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Harry Gruyaert, Washington, DC, USA, 1986 | © Harry Gruyaert/FIFTYONE
Harry Gruyaert, Washington, DC, USA, 1986 | © Harry Gruyaert/FIFTYONE

The Photographers to Discover at Photo London 2017

Picture of Freire Barnes
Art & Design Editor
Updated: 19 May 2017

Now in its third year, Photo London has firmly cemented itself as the leading photography event in the capital. Presenting over 85 galleries from 17 countries at London’s Somerset House, you can discover everything from unseen works by fashion photographer William Klein, solo presentations of Guy Bourdin or Robert Mapplethorpe to vintage prints by Fox Talbot and the monumental architectural interiors by German photographer and former student of Bernd and Hilla Becher, Candida Höfer. Here, Culture Trip’s Art & Design Editor Freire Barnes selects eight photographers, all at different stages of their careers and concerned with a range of subjects, who you need to see at this prestigious annual fair.

Toshio Shibata at Polka (Booth F13) and Ibasho (Booth F7)

Known for his large-scale photographs of man-made constructions within nature, the Japanese photographer is showcased at two galleries through smaller works. Often focusing on bridges or waterways, Shibata purposefully crops into the frame, eradicating skylines, so all sense of perspective is lost and the landscape becomes an abstraction of itself.

Toshio Shibata, Okawa Village, Tosa County, Japan, 2007 | Courtesy of IBASHO gallery, Antwerp

Toshio Shibata, Okawa Village, Tosa County, Japan, 2007 | Courtesy of IBASHO gallery, Antwerp

Siân Davey at Michael Hoppen Gallery (Booth C1)

With over 15 years experience as a psychotherapist, the MA graduate, Siân Davey has an innate ability to tap into the emotions and developmental nuances of becoming an adult. Just announced as one of 10 winners of the Magnum Photos and Photo London Graduate Photographers Award 2017, a selection from Davey’s series Martha that reveal the changing world of her teenage stepdaughter is presented at Michael Hoppen’s booth.

Siân Davey, Torquay 5am from the series ‘Martha’ | © Siân Davey

Siân Davey, Torquay 5am from the series ‘Martha’ | © Siân Davey

Claudio Bertoni at Ekho Gallery and CF-LART (Booth F11)

The Chilean poet and artist is exhibiting works from his ‘Ephemeral Sculptures’ series. Leant against the floor of Ekho Gallery and CF-LART’s joint booth are three framed photographs from the series that feel like contemporary Instagram snapshots, but are in actual fact poetic compositions of fleeting daily activities from the late 1960s.

Claudio Bertoni, Simply breakfast in the dining room I, 1969 | © The artist

Claudio Bertoni, Simply breakfast in the dining room I, 1969 | © The artist

Caio Reisewitz at Van der Mieden Gallery (Booth C9)

Most recently the leading Brazilian photographer’s practice has focused on the rapid change to Brazil’s urban and rural landscape. Based in and around Sao Paulo, Reisewitz‘s vivid photomontages comment on the loss of dense forest surrounding the megatropolis due to economic advancement.

Caio Reisewitz, Votuporanga, 2015 | Courtesy of Van der Mieden Gallery

Caio Reisewitz, Votuporanga, 2015 | Courtesy of Van der Mieden Gallery

Harry Gruyaert at Fifty One (Booth F8)

A pioneer of colour photography and avid cinema-goer, the Belgian Paris-based photographer is known for his images of India and Egypt. At Photo London however you can see cinematic works of his that feature in his new publication It’s not about cars, which he’ll be signing on Friday May 18 between 2pm and 3pm.

Harry Gruyaert, Washington, DC, USA, 1986 | © Harry Gruyaert/FIFTYONE

Michael Wolf at Flowers Gallery (Booth F4)

Michael Wolf’s Tokyo Compression series is beguilingly beautiful, and a complete contradiction when you think his subject matter are the cramped conditions of the Tokyo underground. Shortlisted for this year’s Prix Pictet prize, the German photographer transforms the confined daily commute many of us can relate to, into evocative portraits.

Michael Wolf, Tokyo Compression #156, 2009 | Courtesy of Flowers Gallery

Michael Wolf, Tokyo Compression #156, 2009 | Courtesy of Flowers Gallery

Jimmy Nelson at Bryce Wolkowitz Gallery (Booth C8)

Concerned with capturing indigenous cultures that are starting to disappear, Jimmy Nelson’s practice blends documentary photography with an elegant, artistic flair. His portrait of holy men who have renounced worldly pursuits and rely on the charity of others is a fascinating cultural record of a remote community.

Jimmy Nelson, XXIV 1, Sadhus, Haridwar, India, 2016 | © Jimmy Nelson and courtesy of Bryce Wolkowitz Gallery

Jimmy Nelson, XXIV 1, Sadhus, Haridwar, India, 2016 | © Jimmy Nelson and courtesy of Bryce Wolkowitz Gallery

Peter Mitchell at Galerie Clémentine De La Féronnière (Booth F10)

Take a trip down memory lane with Peter Mitchell’s brilliantly frank, often deeply serious photographs of a bygone era. Gaining recognition fairly late in life, Mitchell’s works on show at Galerie Clémentine De La Féronnière were made considering how an extraterrestrial would see Leeds, the main muse of his ‘s forty-plus career.

Peter Mitchell, A new refutation of the Viking 4 space mission, 1975 | © Peter Mitchell

Peter Mitchell, A new refutation of the Viking 4 space mission, 1975 | © Peter Mitchell


Photo London is at Somerset House, Strand, London WC2R 1LA until Sunday May 21, 2017. Check website for ticket prices.