London Art Fair welcomes its spectacular 2024 showcase at its home in Angel’s Business Design Centre. This year, the fair comprised over 1,000 modern and contemporary artists to exhibit works for its 25,000 guests. The fair teamed up with their 2024 museum partner Charleston, the home and studio of painters Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant based in the regional town of Lewes, to present a variety of striking artworks for the annual event.
The fair’s curated sections created evocative focal points for visitors to tour. Its diligent curation was synchronised with the current collecting trends within the art world, and the fair executed each presentation by collaborating with leading experts who mastered these critically acclaimed sections. One of these sections titled, named Platform, held a remarkable curation by Gemma Rolls-Bentley which included an array of artists whose works shine a light on queer love and life.
The name of Platform’s exhibition is A Million Candles, Illuminating Queer Love and Life, a fitting title that takes inspiration from a quote from literary heroine Virginia Woolf and her 1928 queer-themed novel Orlando. Rolls-Bentley brought together art from ten galleries that reflect the passion, beauty and resilience found in queer love and life. Works from galleries like Janet Rady Fine Art presented pieces from Bahraini artist and photographer Ghada Kunji, whose FaRIDA series explored her pain in relation to others, and BWG Gallery’s artist James Dearlove’s works showed viewers the desire and the tensities in the human experience as a queer man.
A particular curatorial coincidence that worked beautifully was the positioning of the set-up of the David Hockney works that hung opposite James’ pieces. The story between the two artists runs as a personal anecdote for James, as his relationship with Hockney’s work was some of the first representations of queer love in art that he’d ever seen and resonated with growing up. Rolls-Bentley describes this wonderful story to be inspiringly fate-driven as the two works connect in a parallel delight. The curator establishes her inspiration for the exhibition by describing her artist-led approach to curating as coming from “ a wide range of diverse perspectives as we illuminate queer love and life at a time when LGBTQ+ life is facing increasing challenges in the UK and globally.”
The Platform section of the London Art Fair will be available to view, along with the rest of the fair till Sunday the 21st of January. Tickets are available via this link.
David Hockney, Jungle Boy, Etching and Aquatint, 1964. Courtesy of Gerrish Fine Art.
Ghada Khunji, FaRIDA X, 2019. Courtesy of Janet Rady Fine Art.
James Dearlove, Figures in a Room with Tulips, 2023. Courtesy of BWG Gallery.
N. Shepherd, IV, The Lovers, 2023. Courtesy of Soho Revue.
N. Shepherd, VX, The Devil, 2023. Courtesy of Soho Revue.
Kudzanai Violet Hwami, Kudzi, 2022. Image courtesy of Kudzanai V.
Zach Toppin, Stuck, 2021. Courtesy of TIN MAN ART.
Olivia Strange, The delicious things they're doing, 2022. Courtesy of Liminal Gallery.
Rafał Zajko, The Hours Have Lost Their Clock (I XII), 2023. Courtesy of QUEERCIRCLE, photographed by Deniz Guzel.
Olivia Sterling, Sorry to use that word, 2024. Courtesy of the artist and Guts Gallery.