Photo London returns this week with a fashion-focused programme

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The seventh edition of the expansive photofair spotlights contemporary and historic practitioners with an experimental approach

Wilting, fleshy rose petals cascade across an image. The photograph, taken on an iPhone and processed through AI, has echoes of a vanitas still life. It is not a scene that immediately evokes fashion photographer Nick Knight’s work: decades of contemporary imagery bursting with colour and shape. However, look closer, and the image, one in a series by Knight titled Roses from My Garden (2019) – a selection of which was on show at Photo London 2021 – encapsulates the photographer’s style. It is both deliciously exuberant and embraces photography’s rapid technological developments.

Knight’s experimental approach to photography is one of the myriad reasons he is Photo London’s 2022 Master of Photography. The annual photography fair, now in its seventh edition and returning to its habitual residence in London’s Somerset House from this Thursday, will present a more significant showcase of Knight’s work this time around with an exhibition spanning photography, film and sculpture. 

Elsewhere, the fair’s second major show has echoes of the experimentation permeating the first. It pays homage to the late Frank Horvat (1928–2020), a fashion photographer whose playful black-and-white images framed models sporting haute couture in contrasting everyday settings and who, like Knight, approached advancements in photographic technology with curiosity. 

Alongside the main shows, an international collection of galleries and publishers will showcase smaller exhibits. Well-established sections of the fair also return, including the Discovery section, which spotlights emerging artists and, this year, is curated by Tim Clark, writer, curator and editor-in-chief of 1000 Words. Meanwhile, critic and author William A Ewing has convened a much-anticipated talks programme of in-person and online events. 

Photo London takes place at Somerset House, London, from 12 to 15 May 2022.

Hannah Abel-Hirsch

Hannah Abel-Hirsch joined British Journal of Photography in 2017, where she is currently Assistant Editor. Previously, she was an Editorial Assistant at Magnum Photos, and a Studio Assistant for Susan Meiselas and Mary Ellen Mark in New York. Before which, she completed a BA in History of Art at University College London. Her words have also appeared on Magnum Photos, 1000 Words, and in the Royal Academy of Arts magazine.