London Collective 2020, 2021
A collaborative response to the pandemic
Vortic’s inaugural London Collective in 2020 brought together 41 of the UK’s best commercial galleries to present exhibitions and artists’ projects on Vortic. Galleries introduced digital exhibitions in parallel with their physical gallery programmes, as well as creating an additional virtual space in which to showcase their artists and artworks. This group of London based gallerists came together in recognition that this was a defining moment of change in how art is accessed, particularly in light of the Covid-19 pandemic which brought about ongoing restrictions and the continued postponement of in person art fairs and events.
Born out of a Whatsapp group for London galleries, created at the beginning of the pandemic as a way to share information and ideas from which all galleries could benefit, the London Collective enabled galleries to provide mutual support and establish new dialogues between their exhibitions, whilst engaging the visitor in a novel and unique way. The launch of London Collective also coincided with the release of Vortic Collect’s AR function, enabling viewers to bring artworks into their own homes and experience them in-situ. Participating galleries included Massimo De Carlo, Sadie Coles HQ, Edel Assanti, Pilar Corrias, White Cube and David Zwirner.
Following the success of its first iteration, the following year Vortic featured the second instalment of the London Collective, once again bringing together some of London’s top commercial galleries including Stephen Friedman Gallery, Victoria Miro, White Cube and David Zwirner. Works by more than 60 artists were on display including Genesis Belanger (Josh Lilley), William Eggleston (David Zwirner), Gilbert & George (White Cube), Sophie von Hellermann (Pilar Corrias), and Tadesse Mesfin (Addis Fine Art).
The second iteration of the London Collective also coincided with the launch of new features on Vortic. Galleries and institutions were also able to host live or pre-recorded conversations, artist talks and curator-led tours within their exhibition spaces on Vortic offering additional engaging ways for the viewers to absorb and learn about the show.
London Collective 2020 in the press
Financial Times – ‘Light after the lockdown – the future of visual arts‘
Wallpaper* – ‘How a crisis propelled the art world into a new virtual reality’
London Collective 2021 in the press
Evening Standard – “How 21 of the capital’s galleries teamed up for a pandemic-proof online art space”
The Guardian – 5 star review
Image: Vortic installation view, ‘Celia Paul: My Studio’, Victoria Miro for London Collective 26 June–25 July 2020. All works © Celia Paul. Courtesy the artist and Victoria Miro