Top Ten Booths at Masterpiece London 2015
Featuring a rare Warhol, Matisse cut outs, a tiny Jeff Koons balloon dog, and more.
Masterpiece London opened for preview yesterday, and a host of glamorous lovers of all things aesthetic and expensive descended on the fair to discover a rare Andy Warhol or a vintage Van Cleef & Arpels diamond necklace to their collection. The international cross-collecting fair—held in the gardens of the Brompton Oratory just off Sloane Square in London—is about as high-end as you can get.
We grabbed a glass of champagne and our best eye for a rarity and picked out our top ten booths which you can read about, in no particular order below.
After walking though stands filled with fine jewelry, ornate furniture, and classical sculpture you will reach the Mazzoleni Art stand. The gallery focuses on post-war Italian art with many examples of experimentation with surface featuring Piero Manzoni, Paolo Scheggi’s crossed over cut out canvases, and Enrico Castellani’s punctured works.
They also have works by Alighiero Boetti, who has a current exhibition at their London gallery.
Long-Sharp Gallery had the big story of the fair this year as they brought the white elephant that is an unseen Andy Warhol portrait The Socialite (1986–87). Surprisingly, the Warhol portrait was only the second most interesting artwork on their stand.
Alongside a large untitled Keith Haring blueprint—apparently the only one in existence—dated 1981, and two modern and modular drawings by Roy Lichtenstein, is a very figurative, very early work by Pablo Picasso. Portrait du Femme (1897) is drawing made by the painter when he was sixteen years old. Next to this early work you can see a more—or should we say less—traditional work from the master painter.
William Weston Gallery
William Weston Gallery specializes in modern and contemporary master prints and has a spectacular array of them at its small but perfectly formed stand.
Works include Lichtenstein, Joan Miro, Patrick Caulfield, Damien Hirst, Andy Warhol, Marc Chagall, Lucian Freud, and Paul Gauguin. Perhaps the gem offered at the fair is small Edvard Munch etching The Kiss (1895).
Thomas Gibson Fine Art
Thomas Gibson Fine Art have a selection of Allen Jones’s watercolors that are well worth a look as well as a Picasso work in crayon and wash on paper, Deux nus Couche (1972).
Another surprising watercolor on the stand is Paul Gauguin’s Jeune Tahitienne Assise (1891).
Shapero Rare Books
The Shapero Rare Books stand is lined with beautifully illustrated manuscripts as you would expect but among the illustrated tomes and leather-bound beauties are some lovely drawings and smaller artworks.
There is Balloon Dog by Jeff Koons (2002), Butterflies by Yayoi Kusama (199), and Picasso’s Le Dejeuner sur l’Herbe (1962). They are all small and tucked among the books and artifacts on the stand so it’s worth having a real look around.
Frederick Mulder Ltd
Frederick Mulder Ltd is showing some amazing Matisse cut outs that are not to be missed.
All featured in last year’s exhibition “Henri Matisse: Cut Outs” at the MoMA in New York and Tate Modern in London, two of the three works are from a book which was a collaboration with French poet Apollinaire and the other is a great, if small example of the much beloved artist’s cut-outs.
Specializing in 20th Century British Art, Offer Waterman are one of the first stands to greet visitors at the fair. The outer wall of the stand was dedicated to Grayson Perry, including a vase and a large etching, A Map of Days (Red), (2013).
Inside the stand were sculptural and drawn works by Henry Moore and two works older works by Bridget Riley including Bright Red, Blue, Green Diagonals (1975).
Yayoi Kusama always attracts attention at a fair and the large work that flanks the Nukaga stand is no exception, although it is jousting slightly with the Steinway Piano stand at which there sit various impresarios, entertaining the well-heeled masses at the fair.
Kusama’s Waves (1990) was awarded Best Work by a Living Artist at the show and was drawing huge amount of interest.
Also on the Nukaga stand was a Marc Chagall Les Fleurs sur le Toit (c.1925) and Paul Cezanne’s drawing Groupe des Baigneurs (1880).
Alan Wheatley Art
Alan Wheatley Art focuses on British and International art from the late 20th century, placing an emphasis on post-war British art.
This stand has a focus on British abstract painting, with the large Ivon Hitchens Lake Morning Light (1970) as a definitive highlight, and showcasing works by Patrick Caulfield, and Patrick Heron.
The Fine Art Society
The outer wall of the Fine Art Society Contemporary is clad with, as the name suggests, contemporary art, which at a fair that includes jewelry, antiques, and artifacts, makes for a striking sight.
An edition of 25 Paint Pigment Photographs by Rob and Nick Carter literally bring color to the fair. The images sit between two Chris Levine prints, one holographic image of Kate Moss and the other a Swarovski encrusted image of the Queen, both with their eyes shut.
The older works on the stand include Alfred Sisley’s Moret-sur-Loing (1889).
Masterpiece London is on view until July 1
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