If you have any interest in art and antiques, this is the week to be in London. With a whole host of art auctions, fairs and events taking place across the city, and offering everything from antiquities to contemporary art, you’re going to need your stamina! Here we give you our take on four of the main events, along with a round-up of what to expect from the auctions.
THE ART & ANTIQUES FAIR, OLYMPIA (26 June – 2 July)
The longest running of the events this week, Olympia is the place to head to if you’re looking for more traditional art and antiques such as brown furniture, silver and decorative arts. Now in its 45th year, and with prices ranging from £100 to over £1 million, the UK’s largest and most established art and antiques fair attracts over 30,000 visitors annually and hosts over 120 dealers featuring an eclectic mix of collecting categories.
After a successful opening year in 2016, SOFA London will be returning to the fair this year. A version of the critically acclaimed Chicago-based show, The Sculptural Objects Functional Art and Design Fair (SOFA), it is an area dedicated to celebrating contemporary three-dimensional art and design.
MASTERPIECE (29 June – 5 July)
The main attraction of Masterpiece is its focus on cross-collecting. You could see a classic car next to antiquities while watches and jewelry jostle for space with modern sculpture, all in the beautiful grounds of the Royal Hospital, Chelsea. Heritage and style, the traditional and the contemporary; there truly is something for every taste.
This year sees the launch of Masterpiece Presents, a new large-scale dedicated exhibition space which will transform the Fair’s entrance. It will showcase a large-scale, site-specific installation by contemporary Chilean artist Iván Navarro, internationally known for his socio-politically charged sculptures of neon, fluorescent and incandescent light.
MAYFAIR ART WEEKEND (30 June – 2 July)
Based at the Royal Academy of Arts and the surrounding area, this event brings together over 60 art galleries, artists and auction houses with the intention of celebrating Mayfair as a vibrant hub of talent, creativity, craftsmanship and production. A busy schedule of free talks, walks, workshops and events is on offer to give the public insight into this unique art district and its art community.
We’re particularly looking forward to a conversation with artist Cristiano Pinaldi ‘On Fake News’ at Partners & Mucciaccia (June 30) and a guided tour of Wayne Thiebaud’s exhibition at White Cube (Friday – Sunday, 12.30pm to 1pm).
LONDON ART WEEK (30 June – 7 July)
More of a gallery crawl than a traditional art fair, for this week around 45 galleries and dealers mount special exhibitions and unveil new discoveries to encourage curators, visitors and enthusiasts alike through their doors. With dealers on hand to share their knowledge and expertise it’s an opportunity not to be missed.
Highlights this year include The Romantics to Rodin at Daniel Katz Gallery, Master Draughtsmen of the Venetian Settecento: Drawings by Giambattista and Domenico Tiepolo at Stephen Ongpin Fine Art and Masters of The Field at Rountree Tryon Galleries.
The auction houses are gearing up for their Contemporary sales this week. Sotheby’s Evening sale on 28 June boasts a core line-up of Pop icons, headlined by Andy Warhol’s Seof-Portrait (1963-64); from the Pop pioneer’s very first series of self-portraits it is estimated to fetch £5,000,000-7,000,000. The catalogue includes works by many other big names including Roy Lichtenstein, Keith Haring and Jean-Michel Basquiat. The sale also features two stand-out Warhol/Basquiat collaborations from the Tommy Hilfiger Collection, and arresting works by Christopher Wool and Albert Oehlen from the Lorie Peters Lauthier Collection.
Interestingly Christie’s have decided not to hold a Contemporary sale this month, and have instead pushed back their Impressionist sale to this week. Taking place on 27 June, it is headlined by works by Max Beckmann, Vincent Van Gogh, Henri Matisse and Pablo Picasso, and Claude Monet’s Saule pleureur (1918-19), estimated at £15,000,000-25,000-000, is also expected to attract much interest. It is arguably one of the best of a series of ten works depicting the weeping willows around the lily pond in Giverny, five of which reside in museum collections.
Phillips evening sale takes place on 29 June and brings together some of the top names in German 20th Century & Contemporary Art. It is led by Gerhard Richter’s Abstraktes Bild (682-4), an important example from one of the artist’s most celebrated abstract cycles (estimate: £2,200,000-2,800,000). Richter uses the Squeegee technique, which he famously employed as a tool for painting, in order to remove the artist’s hand from his composition. Works by Sigmar Polke, Wolfgang Tillmans, Bridget Riley, Lucio Fontana also feature.
Also on 29 June, Red Brick School Building, Willesden, Spring, by Leon Kossoff is among the leading works in Bonhams Post-War and Contemporary Sale. A vibrant and highly textured rendering of a London city junction, the painting is estimated at £520,000-720,000. The auction also features Mark Bradford’s Dream Deferral, 2009, estimated at £1,000,000-1,500,000.