Co-curated by Unit London and Avant Arte, the exhibition offers Avant Arte’s 400,000 followers a rare opportunity to see the art they have discovered online on the walls and floors of the central London gallery. With more artists to be confirmed, artists for this special group show include Avant Arte’s Jason Seif (US) Lionel Smit (ZA) and Brian Willmont (US) and Unit London’s Ryan Hewett (ZA), Ivan Alifan (CA) and Jake Wood-Evans (UK). The exhibition follows Unit London’s Paintguide (2015/16), which showed art popularised solely by Instagram. The show - hailed as ‘the first Instagram curated art exhibition’ - generated huge attention, with a social media reach of 8.2 million views, 15 million unique impressions and queues around the block to view the exhibition.
A V A N T A R T E
Avant Arte was launched in 2014 by two young Dutch entrepreneurs, Curtis Penning (21) and Christian Luiten (23). In June 2016 Huffington Post listed Avante Arte as one of the most influential art Instagram accounts. The account - and the accompanying ‘Tinder for Art’ App - enables art lovers to swipe through art, discover new artists and connect directly with the artist, gallery or museum. Driven by the desire to democratise the process of finding and buying contemporary art, Avant Arte has built an online following of over 400,000. With 16/17 million views monthly, followers are growing at 10-14k per week.
U N I T L O N D O N
Unit London was set up in 2013 by two young British entrepreneurs, Joe Kennedy (27) and Jonny Burt (27) who were frustrated by the exclusivity of the commercial art sector. In three years they have gone from charity shop pop-up to thriving commercial gallery with an international roster of artists and a growing following of young art lovers, and both first time and established collectors. Exhibitions routinely sell out before the private view, with the recent exhibition by South African artist Ryan Hewett selling out mostly within 24 hours of the digital catalogue being issued. While Unit London’s peripatetic beginnings were founded on social media, their openness online - with over 80,000 followers worldwide - is matched by the welcoming and inclusive atmosphere of their Wardour Street gallery.
Will U be joining us?
12 January 2017, 18:30 - 21:30 RSVP by clicking here
Christian Luiten and Curtis Penning, Co-Directors of Avant Arte, said:
“We love what Unit London does and the way they do it. So, it is thrilling to join forces in this way - combining our energy, our networks and our commitment to spreading the word about great contemporary art to the widest possible audience. Since we launched in 2014, we have been busy curating art on Instagram, so the prospect of seeing the artists we have loved and shared online for real is an exciting prospect for us and our followers. Instagram is an incredible tool and a beautiful place - where it is possible to discover great art in all its wonderful diversity - but there is no substitute for seeing the art in real life. We can’t wait to see the art and each other in January.”
Joe Kennedy and Jonny Burt, Co-Directors of Unit London, said:
“We began as a pop-up with no permanent gallery space. As we moved from one temporary location to another, often the only place we could be found was on Instagram. We couldn’t have done what we have done without social media, so we feel an affinity with Avant Arte, who have made expert use of Instagram to build a global following. Like us, they are driven by the desire to expose amazing contemporary art to a broad, new audience. While we harness the power of social media at every turn, we believe that art is a fundamentally human experience and should be enjoyed as such. So, we are very excited to be collaborating with Avant Arte - offering their followers and ours the opportunity to see the artists they have discovered online right here at Unit London.”