The Swiss MCH Group has announced that the 2023 London edition of the Masterpiece Fair will not take place on the grounds of the Royal Hospital Chelsea. Known for its debut in 2010, the art and antiques fair was planned to be held from June 28 to July 5 swiftly after the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2023. The company directors said spiraling costs and a fall-off in international exhibitors due to Brexit red tape made the event commercially unviable this year.
The managing director of the London art and antique fair, Lucie Kitchener, and the fair director Craig Brown wrote the following in an email to exhibitors scheduled to be participating this year: “I appreciate this may come as a surprise to you but hope that by communicating with you over six months before the event we are able to minimize any impact.” In addition, they promised that by the end of the month, all amounts paid on stands so far would be fully refunded.
After launching online during the pandemic in 2020, the 2022 edition was the first in-person event. Several galleries reported positive sales and networking opportunities, with 128 of the world’s most exceptional exhibitors and numerous fine art, jewelry, and antique collectors from North America, Europe, and East Asia.
Besides Art Basel, MCH Group also organizes Paris+, which held its first edition in October. After the pandemic and Brexit-related red tape hampered business, the London Masterpiece 2023 fair has been put on hold.
As for the future of the Masterpiece London brand, the company has said it will share further details as soon as they are available.
Masterpiece Fair in London
Since its founding in 2010, Masterpiece Fair London has been one of the world’s premier multidisciplinary art fairs, bringing together over 140 prestigious art dealerships and galleries. The fair, held in the beautiful verdant grounds of the Royal Hospital Chelsea, London, from late June to early July, featured the finest European works of art, Islamic Arms and Armour, antique furniture, Oceanic Tribal Art, Sculpture and more, from antiquity to contemporary modern-day creations.
Over the course of eight days, London’s Masterpiece Fair typically attracted over 38,000 visitors, including established international connoisseurs and the culturally inquisitive alike. The fair offered an unprecedented platform to discover exceptional works of art for sale, from exhibitors spanning every major discipline. Meticulous scrutiny by the acclaimed vetting committee and thoughtful pairing of dealers allowed the visitor to encounter beautiful works of art, and have one’s eyes opened to the unfamiliar at every turn. This allowed the visitor to see masterpiece after masterpiece and buy with absolute peace of mind.
Visitors to Masterpiece London Fair were also invited to explore the curated sections, including The renowned Sculpture Series, which showcases significant contemporary and modern sculpture, and Masterpiece Presents, which features innovative, immersive works of art. In the past, installation artists have included Phyllida Barlow, Marina Abramović & Iván Navarro. In addition to the award-winning talks program, visitors could learn about artists’ and creators’ practices, their times, techniques, and styles through talks with leading curators, artists, and exhibitors.