London's largest ever photography fair has opened at Somerset House with over 70 galleries from 20 countries participating. The inaugural Photo London also features exhibitions of works by photographer Sebastião Salgado and 200 rarely seen photographs from the V&A's vast archive. A series of talks during the fair includes audiences and conversations with Salgado and Don McCullin, our own Kate Barrett hosting a Q&A with Rankin and Stephen Shore on the Instagram phenomenon.
Photo London's co-director Michael Benson said the ongoing emphasis of the fair would be on unseen works - 50 per cent of the galleries in the fair are showing new works - and supporting young and emerging photographers. They have been given their own section of the fair, tagged Discovery.
With support from Maja Hoffmann's LUMA Foundation, Photo London is the largest takeover of Somerset House for a single event. It comes on the back of a run of successful photography exhibitions at the venue and, says Somerset House director Jonathan Reekie, marks its arrival as a 'new kind of arts centre'.
The launch of the Photo London has prompted an outbreak of photo-related activity across London's galleries, public and private, and auction houses. Tate Modern is launching the Offprint photo book fair, the National Portrait Gallery is hosting talks with Shore and Nadav Kander amongst others and there are photography-related shows at the Whitechapel Gallery (Christopher Williams) and at Marian Goodman Gallery (Thomas Struth). There are also photography sales at Christie's, Sotheby's and Phillips this month.