The Aberdeen Art Fair has previously established itself as a must-see event for lovers of art. Historically hosted in the city’s Music Hall, this year, however, the art fair is hosted entirely online due to the extraordinary circumstances surrounding Covid-19. As such, this year’s Aberdeen Art Fair has transformed into the Virtual Art Fair. The online exhibition consequently allows art collectors and lovers to view a diversity of modern artistry from the comfort of their homes. The virtual exhibition of artwork is simply categorised by price bands and an exhibitors’ list which also includes links to view the artwork directly by the seller. Consequently, there is a significant ease of use for all those interested in viewing or purchasing. Due to the elimination of the physical constraints that accompany physical exhibition of art, the Virtual Aberdeen Art Fair has brought together a considerably-wide range of artists and art galleries across the country; works by well-known artists are included, along with newcomers and emerging talent that offer an impressive array of contemporary art.
The Aberdeen Artists Society, for example, has exhibited several Scottish contemporary artists of notable talent this year such as Peter Davis and Clare Blois, both award-winning artists. Their striking depictions of Scottish scenery lend a calming, affective impression of the natural surroundings. These artists, along with others, have evidently encapsulated both the physical beauty of Scottish landscape along with their own personal, emotive reactions that accompanied such stunning scenery.
Several galleries are also including brand-new pieces – particularly compelling due to the recent influence of the pandemic. Robertson Fine Art exhibits Rebel Bear’s Frontline, a hand-cut stencil depiction which embodies the sacrifice and humanity of frontline workers throughout the demanding outbreak of Covid-19. Rebel Bear also displays several other works directly influenced by the pandemic, clearly signifying the impact felt by such overwhelming circumstances.
Likewise, the Junor Gallery features the impressive work by Sarah Longley and her Lockdown Study. Longley’s imposing use of charcoal on paper provides a personal yet relatable expression of living through a lockdown, an event that none of us had previously believed we would experience in our own lifetime.
Along with institutions and artists based in the United Kingdom, the breadth of work exhibited is clearly discernible through the inclusion of international galleries such as Dreipunkt Edition. The Dreipunkt Edition is based in the heart of Munich and strives to contribute to the current renaissance of printmaking. As such, the gallery exhibits the unique work of Kristiane Semar, Alexander Arundell and Angela Smets. These artists differ in their style greatly, from the energising depiction of characters by Semar to the minimalistic focus upon colour by Arundell, though they ultimately enforce the range of styles that can be manifested through printmaking.
The Virtual Aberdeen Art Fair is a carefully curated, expansive exhibition which clearly celebrates local, national and international contemporary talent, and the digital nature of the fair renders it all the more accessible. For admirers of art interested in purchasing or viewing profound examples of contemporary artistry available with a wide range of price points, the fair is certainly a captivating exhibition to be viewed.
The Fair supports the Own Art purchase scheme.
With grateful thanks to Teresa Lillis for this review.