2022 is drawing to a close – and what a year it has been! From our inaugural showing at Art Dubai to our landmark Frieze London exhibition on Generative Art, we have a lot to look back on…
In a year of endless, tumultuous fervour in the wider NFT and Crypto ecosystem, the gallery’s mission remained clear and focused on high-quality programming with artists whose reach and impact extend far beyond the confines of the NFT market. A pivotal moment this year was the launch of In Our Code, a critically-acclaimed group exhibition of generative art, organised in London in collaboration with Art On Internet. The exhibition brought together 11 artists innovating at the cutting-edge of creative coding, and coincided with the 2022 edition of Frieze London art fair.
To celebrate this landmark exhibition, we hosted a panel discussion and launched Unit London’s first podcast, Unit-on-Chain. Together these discussions helped to contextualise Generative Art’s historical lineage and it’s most modern expressions, positing the exhibition as a significant moment for the progression of the art practice which emerged in Europe in the mid 1960’s. The panel consisted of three artists – Iskra Velitchkova, Sofia Crespo and William Mapan – in conversation with Douglas Dodd, former senior Curator at the V&A Museum, and Alex Estorick, editor-in-chief of Right Click Save. Our new podcast Unit-on-Chain offers a place for critical discussion with artists and thought-leaders from the Web3 ecosystem. The first season gave us the opportunity to sit down with each of the artists from In Our Code to discuss their unique practices in depth, and to discover the artists, movements, and communities that inspire them. Stay tuned for Season 2!
2022 was a year of collaborations with international galleries and leading organisations from the Web3 ecosystem. To celebrate their two-year anniversary, Nassima Landau Art Foundation staged a Unit London take-over of their Tel Aviv exhibition space. Serving as a bridge between Tel Aviv and London, this expansive group exhibition showcased six trailblazing digital artists including Casey Reas, Maxim Zhestkov, Krista Kim and IX Shells alongside paintings and sculptures from the gallery’s artist stable. At NFT.NYC, gallery co-founder Joe Kennedy discussed how centralised and decentralised ideologies are combining to enable new and interesting ways to collect digital art through NFTs. Back home at our Mayfair gallery, we partnered with VerticalCrypto Art to celebrate the inaugural Proof of People event, London’s first NFT festival for art and culture, in support of new creative avenues for emerging art, fashion and music disciplines in the digital world and Metaverse.
Our participation at Art Fairs this year started at Art Dubai with a presentation that highlighted the artists at the forefront of the digital art renaissance. From the generative beauty of Tyler Hobbs and IX Shells to the captivating digital works of Krista Kim, Josh Pierce and Don Diablo. At the Digital Art Fair Xperience in Hong Kong, we showcased the work of two female artists – Shir Pakman and Marjan Moghaddam – who use 3D computer software to render figures that seem caught between digital and physical worlds.
Coinciding with Paris+ par Art Basel, in October we presented a solo exhibition of French artist William Mapan. Entitled COMPUTE: Sinking Patterns, Mapan’s series of eight unique images demonstrated his interest in the relationship between the material and immaterial – contrasting the tactility of the textured visual image with the binary lines of code that comprise the algorithm. The amorphous blue patterns and depth of colour in his works evoke traditional Eastern ink paintings, and allude to Mapan’s childhood memory of his use of fountain pens, which would often burst, spraying blue ink all over his pages.
As one of the first international galleries to create a proprietary Web3 platform and smart contract infrastructure, we have learned invaluable lessons about the trajectory of the space: the evolving requirements and desires of artists, the profiles and collecting behaviours of NFT buyers, the pace at which technology changes and the development of different blockchains and platforms. We’ve also developed incredible relationships with a new community of artists and collectors that we are excited to introduce to a bold, exciting new programme of digital and physical and hybrid projects in 2023.
To our artists, collectors, and community: we cannot thank you enough for your continued devotion and support of the gallery. In 2023 we will continue to surprise, delight, and innovate – championing digital art and the Web3 ecosystem to the broadest possible audience – and we are excited to start the year with Art SG in Singapore, where we present new work from Canadian-Korean artist Krista Kim. Founder of the Techism movement, Kim’s work is imbued with a sense of transcendence and meditation, created using a visual language that she intends to act as a digital consciousness. ART SG will be her first solo presentation in Singapore, and to mark the occasion, we are excited to announce a special collaboration with Infinite Objects, enabling an exciting new collecting experience at the booth.
Soon thereafter, to coincide with NFT Paris in February 2023, we present a survey exhibition, Curated Chaos, which will document the steep rise of the pioneering artists of the Crypto Art movement, and will coincide with the release of Season 2 of our podcast Unit-on-Chain.
Thank you as ever for your continued support. See you in 2023!