It was essentially similar to previous years. That is, galleries in Mayfair and St James specialising in what the organisation dubs ‘pre-contemporary’ art opened their doors to the public in an effort to welcome clients old and new during London’s busy summer season.
However, the event had a new look and website featuring the 40 participants (including Christie’s, Sotheby’s and Bonhams). It also marked the launch of three new galleries in the area: Benappi Fine Art, Tomasso Brothers and Trinity Fine Art.
Trinity’s Alexandra Toscano reported being “pleased with the attendance”, with four sales made over the course of the week and several other pieces under consideration despite the difficult market.
Kallos Gallery was among those hosting a titled exhibition. Where we are and where we have been featured a mix of antiquities and the more modern pieces, illustrating cross-cultural artistic connections.
“The week was a great time to launch the show,” says the gallery’s Madeleine Perridge. “It’s such a busy time, but so many people come to London and they feel they can wander around Mayfair and St James’s. We had people come in we had never met before.”
Stephen Ongpin agrees. “The thing about LAW is that people do the rounds. They go to galleries they don’t normally visit.” His show, Drawings by Giambattista and Giandomenico Tiepolo, included 22 works, eight of which sold, with half of them going to new clients.
In its new guise, Ongpin adds, the event will start to be understood as a stand-alone entity, “something that stands out in the way that London Fashion Week stands out – but as an event that is more open to the public and less exclusive”.
For many it is a chance to highlight their own spaces, though for others it is an opportunity to go to the heart of the London summer scene. Among those exhibiting in temporary spaces were dealers Álvaro Roquette and Pedro Aguiar-Branco of AR-PAB, who exhibited a mix of objects from the Portuguese age of discovery at a Ryder Street location.
Meanwhile, Raccanello Leprince held an exhibition of early European pottery alongside the contemporary sculptures of David Begbie – another show mixing modern and ancient works. As well as the event’s second run later this year, LAW plans to keep an online presence year round.
“Mayfair is exciting and modern and there’s lots to see here,” Perridge adds. “We’d like to see more people coming through and have this area become a regular stopping point for collectors.”