From the 1850s to the present day, including everything from jellyfish to soaking-wet Persian rugs, here are our selected favourites from this year’s sprawling multi-venue photography fair in the capital.
Above image: Playground, 2021 by Prince Gyasi, Series: Treasure Trove Series, Courtesy of Nil Gallery
Experiment on Electrical Stimulation of Muscle – weeping woman’, 1855-56
Photo London’s selection of masterworks from the earliest period of photography continues with these images of Duchenne de Boulogne’s experimental work, taken by the neurologist himself.
Photograph Credit: Robert Hershkowitz Ltd/Duchenne de Boulogne
Painted Desert, 1981 (from the series Through America)
Simone Kappeler’s photographs, both experimental and poetic, reveal a strangely foreign world that surrounds us.
Photograph Credit: Simone Kappeler/Galerie Esther Woerdehoff
Blade of Light for Alexander McQueen, 2004
Crowned master of photography at this year’s Photo London, Nick Knight’s exhibition of key works spans the length and breadth of his extraordinary career and includes works from the 1980s through to the new sculptural pieces he made this year. It encompasses fashion, portraiture, still life, landscape and the nude. ‘My quest has always been to use photography to show me things I could not see,’ he says.
Photograph Credit: Nick Knight
Queen Granny, 2021
Lou Escobar’s images are characterised by a strongly cinematic style. Lou plays with the real and surreal, positioning the subject between fact and fiction.
Photograph Credit: Lou Escobar/Nil Gallery
Somebody tells me, why everything happens, 2020
Nana Yaw Oduro depicts himself through staged models. The stories emerging through his lens are inspired by his history. He explores topics such as masculinity, boyhood and self-acceptance.
Photograph Credit: Nana Yaw Oduro/Fine Art Baryta/Afikaris
In 1996, the American photographer Philip-Lorca diCorcia shot hundreds of frames in the Ukrainian city of Odessa. With the exception of a single picture, the photographs were never published and disappeared into the artist’s archive. diCorcia revisited his back catalogue and selected a series of these previously unseen photographs of the life and people of the historic port of Odessa and its surroundings. These will be exhibited for sale at Photo London and all proceeds will be donated to the Red Cross
Photograph Credit: Philip-Lorca diCorcia/Sprüth Magers and David Zwirner
Grayson Perry, Birling Gap, 2017
Grayson Perry at Beachy Head. Richard Ansett imagined an ambivalent extended metaphor for Brexit that represents an idealised sense of Britishness conjured by the white cliffs and the suicidal ideation of Beachy Head’s cliff edge. Grayson’s 2017 documentary Divided Britain was a ‘mid-Brexit’ examination of the emotions, desires and beliefs driving our loyalties to political tribes
Photograph Credit: Richard Ansett/Lucy Bell Gallery
Water and Persian Rugs, 2004
‘On most of the occasions when we start thinking about doing something, that particular thought does not proceed the way we expect,’ says Iranian photographer Jalal Sepehr. ‘We may run into lots of ideas that we should pay close attention to as we go forward. From time to time, a planned work can be made to come true in the background even better than on the stage. This is particularly true of my series Water and Persian Rugs, in which an unexpected environment was created between the event and the moment.’
Photograph Credit: Jalal Sepehr/LS10 Gallery
Fly Guy, Downtown, Brooklyn, NYC 1983
Since the 1980s, Jamel Shabazz has photographed vibrant New York City street scenes that capture Black joy and self-determination. The Brooklyn-born photographer began his creative work after returning from military service – he wanted to offer visual alternatives to the era’s prevailing media narratives about Black neighbourhoods.
Photograph Credit: Jamel Shabazz/Galerie Bene Taschen
Le Bleu du Ciel, 2020
Twice a year, swallows cross the Sahara and the Mediterranean to reach sub-Saharan Africa and Europe. Observing their migrating journey, photographer Edouard Taufenbach (together with his acolyte Bastien Pourtout) and musician Régis Campo sought to develop a sensitive representation of the passage of time, movement and exchanges and circulations within a space.
Photograph Credit: Edouard Taufenbach/Almanaque Fotográfica
Untitled I (skin studies), 2015
Mia Dudek’s practice probes the relationship between the body and the architectural fabric, while exploring notions of intimacy, displacement and inhabiting
Photograph Credit: Mia Dudek/Import Export
Corsetry, Solarised Photographs, Vogue Studio, London, 1942
Lee Miller experimenting in a fashion shoot for underwear at British Vogue studio. She explores the effect of solarisation and double exposure on the shimmer and stretch of the corset fabric.
Read our exploration of Lee Miller’s life and unmatched influence on mid-20th Century photography here.
Photograph Credit: Lee Miller/Lee Miller Archive
Tali Amitai-Tabib’s work offers us a privileged moment, an intimate meeting in places of culture.
Photograph Credit: Tali Amitai Tabib/Galerie Olivier Waltman
Tim Flach is a photographer known for his highly stylised animal portraits that contradict traditional or accepted depictions of animals in their natural habitats. His work brings the complexity of the animal kingdom to life while also ‘exploring the role of imagery in fostering emotional connection’.
Photograph Credit: Tim Flach/Echo Fine Art
Last of The Teddy Girls
Ken Russell‘s Teddy Girls which were shot in 1955, on the bombsites in London’s East End.
Photo Credit Credit: Lucy Bell Gallery/Ken Russell
Les jeunes promis, 2021
Marc Posso signs the revival of traditional studio photography. In homage to the work of Malick Sidibé and Seydou Keïta – to name only two – the young Gabonese photographer utilises the codes of the genre and reinterprets them by anchoring them in the contemporary era. Sometimes working with an analog camera, sometimes with a digital one, he maintains the characteristics of the first and influences his images with a certain nostalgia. Thus, the photographer reinterprets traditions and proposes a journey through a time where past and present merge.
Photo Credit: Courtesy of Marc Posso and Afikaris