From Rankin to Mexico’s Visionaries: Highlights from Photo London 2021

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© Rankin - Jude Law, 1995 - Courtesy of 29 ARTS IN
Jude and Ronald, 1995© Rankin, Courtesy of 29 ARTS IN PROGRESS gallery

As Photo London 2021 commences, we share our highlights from the photography fair

Photo London is a celebration of the world’s most groundbreaking photography. The four-day festival descends on the UK capital every year, attracting the industry’s leading dealers and galleries, and a horde of exciting breakout talent. Its sixth edition – held this weekend at London’s Somerset House, as well as online – will offer more of the same captivating curation, with a mixture of emerging work, unearthed archives and rare vintage prints, as well as Nikon-led photography workshops, artist talks, and the opportunity for personal portfolio reviews. With so much on offer, it can be easy to feel overwhelmed, which is why we’ve rounded up our selection of must-see highlights.

Rankin, 29 Arts In Progress (Milan) gallery space

Renowned fashion photographer Rankin will be sharing his favourite archival images for this year’s festival. The show will include a selection of his most striking celebrity portraits – including Jude Law nuzzling up to Ronald McDonald, and a young Kate Moss for an early 90s issue of Dazed, which he co-founded – as well as some of his more recent conceptual work.

War & Glamour, Lee Miller Archives 

Lee Miller lived an exceptional life. In the 1920s, she was a sought-after New York fashion model, posing for photographers like Edward Steichen and Arnold Genthe, and appearing in the pages of Vogue. Years later, she would come to take her own turn behind the camera, documenting the Second World War as a fearless photojournalist. Some of the most arresting images from this period, pulled from her immense archives, will be on display this year.

Mexican Artists, Michael Hoppen Gallery

The Michael Hoppen Gallery will be paying tribute to some of the most seminal photographers of the 20th century, with a particular focus on Mexico. Paying tribute to the country’s rich cultural history, the show will spotlight some of its most “unique and seductive” visionaries – including Enrique Metinides, Manuel Álvarez Bravo and Kati Horna.

Magnum Photos

“What do you hang on the walls of your mind?” The question, once posed by legendary photojournalist Eve Arnold, is the inspiration for this year’s Magnum Photos show. The photo cooperative will be handpicking images from their formidable roster, sharing images that have captured seismic “political events and moments of humanity” from across history.

James Barnor, Romuald Hazoumè, Benji Reid and Alexis Peskine, October Gallery

This year’s contribution from the October Gallery will offer a critical look at our current society. The politically charged show will examine macro social injustices – like violence, racism and displacement – and their related effects on mental health. Esteemed names like James Barnor and Romuald Hazoumè will both feature, along with emerging talents Benji Reid and Alexis Peskine.

Land of Dreams, Shirin Neshat

Comprised of over 100 photographs and a two-channel film installation, Land of Dreams marks a significant conceptual shift for Shirin Neshat. The Iranian artist, who is renowned for her explorations of the feminine experience of Islam, created her latest project in the depths of New Mexico. The result is a surreal study of contemporary American culture, created in the dying days of the Trump era. 

David Bailey

David Bailey dives into his illustrious archive for this year’s Photo London, handpicking his favourite images from the last six decades. This selection includes his rarely seen portraits of Jean Shrimpton, Andy Warhol and Miles Davis from the 60s, as well as a captivating range of shots from his 80s fashion archive.

Nick Knight

Albion Barn meanwhile presents a brilliant solo exhibition of photographs by Nick Knight, featuring two new landscapes, exhibited for the first time ever, in addition to a selection of works from the photographer’s highly popular Roses from my Garden series, shot on an iPhone back in 2019. “I am intrigued about showing a mood, an emotion, a feeling of a place not it’s form or structure,” says Knight. “For me this is closer to my experience of nature.”

Photo London will run at London’s Somerset House from September 9-12.