As one of the most photographed cities in the world, London focuses on the photographic medium at this weekend’s international fine art exhibition, Photo London. Now in its second year, the event returns to Somerset House from May 19 to 22. Eighty-five galleries from around the world will display an eclectic offering of photographic work to include 19th century pioneers, prolific 20th century photographers, and emerging and established contemporary photographic artists.
Several exhibition highlights buttress Photo London 2016, including an exhibition showcasing the work of photojournalist Don McCullin, honored as this year’s Photo London Master of Photography. German photographer Wolfgang Tillmans, perhaps best known for his photographs of the ‘90s London club scene, gets political with posters that adorn the exhibition pavilion walls, compelling Britons to vote to remain in the European Union.
If you’re peckish during the weekend-long event, head to documentarian Martin Parr’s installation. Just outside of the exhibit is a caravan kitted out as a pop-up restaurant to coincide with the release of his latest book, “Real Food,” celebrating quirky comfort foods from around the world.
For those attending during the evening, “The Magic Lantern Show” is an after hours installation of street photography and music that takes place in the dark, damp, and quite creepy subterranean space beneath Somerset House.
While the event is an opportunity for collectors to buy, one can get a sense of the photographer’s craft with a program of talks and panel discussions happening throughout the weekend. Artists including American photographer and filmmaker Katy Grannan, ceramicist Edmund de Waal, and landscape photographer Richard Misrach will discuss their working processes.
In addition to the main affair at Somerset House further satellite events are taking place throughout the capital. Art institutions, such as the Victoria and Albert Museum, Tate Modern, and Tate Britain, are all featuring photographic exhibitions which don’t require admission to Photo London. If you haven’t seen it yet, this is your final chance to see the National Portrait Gallery’s “Vogue 100: A Century of Style,” an exhibit highlighting the commissioned fashion photographs of British Vogue, which ends this Sunday.
But while you’re still at Somerset House, you’ll want to keep an eye out for the David Bowie photographs scattered about the contemporary galleries, which includes a Brian Duffy contact sheet from Bowie’s 1973 Aladdin Sane album shoot.