UPDATE : Masterpiece Fair: London 2020
South Grounds, The Royal Hospital Chelsea, London, SW3 4LW
In light of the evolving Covid-19 pandemic and increasing measures taken to combat it by the UK government, Masterpiece have decided to cancel this year’s edition of Masterpiece London, which was scheduled to take place from 24 June – 1 July 2020.
“We are grateful for the support and hard work of our exhibitors, partners and staff in preparation for this year’s edition of the Fair; however the health of everyone involved in Masterpiece London is our absolute priority during these unprecedented times.”
In the light of this cancelation, we are delighted to showcase some of the many highlights from last year’s extraordinary Masterpiece Fair in London. We look forward to next year’s Masterpiece fair scheduled for (24 – 30 June 2021).
Masterpiece London Fair
These days we have so many art and antique fairs to choose from. However, the Masterpiece London fair is, in our opinion, one of the most distinguished fairs today and perhaps the most visually seductive. Worldwide, Masterpiece London is known as a meeting place for collectors, dealers, and creatives.
The Masterpiece London fair has earned its reputation through an imaginative willingness to combine the best in contemporary art and design with masterpieces from the past regardless of their genre. Every year, Masterpiece London includes fine art from all over the world, as well as contemporary and antique furniture and even jewelry from 160 international exhibitors. The magic of this fair is founded upon the method of curating a highly unusual selection of art and artifacts. This approach blends the most cutting edge in concept, style and design with juxtapositions of antique beauty.
Held in London, the art fair’s unique approach to curating exhibitors and carefully placing each dealer next to another means the entire experience is an aesthetic adventure. One encounters timeless antiques, modern masterpieces and of course contemporary blue-chip works all in the same space. The galleries showcase various mediums and genres allowing a multiplicity and beauty. Awards are given every year for outstanding display, outstanding exhibits and masterpiece highlight awards reserved for the most exceptional objects and artworks.
A few of last year’s standout pieces, shows, projects, and collections include amazing contemporary art. The key project was a special installation entitled ‘Five Stages of Maya Dance’ by renown contemporary artist Marina Abramović; in addition to work by contemporary artists Ibrahim El Salahi, Chiharu Shiota, and Rob & Nick Carter. Other highlights include contemporary jewelry by Cindy Chao, amazing antique Chippendale furniture, Hitomi Hosono’s collaboration with Wedgwood, antique Islamic art such as an extraordinary 17th century Safavid bowl from Iran, and a beautiful landscape by British Surrealist Edward Burra.
Certain areas of essential collecting are always represented at the fair and last year there were various modernist works by artists like Pablo Picasso, Claude Monet, Joan Miró and Marc Chagall. A bronze sculpture by Surrealist master Max Ernst also graced the fair and German Expressionist art by significant painters Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Karl Schmidt-Rottluff and August Macke were also on view.
Masterpiece London Fair also dedicates a special portion of the fair to the best in historic British art and design including classic work by J.M.W. Turner, L.S. Lowry, and John Constable. As well, last year saw pieces by modern and post-war British artists, such as Eileen Agar, Duncan Grant, Barbara Hepworth, Bridget Riley and Graham Sutherland.
In 2018, we were particularly delighted by the juxtaposition of European Old Master sculpture alongside a contemporary sculpture by Johan Creten. In addition, the display of Alexander Calder’s unique Red Bull with American Modernist works by Marsden Hartley, Edward Hopper, and Arshile Gorky was just astounding. And as always, the crowd was delighted by the work of British sculptor Henry Moore epitomized in a black marble piece entitled Reclining Figure: Curved.
Of course, among our favourites was the display of beautiful 18th century Thomas Chippendale furniture, in beautiful Georgian, English Rococo and Neo-classical style all in celebration of the 300th anniversary of Chippendale’s birth. World-class collections of 18th Century Chippendale Furniture were exhibited by Apter Fredericks and Ronald Phillips. Indian and Islamic masterpieces were exhibited by Amir Mohtashami.
A New Approach to Collecting: Opulent Diversity
The fair calls their approach “cross collecting” and presents conceptually driven installations, such as last year’s presentation from Les Enluminures and Daniel Crouch entitled ‘A Brief History of Time: From Matins to Mars’. This intriguing booth displayed maps, instruments, illuminated manuscripts and medieval and Renaissance jewelry.
Likewise, Hauser & Wirth’s ‘Wunderkammer’ (cabinet of curiosities) combined modern art by artists like Louise Bourgeois and Philip Guston in parallel with fine 18th and 19th-century furniture.
What we love at Nicholas Wells Antiques is the breadth of collecting possibilities at the fair. While many collectors may specialise in certain areas such as Asian art, historic genre and landscape painting or antique furniture, Masterpiece Art Fair in many ways opens one’s eyes to the possibility of diversifying one’s collection and aesthetic. A wide range of price points allows both the novice collector and the more experienced or established collector to purchase exceptional work as well.
This opulently diverse view is an approach Nicholas Wells shares too and we welcome any inquiries about optimizing your collection to include new areas of decorative arts, furniture, chandeliers, fine arts, and collectibles. All of the inventory at Nicholas Wells is carefully curated, sourced and expresses our antique expertise, discerning taste, visual interest, and impeccable provenance.
The Masterpiece London Fair
South Grounds, The Royal Hospital Chelsea, London
Masterpiece London 2021 Tickets are available on their website.