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October 18, 2013 6:30 pm
When their heads are spinning from Frieze, discerning art lovers stroll down Marylebone Road for a taste of Sunday.
Now in its fourth year the fair, which features just 22 galleries, is known as a showcase for emerging artists. Its diminutive size allied to the moody location in an underground warehouse and a no-booth policy – which sees exhibitors straying into each other’s territories – ensure an intimate nonchalance prevails. Behind its success, says co-organiser and owner of the eponymous London gallery Rob Tufnell, is the fact that it is “run by galleries for galleries”.
Christian Mooney, director of east London’s Arcade, is back at Sunday after showing at Frieze’s Frame section last year. “At Frieze, they ask you to do a detailed proposal of your show. But young artists need more time sometimes. Sunday is less rigorous,” he says.
This year, a new organising committee consists of Tufnell and Berlin gallery Lüttgenmeijer. For the first time, not-for-profits are present: London’s avant-garde colossus, the Institute of Contemporary Arts; New York’s legendary White Columns, whose founder members included Gordon Matta-Clark; and south London space Studio Voltaire. “It’s really good exposure for us,” explains Studio Voltaire’s Tamsin Clark, gesturing at exuberant, figurative canvases by Latvian painter Ella Kruglyanskaya, who will have a solo show at their Clapham venue next year.
It’s also good business. Four of Kruglyanskaya’s canvases, priced at $20,000 each, had sold in the show’s earliest hours. Of nine gallerists interviewed all had made sales, several to buyers who had never purchased from them before.
Sunday is becoming a catalyst for artistic careers. One of last year’s stars, the London-based painter Benjamin Senior, who shows with Zurich gallery BolteLang, is currently on show at Studio Voltaire in Clapham. “They became aware of him thanks to the exposure he got here last year,” says Chaja Lang, who this year is showing thoughtful multimedia installations by Swiss artist Claudia Comte.
Generally, art here is subtle yet achieves surprise. At Green Gallery, for example, US artist Amy Yao was showing beguiling patterned stepladders that parodied, according to her dealer, the“finish fetish” of LA’s interior decorators. (Two had sold for $10,000 and $7,500 respectively.)
First-time Berlin exhibitor Dan Gunn focused on the response to Inchon – a 1981 war movie that bombed – by artist Adrià Julià. Consisting of photograms of the soundtrack and scripts cast in bronze, a whisper of loss emanates from these frail, understated objects even before you know the back story.
Tuffnell’s space was a magnet thanks to Aaron Angell’s “Model for Gallery Peacetime – Boat Burial”, an aquarium inhabited by two live axolotls. With fishy bodies and lizard legs, the creatures are described by Tuffnell as an “evolutionary cul-de-sac”. There could be no better metaphor for much contemporary art. At Sunday, however, progress continues.
To October 20, sunday-fair.com
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