With art, as with all things, different genres come into and out of fashion. Very voguish right now, aptly enough, are fashion illustrations, and London’s premier source for collectors is the Fashion Illustration Gallery. Founded by curator William Ling, it sells prints and original artworks by the likes of David Downton, Gladys Perint Palmer, Luke Edward Hall and Ling’s wife Tanya, who have helped their métier reassert itself after decades of domination by glossy photography. It also has items from great illustrators of the past, such as René Gruau.
But a small, by-appointment gallery gets only so much footfall, so FIG, as its friends know it, holds occasional fairs to attract a larger audience. The latest (June 30-July 2) will be a bigger and better version of the FIG Art Fair it ran last year in the gallery space of The Shop at Bluebird, with the venue staying the same but the event this time round sponsored by Yu Capital.
The work of about 30 international contemporary artists, including youngsters likely to be future stars, will be on sale. Prints and precious originals will line the walls of this relaxed, airy space, as well as being arranged more informally in boxes to browse through. Star items will include originals from Downton’s couture archive (from £2,500), as well as prints of some of his work (from £300); amusingly insouciant Andrea Ferolla drawings (from £1,000); and original sketches by Blair Breitenstein, with new ones drawn and released each day of the show. Highlights in terms of prints include a striking drawing by Sunflowerman of a rare Voutilainen watch (£150).
In addition, several experts will host talks on aspects of their art, including Downton and Courtauld Institute senior lecturer Rebecca Arnold. A great chance to learn, and to snap up a possible future piece of fashion history.