London Art Week Summer 2021
Written by Dr Ketty Gottardo, Martin Halusa Curator of Drawings, The Courtauld Gallery | 12 July 2021
After almost a year and a half of enjoying art primarily on screens and in books, galleries and museums have finally reopened in London, and we all hope that they will never have to shut again. Images can, of course, be a good substitute; public and commercial galleries have been extraordinarily resilient and inventive in creating wonderful digital features, offering high-resolution images that have allowed us all to learn, enjoy, and acquire new works. Art, however, must be enjoyed in the flesh, and so I hope that all who are able to travel to London may return to see art close up, and in some cases may even be able to touch and hold an object - one of the real perks of attending London Art Week. Meanwhile, I am looking forward to perusing the presentations of the galleries I may not be able to visit, from the comfort of my sofa.
I also eagerly await another reopening later in the year, that of The Courtauld Gallery where I work, following an ambitious three-year-long transformation programme that will make The Courtauld's world-class artworks, research and teaching accessible to an even broader audience. The first exhibition will display the recent gift of a group of drawings assembled by the late collector Howard Karshan, generously presented to The Courtauld by his wife, the artist Linda Karshan. It is a celebration of the joy and excitement of collecting art. For decades, art has been embedded in their everyday lives, and now these works are here to be enjoyed by everyone. Howard and Linda often talked about the anticipation they felt when visiting galleries in London and New York where they lived; there was always something new for them to discover, unexpected artistic encounters to be made. I will be thinking of them and their generosity and incredible taste, when visiting galleries in London, as well as their digital exhibitions, this summer.