Around 50 exhibitors have committed to the event, which runs from July 3-10. It traditionally takes place around galleries in London’s Mayfair and St James’, with local dealers staging shows in their own showrooms and those from farther afield renting out spaces.
However, for this edition, LAW has created an online space where participants can offer their works individually and through joint displays in ‘Viewing Rooms’. These will open first for an invitation-only private view on July 2.
Chairman and dealer Stephen Ongpin says that the online format is not meant to replace their usual programme of exhibitions.
“Come July 1 if it is allowed there is a core group of galleries that could put exhibitions up for visitors, but it will be a smaller, more streamlined event,” he says.
Like several other dealers in the area, he is planning to gradually reopen to the public this month in line with government regulations. His LAW exhibition Drawn to Nature: Flora and Fauna from the 16th Century to the Present will be hung in hopes that it will go ahead as a socially-distanced event: no opening but with each visitor being buzzed in and out of the gallery to control numbers.
Though he stresses that the online edition is a temporary measure for LAW, he adds that new participants have been attracted by lower costs, geographical flexibility as well as what he dubs the “collegial” nature of the effort.
London newcomers include Offer Waterman and Stuart Lochhead, while Sladmore Gallery and Philip Mould & Company are returning after a few years away. From further afield are Jill Newhouse (New York), Nicolás Cortés Gallery (Madrid) and Galerie Canesso (Paris).
In addition to the galleries, auction houses Christie’s, Sotheby’s and Bonhams will all take part.