Photo London Returns to Somerset House for its Sixth Edition

Saturday, June 12, 2021
Photo London Returns to Somerset House for its Sixth Edition

Photo London returns to Somerset House for its sixth edition from 8–12 September 2021. Building on last year’s success, the second edition of Photo London Digital will run concurrently with the physical fair thus providing an opportunity to participate for exhibitors unable to attend in person.

Photo London returns to Somerset House for its sixth edition from 8–12 September 2021. Building on last year’s success, the second edition of Photo London Digital will run concurrently with the physical fair, providing an opportunity to participate for exhibitors unable to attend in person. In addition, in recognition of the fact that, in some cases, work has to be seen to be fully appreciated, digital exhibitors will be given the option to showcase work in a special booth at Somerset House. 

Over the past year, Photo London has evolved into a year-round event fuelled by the popularity of its acclaimed Academy featuring talks, events, a fortnightly magazine and monthly photography book club.  In the months leading up to the fair, the Academy programme will be largely dedicated to showcasing artists from participating exhibitors.

Michael Benson and Fariba Farshad, Founders of Photo London, said: “The past year has been immensely challenging for Photo London. Yet, thanks to the good will of our exhibitors, the huge enthusiasm of our audiences around the world and the support of such partners as Nikon and the Arts Council, we have weathered the many storms that have faced us and are now looking forward to a strong sixth edition of Photo London in September.  We are thrilled that Photo London will be the first photography Fair to take place anywhere in the world for over a year. Thrilled too to be able to play such key role in the reopening of Somerset House and the rebuilding of London’s cultural infrastructure.

The exhibitors’ roster keeps growing day by day and the full list will be confirmed in late July.

Program highlights so far include:

Master photographer James Barnor and prolific artist Romuald Hazoumè, shown alongside emerging artists Benji Reid and Alexis Peskine by October Gallery (London), who both previously exhibited in Somerset House’s Get Up, Stand Up Now exhibition. 

Two unique yet related bodies of work, Bunker: Along the Atlantic Wall by Italian Photographer Guido Guidi and Bunkers, an on-going series by Los Angeles based Mark Ruwedel, exhibited by Large Glass (London).

Reflex Amsterdam (Amsterdam), presenting Todd Hido’s upcoming and unreleased series The End Sends Advance Warning.

Robert Morat (Berlin) presents a solo booth of new CUT OUTS by Jessica Backhaus. The images created using simple tools – sun, scissors and paper – highlight photography’s basic elements: light and shadow, shape and colour. Other solo presentations include Kim Boske at FLATLAND (Amsterdam), Rankin at 29 Arts in Progress (Milan), Dafna Talmor at Sid Motion (London), Heather Agyepong at James Hyman Gallery (London) and Alia Ali at Galerie Peter Sillem (Frankfurt).

Camera Work (Berlin) presents newly released works by Herb Ritts and Hans Feurer, as well as new work from Christian Tagliavini’s latest series Circesque

For the first time, the Lee Miller Archives presents the private work of LIFE magazine photographer and editor David E. Scherman, alongside the work of the celebrated photographer Lee Miller.

Christophe Guye Galerie (Zürich) presents a group of artists who all work around the theme of nature in contemporary photography: Bae Bien-U, Simen Johan, Syoin Kajii, Rinko Kawauchi, Jung Lee, Brigitte Lustenberger, Risaku Suzuki and Dominique Teufen.

Carlos Carvalho Arte Contemporanea (Lisbon) presents Marguerite Bornhauser, Winner of Emerging Photographer award 2020, alongside Daniel Blaufuks, Manuel Vilariño, Noé Sendas and others.

Purdy Hicks (London), features works by Susan Derges, Diana Matar, Sandra Kantanen and Santere Tuori.

Boogie Wall (London) will highlight Women to Watch featuring work by Delphine Diallo, Namsa Leuba and Annina Roescheisen.

Galerie Thierry Bigaignon (Paris) features three artists who, in a quest to propose a new visual vocabulary, challenge the medium and explore the full extent of its possibilities – Catherine Balet, Ralph Gibson and Rémi Noël.

Robert Hershkowitz Ltd (London), Roland Belgrave (Brighton), Augusta Edwards Fine Arts (London) and Stewart & Skeels (London) will continue Photo London’s commitment to showcasing outstanding historic photography.

MMX Gallery (London), who focus their booth on different approaches to portrait photography, and Webber Gallery (London) both graduate from our Discovery Section to the main fair.

Photo London’s acclaimed Discovery section – dedicated to nurturing younger galleries and spotlighting fresh talent – is set to once again inspire and surprise visitors and collectors. Participating galleries include Black Box Projects (London) who will bring together the work of international contemporary artists who apply historic photographic techniques to create innovative and unique works of art. Their presentation will include works by Joanne Dugan, Adam Jeppesen, Chris McCaw, Joni Sternbach, Liz Nielsen, Steve Macleod, and Timo Lieber. A.I. Gallery (London), showing work by Fiona Ones; Encounter Contemporary, Open Doors, Hi-Noon, SEAGER Gallery (all London); Marshall Contemporary (Los Angeles); Gudberg Nerger (Hamburg) showing Sebastian Cramer’s 3D ARCOPLANTSEUQINOM gallery (San Francisco) showing work by Christina Seely, whose photographic practice crosses the fields of science, design and architecture; Photon Gallery (Ljubljana and Vienna) focusing on landscape and architecture in contemporary central European photography; and Tintera (Cairo) whose booth will include the work of Ibrahim Ahmed, finalist of the 2020 Emerging Photographer of the Year Award.

In the Publishers section, Photo London is delighted to welcome new exhibitor Gost Books (London), Kehrer Verlag (Heidelberg), Hoxton Mini Press (London), Éditions Xavier Barral / Atelier EXB (Paris), Dewi Lewis Publishing (U.K.), Benrido Atelier (Kyoto) and Thames & Hudson (London).

Special Exhibitors include:

The View Magazine (London) presenting Someone's Daughter, an inspirational photographic exhibition by some of the world's leading photographers, featuring portraits of 15 leading women and 15 women activists and former prisoners. The project is curated by Jennie Ricketts, the respected former picture editor of The Observer and led by Rachael Heaton-Armstrong, the magazine’s Creative Director and documentary maker of Inside the World's Toughest Prisons

The Stanley Foundation will support an exhibition of work selected from final year photography students at London’s leading art colleges.


Alongside the fair, Photo London is delighted present a special events programme. For the Master of Photography exhibition, Shirin Neshat presents for the first time in full in the UK, Land of Dreams featuring all 111 photographs of New Mexico residents and her two-channel film installation. This body of works, marks a significant visual and conceptual shift for the artist, who has turned her lens to the landscape and people of the American West. Land of Dreams premiered in the US at Gladstone Gallery, New York, earlier this year, and was presented in part at Goodman Gallery, London, in 2020. The exhibition will be on view in the Embankment Galleries of Somerset House from 1 September in anticipation of the Fair’s arrival. 

Robert Capa, Close Enough. This touring exhibition dedicated to legendary Hungarian-American war photographer Robert Capa has been organised in collaboration with MESSUMS LONDON who recently launched their new photography department. The exhibition – curated by Julie Bonzon (Dr), Director of Photography, Messums, and Ben Burdett, Director, Atlas Gallery – will feature a succession of iconic stories made throughout Capa's career, from the altogether varying contexts in which he found himself. The title of the show references the scenes witnessed by Capa, the challenges he encountered in photographing tragedy and death while remaining a detached observer, as well as the legacy of this photographic approach today. On view, there will be over 50 vintage photographs selected from the Kogan Collection – one of the UK's largest private conflict photography collections, which to date has never been shown – including the second earliest print in existence of The Falling Soldier, now widely recognised as one of the most important war photographs of all time. The central piece in this exhibition is Capa's original Leica camera with which he took his earliest photographs. Exhibited for the first time, the camera offers a rare insight into Capa's image-making process and forthcoming extraordinary photographic journey.

A part of the programme Nikon, the Fair's main sponsor, will run a series of online and offline professional photography workshops, from Documentary to Fine Art and Portraiture photography. Guest speakers include Fine Art photographer Harry Skeggs and London based Anaesthetic Doctor and Photographer Dr Jon Williamson. This incredible line up of talks aim to empower the creators of tomorrow sharing with them practical and valuable insights from a series of Nikon experts. Bookings for these sessions can be made through the Nikon School website.

The Nikon stand will display an incredible range of products, offering customers the opportunity to get hands-on with the latest cameras and extensive range of lenses. Nikon will also be showcasing work from last year’s Emerging Photographer of the Year award. 

Building on the success of Photo London’s online Academy, the Talks Programme – curated by William A Ewing – will continue online. Although the programme is still in development, current highlights include:

  • A panel discussion on Polaroid photography led by Barbara P. Hitchcock, curator of the Polaroid Collections, Massachusetts
  • Thomas Walther on Collecting Nineteenth Century Photography
  • Lee Friedlander and Jeff Rosenheim, Curator in Charge of the Metropolitan Museum's Department of Photographs, in conversation
  • A panel on Architecture & Photography with photographers Ljubodrac Andric and Nikola Olic, and Valeria Carullo, photographs curator, Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA);
  • A panel with Adam Lowe, Sarah Kenderdine, professor of Digital Museology at the École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne, Switzerland and Phil Harvey.
  • Artist Lorenzo Vitturi in conversation with Walter Guadagnini, Director of Camera Torino
  • Artist Nancy Burson and collector WM Hunt in conversation
  • Liz Nielsen in conversation
  • Robert Capa panel led by David Kogan

The full programme of talks will be announced in the coming months.

These unique resources have been developed in the spirit of the Academy – to make great photography more accessible, support the industry ecosystem and share the knowledge and expertise of our partners. The photography community is at the heart of Photo London and now more than ever it is important that we support our galleries and artists.


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Image of the Day

Anna Melnykova, "Palace of Labor (palats praci), architector I. Pretro, 1916", shot with analog Canon camera, 35 mm Fuji film in March 2022.

Anna Melnykova, "Palace of Labor (palats praci), architector I. Pretro, 1916", shot with analog Canon camera, 35 mm Fuji film in March 2022.


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