London Art Week, bringing post Brexit collectors and art dealers back to the UK is no easy feat: light and shadow in a sector now focused on young people and technology

The next edition of London Art Week held in the English capital from 3 to 8 July. Illuminated because after the pandemic and a still struggling restart attempt in 2021, now, in Britain, who stubbornly wanted to return to normal as soon as possible, this appointment will be crucial. And since all is not always lost, previous editions have left something good. The digital platform, which was heavily implemented when everything was happening online, has increasingly become the protagonist in a sector that has so far been mostly based on face-to-face. In addition to the conversations that will continue to involve experts from around the world at the same time – without moving them away from home – the use of technology will allow us to scrutinize the works from hitherto unpublished profiles.

Light Garrigues, Director of London Art Week, he claims the effort to implement the digital offering also in this edition of the total return in presence: “What technology offers us today is the chance to go behind the scenes and to appreciate a painting or a sculpture by seeing it in a new light, ”he explains. X-rays, infrared, details of frames and restoration phases, ad hoc podcasts: the intention is to show, thanks to digital support, everything that was previously unknown, with the dual purpose of to make art more accessible to new interactions and to help increase the culture of the classic, increasingly distant from the tastes of the new generations and new markets. For the former, there are already several successful experiments in making pop details or classic icons that have been able to enchant even the most distracted or intolerant in the world of ancient art. Just think of the huge success of “Lfor girl with a pearl earring”, For example, rediscovered and relaunched with great skill a few years ago.

Luce Garrigues also explains to us that today, especially the new generations, buy art online, and also for this reason it was necessary to ask the technology to tell a work in 360 degrees, which allows to see through all the details to determine that. by putting it in virtual contact with real objects. For the latter, buyers and collectors coming from emerging markets, the discourse, Luce Garrigues explains, is more complex. In order to attract admirers who grew up far from the European basin and from the culture of the great religious iconography, it is necessary to link classical art to elements of novelty that recreate a culture of antiquity.

To repeat them as well Stefania Rulfi, artist agent who confirms how most of the money spent in the sector today is increasingly drawn towards the world of modern and contemporary, neglects the classic, which is considered obsolete and more difficult to adapt to new living and social contexts. This phenomenon is not difficult to explain if one thinks about how the generations brought up to the sound of high technology and speed can better recognize themselves in a scenographic work, with a strong influence of colors and images, rather than in an old painting consisting of difficult subjects to understand, perhaps with a gloomy or suffering air and at least an expression of a taste that is very far from the present. “But our goal,” clarifies the director of law – is that bring people back here to Mayfair to get them into our galleries and win them backTo offer something more, he adds, the theme of the 2022 summer edition will be “Music & Dance” and will see the collaboration with the Philharmonic Orchestra, which will organize live concerts in the galleries that have been invited to exhibit at least one. work related to this subject, but it will not be easy to bring collectors and art dealers back to London.

And here comes the second shadow. The combination of two factors will make this year’s challenge particularly complex. On one side all the problems and consequences that Brexit has created and the new taxes, the new costs of international shipments and a particularly complex bureaucracy that discourages purchases abroad. On the other hand, almost simultaneously with the Maastricht appointment, which this year, taking place close to London Art Week, will certainly remove the entire market in neighboring countries and hardly stimulate the intercontinental to linger in Europe for two weeks to participate in both events. “In London we will hardly see European collectors this yearComments Saviano Bellè, a Tuscan restaurateur based in England for many years. “Here will be the locals and above all those who usually sat on the bench because the main figures in the sector will all be in Maastricht”. And that’s why this year London hopes to be able to play the card for the appeal of its brand stronger. In a collective effort, the city will try to sell art and itself, open the doors to galleries for all, in a more intimate way to enjoy art that puts experts dedicated to answering any curiosity, and which allows to admire artists such as usually found in museums.

Just think of the drawing by Albrecht Durer, Virgin and Child, recently rediscovered and presented in Agnes Gallery, where the curator is available to illustrate the work and tell the public all the updates about this recent discovery. As well as the Colnaghi Gallery, who has decided to dedicate a special focus to women, artists of the past. It will, of course, be the brother party Artemisia Gentileschi, but it will not be just her. In recent years, the world of classical art has increasingly rediscovered the hand and female talent of previous centuries, which until now had never had the deserved limelight. Women who grew up in the workshops of important painters and sculptors and who were only allowed to perform portraits or still lifes. These include Fede Galicia, Rachel Ruysh, Clara Peeters, Elena Recco, less famous but much coveted today. And last but not least, Caterina Angela Pierozzi, the only woman in the seventeenth century who, after studying at the Academy and the firm of art and design at Artemisia Gentileschi, was welcomed and protected by the Medici court under the patronage of Grand Duchess Vittoria della Rovere, famous for always supporting women’s talent in art. Finally, as tradition believes, there will also be the long awaited evening auctions at Bonhams, Christie’s and Sotheby’s which will bring a selection that boasts the Nymph of Lucas Cranach I, a battle scene by Willem van de Velde the Younger and a trompe l’oeil by Edward Collier.

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