London has been my home for 33 years. It is a city that mixes its rich history with buildings like the Tower of London and other world-famous historical monuments and yet grows and develops and is constantly changing. We have the royal family as well as the birthplace of punk! London is a very special place that acknowledges its history but isn’t defined by it. With all that in mind, it is my pleasure to be acting as guest editor for this edition of Whitewaller London.
The city is full of culture—whether art or food. I live in Peckham with my wife, Sue, and nearby is the South London Gallery. It has an eclectic program of contemporary art and has recently opened exhibitions with Oscar Murillo and Christian Boltanski, and during Frieze I’ll be checking out their exhibition exploring humor in contemporary art, called “Knock Knock.” The restaurant at the gallery is fantastic. Other local food spots that I enjoy are Miss Tapas and Artusi, both located near Peckham Rye station. I also like Kenwood House for its Georgian splendor—it contains a wonderful collection of artworks, including paintings by Vermeer, Rembrandt, Gainsborough, and Reynolds.
The week of Frieze, I am looking forward to Michael Landy’s exhibition “Scaled-Down” at Thomas Dane. Michael studied alongside me at Goldsmiths college in the 1980s. London was a very different place then, and there were only five or six serious contemporary art galleries. There are now hundreds!
Frieze is exciting as you can see things that were made just last week at the fair! Frieze Masters has a richness to it and is surprisingly relaxing to walk around. There you can see art that spans over many centuries. At Frieze Masters, Alan Cristea Gallery will have an overview of prints by the British painter Howard Hodgkin, who, sadly, passed away recently, and was a master of color and paint.
And in the center of town at the National Gallery there is a Mantegna and Bellini show opening on October 1, which I will definitely be visiting. Finally, to toot my own trumpet, I have a show open at Waddington Custot! Hoping to see you all there.
—Ian Davenport, Artist