British photographic history

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The third edition of Photo London which closed on Sunday 21 May 2017, saw a record 38,000 number of visitors and sales, including major acquisitions by international institutions and significant sales to private collectors. The Fair brought together 89 galleries from 16 countries. Photo London is supported for the second consecutive year by main sponsor Pictet Group, continuing a shared commitment to artistic excellence.

To its established mix of returning galleries, Photo London added several new additions including leading contemporary galleries Victoria Miro, Sprüth Magers and Alison Jacques Gallery. This year’s Fair also featured an expanded 'Discovery' section – a showcase for emerging galleries, publishers and artists, curated for the first time by Art Consultant and Curator Tristan Lund.

The Public Programme was also a strong draw for visitors with highlights including: a presentation of work (Image Atlas) by 2017 Master of Photography Taryn Simon; David Hurn’s Swaps exhibition to celebrate the 70th anniversary of Magnum Photos; and the virtual reality artwork Thresholds by Mat Collishaw, which restages Fox Talbot's pioneering 1839 exhibition of photography and continues at Somerset House until 11 June. Photo London’s pavilion commissions continued this year and included a special mural by legendary photographer William Klein together monumental photographic installations by Korean artists Bae Bien-U and Noh Suntag. The Fair also featured a special presentation of Isaac Julien’s award winning Looking For Langston which continues at Somerset House until 29 May.
Several initiatives were also launched at this year’s Fair including two awards – the Photo London Artproof Award and the Book Dummy Award – and The Crucible Project supported by the LUMA Foundation, a new virtual space for the exploration of photography that will take place throughout the year at a series of venues across the City. Michael G. Wilson OBE, major patron and photography collector, was also named Honorary President of Photo London, meaning he will play a key role in the selection of next year’s Master of Photography.

Michael Benson and Fariba Farshad, Founding Directors of Photo London, said: “Our third edition has seen Photo London come of age. It is now firmly established as part of the cultural fabric of the City and is a key date in the international artworld calendar – the event that anyone who is seriously interested in the past present and future of photography cannot afford to miss. We were delighted to present such a strong line-up of both new and returning galleries for the third edition of Photo London, as well as an incredible Public Programme with leading artists such as Taryn Simon, Isaac Julien, William Klein and Mat Collishaw, and our Talks Programme, which featured conversations between some of the finest photographers of our generation. The quality of our exhibitors translated into strong sales throughout the Fair and we are happy to report excellent visitor figures. We are looking forward to the fourth edition of Photo London and continuing the Fair’s upward trajectory. There is huge enthusiasm for photography in London and it’s great to know that Photo London is contributing towards the development of London as a key global centre for the medium.

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “The success of this year’s Photo London shows that our great city is open to creativity, ideas and to people from around the world. I’m delighted that a record number of visitors came to experience the wide variety of exhibitions and events at Photo London, strengthening the capital’s position as a global cultural powerhouse.

Philippe Garner, Chair of the Photo London Curatorial Committee, said: “We believe that Photo London has succeeded in presenting an exciting international overview of the ways in which the medium of photography has been explored in recent years, well punctuated with classic reference points from both the distant and more recent past.

The fourth edition of Photo London will take place from 17-20 (preview 16) May 2018.

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