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  • Masterpiece London’s seventh edition saw strong sales across all disciplines and attendance by new and international collectors. The fair’s success follows outstanding presentations by 154 exhibitors, with museum-quality art and design from thousands of years of cultural history. Exhibitors reported higher-than-ever collector presence and museum sales. The fair drew 37,000 visitors, including 8,000 for the preview alone. Principal sponsor Royal Bank of Canada continued as sponsor for the fair for the third consecutive year.

    Nazy Vassegh, Chief Executive of Masterpiece London said ‘Masterpiece continued its strategy of elevation and evolution for the 2016 fair. The level of sales across all categories was testament to both the quality of works on show and the appreciation of collectors from around the world. London remains a key global art hub and Masterpiece feels established as the pinnacle of the city's summer art season.’

    Collectors found the seventh edition to be the strongest yet. Christian Levett, Founder of the Musée d'Art Classique de Mougins and collector of antiquities, modern and contemporary art, commented ‘I thought it was a tremendous fair this year, where the stand design, the diversity and quality of artworks really stood out.’

    New and established exhibitors
    The fair welcomed major new exhibitors for this year in all disciplines, including Axel Vervoordt (Belgium), Tornabuoni (Italy), Dutko (France), Galerie Harmakhis (Belgium), Modernity (Sweden), Hélène Bailly Gallery (France), Wallace Chan (Hong Kong), Senger Bamberg Kunsthandel (Germany), Agnew’s (UK) and Stephen Ongpin (UK) amongst others. New exhibitors reported a unique atmosphere and a completely new collector audience.

    Frederic Gille-Nocard, Director of Dutko Gallery commented ‘We were delighted to participate in Masterpiece for the first time this year. The fair has been extremely successful for us and the whole atmosphere was fantastic. From the organisation to the outstanding calibre of artworks displayed throughout the fair, everything was perfect. We are very much looking forward to coming back next year.’

    Jacques Billen, Founding Director of Galerie Harmakhis, commented that ‘compared to the other fairs I exhibit at, Masterpiece has an entirely new audience. Highly important collectors have come through and we’ve been very pleased with the response’

    Boris Vervoordt, Director of Axel Vervoordt Company, said ‘what's fantastic about Masterpiece is it attracts the most amazing people internationally. It has become a real destination'

    Returning galleries also found the fair sales in 2016 to be stronger than ever. Lewis Smith, Director of Koopman Rare Art said ‘I've done double the amount of business compared to last year, and last year was a very good fair.’

    Gregory Demirjian, Co-president of Ariadne Galleries commented ‘we have seen notable international sales, which I believe indicates that the global market shows no sign of slowing. This year’s Masterpiece shows the resilience of the art market in the UK, demonstrating that London continues to remain the capital of the art market.’

    Museum interest
    Museum attendance continued to be high at the fair, fostering academic dialogue between exhibitors and institutions and several sales. Luke Syson, Curator for European Sculpture and Decorative Arts at The Metropolitan Museum of Art said 'Masterpiece provides the most elegant imaginable setting for serious treasure hunting. We were delighted to find two great pieces that will be seen in our new British galleries when they re-open in 2018.'

    Tessa Murdoch, Deputy Keeper of Sculpture, Metalwork, Ceramics and Glass at the V&A said, ‘as always, Masterpiece London was a great opportunity to network and gain insights with collectors, dealers and museum colleagues. It was particularly thrilling to see up close the Tudor panel from Goodwood, an outstanding and high quality piece of craftsmanship with a fascinating provenance, attributed to the same sculptor as the 'Wolsey Angels' that the V&A recently acquired.’

    Rupert Wace Ancient Art were pleased to report the sale of a Romano-Egyptian head of a King from the 1st century AD to an American museum. While Graham Southern, Founding Director of Blain|Southern, noted ‘this year I have noticed a rise in serious collectors from overseas and the quality of the museum patrons groups who came to the preview was especially high. We received significant interest from important museums, both in the UK and overseas, in our single work presentation of Lynn Chadwick, Howling Beast I, 1990.’

    Sales highlights
    Sales were buoyant for new and returning exhibitors during the preview across categories.
    M&L Fine Art sold their Enrico Castellani, Untitled (Superficie), 1961 for €700,000 EUR to a European private collection.
    Ariadne Galleries sold an Egyptian Mummy Mask from Western Thebes, circa 664 - 525 BC for $500,000 USD
    Modernity sold their Jens Jacob Bregnö standing clock from 1927 for £100,000 GBP.
    Robilant + Voena sold a work by Korean artist Chun Kwang Young Aggregations 05-MAO18, 2005 for $160,000 USD Symbolic & Chase sold their JAR coloured sapphire and diamond brooch for a ‘seven figure’ sum.

    Following the preview sales continued to be strong throughout the fair,
    Rupert Wace Ancient Art sold a Romano-Egyptian black porphyry head of a King from the 1st century AD for £250,000 GBP to an American museum.
    Tornabuoni Art sold two works by Paolo Scheggi to a new Brazilian collector, for a sum ‘close to a million pounds’
    Osborne Samuel meanwhile sold a Kenneth Armitage Standing Figure, 1954 in bronze for £200,000 GBP and a Henry Moore drawing Three Women Winding Wool (The Three Fates), from 1948, for ‘high six figures’
    The Fine Art Society sold Anne Redpath’s Grey and Pink Still Life, 1942 for £245,000 GBP

    Exhibitors reported selling very well across the fair, with sales ranging from four figures through to seven-figure sums.

    Notes to Editors
    Masterpiece London is the leading international fair for art and design from antiquity to present day. It takes place at the Royal Hospital Chelsea, South Grounds each year in July.

    The fair’s eighth edition will take place 28 June to 5 July 2017
    Instagram: @masterpiecelondon | Twitter: @MasterpieceFair | Facebook: Masterpiece London
    For press enquiries contact: Sophie Furse at SUTTON | | +44 (0) 20 7183 3577

  • In advance of Masterpiece London 2016, Nazy Vassegh and the Mayfair Times met with key art experts to discuss the international art market in Mayfair.

    Over the course of a fabulous lunch at Claridge’s, Masterpiece London hotel partner, topics ranged from digital platforms to the Panama papers with guests including Masterpiece exhibitors and art market figures: Tamara Green, Jenna Romagnolo, Abby Hignell, Martina Batovic, Sheila Parekh-Blum, Adrian Locke, Vassili Tsarenkov, Irina Starkova and Laura Walford.






  • Masterpiece London, 30 June – 6 July 2016, Announces Fair Highlights

    7th edition sees exceptional rise in Curated Presentations, Mid-20th Century Masters and Classical Works
    Masterpiece London is the leading international Fair for art and design from antiquity to the present day. The Fair is an unparalleled opportunity for collectors and curators to discover rare and museum-quality work from 154 worldrenowned exhibitors showcasing over 5,000 years of art history. The Fair’s seventh edition presents influential new exhibitors alongside a strong presence of curated stands, 20th century and Classical art, sculpture and Old Master paintings. All works are for sale and independently vetted by international experts to ensure provenance and quality. The Royal Bank of Canada returns as the Fair’s principal sponsor.

    Curated Presentations
    Curated presentations are a continuing trend at the Fair. Richard Green presents an exhibition inspired by Patrick Heron’s 1953 show to celebrate ‘The liberation of colour’ after the Second World War, including work by Ivon Hitchens, Peter Lanyon and Ceri Richards. A Salon exhibition dedicated to the work and legacy of Zaha Hadid is curated by Francis Sultana. The exhibition, courtesy of David Gill, the late architect’s longstanding gallerist, includes her first commissioned piece for the gallery, Crater Coffee Table 2007. Axel Vervoordt juxtaposes ancient Roman and Egyptian sculptural works alongside modern art and design. The earliest work on show is a black granite Fragment of a Seated Pharaoh c. 1900 B.C. Linley showcases a treasure chest inspired by founder David Linley’s travels in the Middle East, housed in a mirror-design booth surrounded by sketches and drawings. Designers from Linley will be on site to draw up bespoke designs for visiting collectors.

    Classical Art
    The importance of Antiquities is emphasised with nine exhibitors, four of whom are new, presenting works spanning 3,000 years of ancient art history. Galerie Harmakhis shows an unusual bronze Egyptian statue Horus of Edfu Harpooning and Trampling Crocodiles from 664–525 B.C. Ariadne Galleries brings a fully in-tact Mummy Mask from Western Thebes c. 760–525 B.C. Patrick & Ondine Mestdagh shows ancient Egyptian and Fijian ancient jewellery. Valerio Turchi shares a stand with 18th–19th century specialist Alessandra di Castro and shows a carved marble chariot crash from c. 200 A.D. Rome. Further sculpture, paintings and cultural artefacts from the period are presented by Charles Ede, Rupert Wace Ancient Art, Safani Gallery, David Ghezelbash Archéologie, and Galerie Chenel.

    Discovery is always an important feature of Masterpiece. Dickinson shows the monumental Madonna, Child and St John by Sir Anthony van Dyck c.1627 whose authorship is newly confirmed and which has not been seen in public since 1887. Christopher Kingzett Fine Art brings a deeply personal painting by Lucian Freud c.1960 of his daughter Annie, unseen in 20 years, alongside a rare surviving study of Sir Winston Churchill by Graham Sutherland 1954, made shortly before the artist’s painting of the subject went missing. Richard Green displays an 1810 landscape painting by John Constable that has not been seen in public since 1877.

    Paintings and Sculpture from Old Masters to the present day
    Several galleries are presenting Old Master pictures at the Fair this year, including Cesare Lampronti Gallery, Stair Sainty Gallery, Agnews, Robilant + Voena, Dickinson and John Mitchell Fine Paintings. Impressionist and Post-war art have a major presence, reinforcing the importance of these seminal artists. Masterworks by Monet, Pissarro, Picasso, Schiele, Freud, Kandinsky, Wesselman, Nara, Calder, Shiraga, Da Silva, Kitaj, Feng, Hockney, Kusama, Dalí, Warhol, Kiefer and Gilbert and George will be offered at the Fair.

    Italian Post-war art also has a major presence at the Fair. Eight galleries, five of whom are new, specialise in Post-war Italian art. Tornabuoni Art will bring work by de Chirico, Boetti and Pomodoro. Both Robertaebasta and Robilant + Voena will show work by Bonalumi while work by Fontana will be on view at Repetto Gallery, Robilant + Voena and Mazzoleni Art. Cortesi Gallery, M&L Fine Art and Toninelli Art Moderne will bring further artworks by Italian Post-war artists including installation works by Melotti and canvases by Castellani.

    British Art continues to be strongly presented at the Fair with exceptional works by Hepworth, Moore, Chadwick, Scott, Hodgkin and Nash being offered by Offer Waterman, Blain|Southern, Thomas Gibson Fine Art, Osborne Samuel, Piano Nobile and Godson & Coles.

    Decorative Arts
    Highlights from the Decorative arts include important Louis XV & XVI furniture, Sèvres and Meissen ceramics and rare silver from international gallerists including Röbbig München, Michele Beiny, Adrian Sassoon and Steinitz. Rare English antique furniture by Gillows, Morel & Seddon and John Linnell is offered by Apter-Fredericks, Thomas Coulborn & Sons, Ronald Phillips, Mallett Antiques and Butchoff.

    Rare Books and Medieval Art
    Extraordinary literature will be shown by Shapero Rare Books who present a rare first edition of 1000 colour plate book La Description de l’Egypte made over 20 years in 34 volumes, described as ‘the greatest achievements in French publishing’ (Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York). Peter Harrington will show the largest atlas ever published Le Grand Atlas, 1663, consisting of 12 volumes, 593 engraved maps and plates, and 28 extra-illustrated engraved maps. Les Enluminures Medieval Art will show an illuminated manuscript from 1485-1490 by Bartolomeo Caporali depicting the Coronation of the Virgin.
    Medieval Art will be well presented at the Fair by Sam Fogg and new Masterpiece exhibitors Galerie Sismann and Senger Bamberg Kunsthandel.

    From Jean Prouvé to Fredrikson Stallard, mid Century and Contemporary design continues its rise in importance. This year sees a greater emphasis on work especially created for the Fair with Based Upon presenting a specially-commissioned desk, inspired by the recipient’s cultural roots and early life in Siberia. International Design galleries showing at the Fair include 88 Gallery, David Gill, Linley, Peter Petrou, Dutko Gallery, Galerie Anne Autegarden, Galerie Marcilhac, Modernity, Geoffrey Diner Gallery and Galerie Willy Huybrechts. Rose Uniacke will be displaying furniture, lighting and works of art from 19th century to present day.

    New jewellery exhibitor Wallace Chan will be making his UK debut at Masterpiece London. He will present Damask Silk Necklace, 2016 created for the Fair, made of 54 diamonds, 124 pink tourmalines, coloured diamonds, pink sapphires and white agate. British jeweler Hancocks will bring the world’s largest cushion cut diamond cross over ring made of two 20 carat diamonds. Further jewellery and watches exhibitors will include Van Cleef & Arpels, Symbolic & Chase, Verdura, Hemmerle, Boghossían, Somlo Antiques, S. J. Phillips, Véronique Bamps, Chatila and Grima.

    RBC Fifth Plinth
    Masterpiece London’s principle sponsor, Royal Bank of Canada, will present the RBC Fifth Plinth. Inspired by London’s Trafalgar Square public art project, The Fourth Plinth, this year’s programme celebrates the ‘female perspective’ and explores a timeline of the female influence on art from 350 B.C. to the present day. Each day of the Fair a new work will be unveiled to visitors. Works on show include a portrait of Queen Elizabeth I, c. 1600 (Philip Mould & Co), Red Straws, 2016 by Francesca Pasquali (Tornabuoni Art) a selection of portrait miniatures featuring women from 16th to 21st Centuries (Elle Shushan) and a Greek Funerary stele for Dorias, daughter of Poseidonios, c. 350-325 B.C. (Charles Ede).

    Sponsors and Partners
    This year, Masterpiece’s new and exclusive champagne sponsor, Perrier-Jouët, will design a beautiful Terrace where guests can relax and enjoy their iconic champagne collection. The elegant bar area, ornamented with delicate floral decorations, and eyecatching displays will showcase Perrier-Jouët’s artist collaborations and limited edition bottles and offer guests a tranquil, outdoor retreat. Furthermore, the Lecture Theatre, designed by the Fair’s partner Katharine Pooley, will host a series of interesting events, including a series of lectures organised by Sotheby’s Institute of Art, and a conversation, held by the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York’s Department of European Sculpture and Decorative Arts on the reimagining and renovation of the museum’s British Galleries. Further sponsors and partners for this year include Apollo Magazine, The Courtauld Institute, Sir John Soane’s Museum, The Wallace Collection, Savills, Factum Foundation, The Maybourne Hotel Group, JLT and Harper’s Bazaar Magazine.

    Charity and Philanthropy
    Having helped raise over £3.8 million to date, Masterpiece London is proud to support Children in Crisis for the 2016
    edition. An invite only fundraising dinner will be held at Le Caprice at the Fair.

    Notes to editors:
    Masterpiece London | 30 June – 6 July 2016 (Preview Wednesday 29 June)
    Royal Hospital Chelsea, South Grounds
    Instagram: @masterpiecelondon | Twitter: @MasterpieceFair | Facebook: Masterpiece London

    Opening hours:
    Preview (by invitation) on Wednesday 29 June, 11am – 9pm
    Thursday 30 June, 11am – 9pm
    Friday 1 July, 11am – 9pm
    Saturday 2 July, 11am – 6pm
    Sunday 3 July, 11am – 6pm
    Monday 4 July, 11am – 9pm
    Tuesday 5 July, 11am – 9pm
    Wednesday 6 July, 11am – 9pm

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