillips, Armet Francis and Vanley Burke.
Ahead of his Turbine Hall installation at Tate Modern, OSMOS are showing a work from 1992 by the Aboriginal artist Richard Bell, “Pigeon Holed”, in which he portrays himself in repeated images as “an angry black man”, ironically presenting the negative stereotyping to challenge it head-on.
Environmental issues are further explored by a number of exhibitors at the Fair, including Flowers Gallery which is showing a new work by Edward Burtynsky, whose near-abstract, aerial images chronicle the unsettling reality of the human imprint on the planet. The fragile nature of our environment is also the theme of Roland Belgrave’s solo presentation of recent images by Mandy Barker, whose 12-year-long work involving marine plastic debris has received global recognition; and at ARTCO Gallery’s solo show of the world-renowned photographer, artist and activist Gideon Mendel, whose socially engaged practice amounts to a profound act of witnessing the human experience and physical impacts of the climate emergency.
Man’s relationship to nuclear energy is the subject of works by Michael Koerner, on view at Catherine Edelman Gallery, in which chemically manipulated images convey the ongoing fallout of the atomic bomb dropped on Nagasaki which has claimed the lives of five of his family members to cancer; and in a solo presentation by VirginiaVisualArts in the Discovery section of the Fair of the American artist Bootsy Holler, whose “Contaminated” series tells the story of her birthplace, the Hanford Nuclear Reservation, a large U.S. nuclear site established during World War II for the production of plutonium, some of which was used in the first atomic bomb.
Fashion, music and celebrity
The synergy between photography and the worlds of music, fashion and celebrity is showcased by several galleries presenting iconic images from the C20th. Shtager Gallery will present a study of glossy photography from the legendary Gunter Sachs (1932-2011), who caused a stir with the first nude photograph for French Vogue in 1976. Ira Stehmann is bringing works by the crème de la crème of fashion photographers such as Peter Lindbergh; and 29 ARTS IN PROGRESS is showing fashion photography by Gian Paolo Barbieri, Rankin, and Mario Testino. Camera Work presents images of supermodels by Patrick Demarchelier and Herb Ritts alongside Albert Watson’s portrait
of Mike Tyson; while Iconic Images’ includes Terry O’Neill’s photographs “The Beatles Take Flight” and “Elton John in the Starship”.
The relationship between photography and truth is interrogated by a number of contemporary photographers at the fair including Thomas Demand, whose illusionistic photographs of three dimensional models sculpted entirely from paper are on show at first-time exhibitor Galleri K; Lena Amuat & Zöe Meyer, whose enigmatic series ‘Artefakte & Modelle’ on show at Galerie Robert Morat portrays objects that both embody and frustrate the human quest for knowledge; and the cinematic works of Carlos and Jason Sanchez at first-time exhibitor Christopher Cutts Gallery in which custom-built sets and eerie lighting create mysterious, fictional scenes. Furthermore, Photo London includes some contemporary artists whose work engages with AI technology, including Ori Gersht, on show at Michel Hoppen, Maisie Cousins at TJ Boulting and the young, Nikon-shortlisted photographer Evelyn Bencicova at Artemis.
The pavilion project
Photo London’s programme of pavilion installations returns this year with the first UK showing of ‘I MATTER’, an outdoor photographic exhibition presented by the nonprofit CASE Art Fund, whose mission is to raise awareness about children’s human rights. Wrapping around the pavilion will be images of children from around the world holding signs stating “I MATTER” in their native language. Photographed by parents, guardians, classmates and photographers, the on-going project reminds us that all children matter, regardless of race, class, sexual orientation, legal status, or religion.
PHOTO LONDON 2023 PUBLIC PROGRAMME- EXHIBITIONS
This year’s Master of Photography is the legendary British photographer Martin Parr, who presents an exhibition of new images taken in the UK, continuing a project that he has been working on for the past half century. ‘Martin Parr. Recent Works’ includes images that have not been shown before alongside the installation “Beach Therapy” and a dozen photo deckchairs.
Describing this body of work, Parr states:
I think of these images as an interpretation of the many mixed emotions I feel towards my homeland. It is almost a love/hate relationship, and I find addressing this is almost a form of therapy for me.
The British theme is continued with the group show ‘Writing her own Script. Women Photographers from the Hyman Collection’. Curated by the recently opened Centre for British Photography, the exhibition celebrates many of the pioneering women photographers working in Britain over the past 100 years. Featured photographers include: Heather Agyepong, Shirley Baker, Dorothy Bohm, Sonia Boyce, Juno Calypso, Helen Chadwick, Hannah Collins, Caroline Coon, Maisie Cousins, Eliza Hatch, Rose Finn-Kelcey, Susan Hiller, Anna Fox, Sarah Jones, Karen Knorr, Marketa Luskacova, Sarah Maple, Rosy Martin, Linda McCartney, Laura Pannack, Polly Penrose, Grace Robertson, Jo Spence, Edith Tudor-Hart and Bindi Vora. Co-curated by Patricia Conde and Photo London Co-founder Fariba Farshad and presented by Belmond, the exhibition ‘Fotografía Maroma’ displays the unique responses by four Mexican photographers — Patricia Lagarde, Ilán Rabchinskey, Javier Hinojosa and Margot Kalach — to the magical Rivera Maya on Mexico’s northeastern Yucatán Peninsula.
TALKS PROGRAMME AND WORKSHOPS
The Photo London Talks Programme returns on-site throughout the duration of the Fair and online from 25 April to 15 May. Providing you with unique insight into some of the world’s most exciting voices in medium, the Talks Programme features leading photographers, curators, writers and critics to discuss the photographic medium and its significance in the contemporary art world today. Aperture lead the programme on Thursday and Friday alongside FT Weekend, and Nikon offer an inspiring list of speakers across the weekend. Featured talks include Lynsey Addario in conversation with Fiona Shields; Joy Gregory in conversation with Alona Pardo; ‘Martin Parr: Through the Photo Book’; ‘Alia Ali on Re-imagining Photography | Make don’t take, engage, don’t capture’; and ‘FT Weekend Presents: Photographing motherhood — Andi Gáldi Vinkó in conversation with Susan Bright’.
There will also be a series of workshops in partnership with Nikon UK. All workshops are free of charge to Photo London ticket holders. Details can be found here.
Photo London, 11th–14th May 2023, Somerset House, Preview 10th May
Photo London Digital 10th May – 29 May 2023, photolondon.org