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Art

It must be hard enough being the first out of the traps for a new season in London, but throw in a change of location and a re-emergence for the Fair after a year out, and Gay Hutson and Angela Wynn - the Fair Organisers of 20/21 British Art Fair - were doubtless on a knife edge as to whether things would work out.

Situated on the Mall at the Mall galleries, this quintessentially British Fair, having run for 28 years in various locations, was well supported by a top named raft of Galleries. Whitford Fine Art, Richard Green, Osbourne Samuel Gallery, Duncan Miller and Messum’s to name a few. 

Essentially, the whole Fair centers on British art, mostly from the 20th century, some contemporary, but a very British affair indeed with a price point starting at £500.00 up to and in the region of £350,000.00. Well represented were artists such as Sir Terry Frost, Dame Elizabeth Frink, Henry Moore, Keith Vaughan and Ivon Hitchens. Strangely enough, given the surroundings (Admiralty Arch, the Mall, Buckingham Palace) you really do feel what it’s like to be British on the way into the Fair, so the new location seems totally compatible with the content, and with the level of support the Fair has from exhibiting Galleries, I’m sure 20/21 will be back at the Mall Galleries next year, guns blazing.

The exhibitors were offering a mixed bag of comments as to how the Fair had progressed. The comments ranged from best Fair ever, to some clients seemingly sitting on their hands in as far Brexit is concerned, however, I’m always of the belief that if a client really likes a piece, they’ll buy it, and as is the case so often with Fairs, there may well be some after-sales. Certainly the onsite wrapping, packing and shipping people seemed happy, with a response to the ‘how’s the Fair going’ question, being “we’ve been constantly busy”.

2021aThe Main Hall at the Mall Galleries 20/21 - Sunday afternoon

A somewhat poignant exhibition within the Fair, was that of Sim Fine Art who presented a whole wall of works by an ambulance driver come wartime artist called Ronald Fuller. He was a conscientious objector who faced a tribunal, and was exempted from military service during WW2 on the basis that he performs alternative civilian duties. This window into wartime Britain during the Blitz was moving, and acutely gentle in so far as its emotional pull. A collection of very polite renditions of life in London during those harrowing years. Sim Fine Art currently have an exhibition running titled ‘Holding the Line - The Art of the War Years’, with more information available on their website.

S.21.a'Holding the Line - The Art of the War Years' part of the current exhibition at Sim Fine Art

R.F.1The Stretcher Party by Ronald Fuller - Duty Room CAT. 50 Graphite, dated Jan 31, 1942

So what sold at 20/21? 

Speaking with a few dealers after the Fair, all but none were upbeat about 20/21, and its future. Alan Wheatley Gallery had a very busy Fair with a number pieces selling by Alan Davie; prices ranged from between £3000.00 and £100,000.00 with some serious interest in the upper bracket works being followed up after the Fair. Mark Goodman of Goodman Fine Art said he had a fantastic Fair selling twelve pieces, with only two of those works going to existing clients. He was thrilled at having sold a Graham Sutherland for somewhere in the region of £100,000.00. "A real testament to the pulling power of the Fair and the organisers" he said.

Matthew Travers of Piano Nobile Gallery noted that a number of new collectors visited the Fair, perhaps looking to make the jump from contemporary prints. He has some strong after-show interest in a major Ivon Hitchens, and he sold a number of pieces by John Golding in the £8,000.00 - £10,000.00 price bracket. Sarah Long of Long and Ryle sold a stream of works by Kate Montgomery in the region of £2,000.00 and a piece by John Monks for £21,000.00, among others. Again, Sarah had nothing but praise for the focused offering at the Fair.

What came through loud and clear in the conversations with dealers both during the show and after the doors had closed, was the level of support for 20/21. There may have been a hiatus last year for this quintessentially British Art Fair, but the dealers we spoke to were hungry for more, and they enjoyed exhibiting at the Mall Galleries in 2017, and for the most part, ready to do it all again next year.

abc KM2017 Walk At Dusk30 by 20cms minWalk at Dusk 2017 casein on birch panel 30 x 27 cm by Kate Montgomery - sold at £ 1,100 inc. vat at Long and Ryle Gallery

1abcSalon by John Monks min 2Salon 2017 oil on canvas 92 x 107 cm by John Monks £ 21,000 incl. vat at Long and Ryle Gallery

Screen Shot 2017 09 19 at 15.05.48John Golding 1929-2012 Untitled, 1981 Signed and dated lower right 'Golding 81' Pastel on paper 55 x 75 cm 21 5/8 x 29 1/2 in sold for £12,000 at Piano Nobile Gallery

abcTwo and Two image 1 min 2'Two and Two' by Norman Dilworth sold in the region of £7,000 at Redfern Gallery

Gaye HutsonGay Hutson 20/21 British Art Fair Organiser

For additional information: 20/21

THE BERKELEY SQUARE LAPADA LONDON FAIR 2017

Lapada1

Located in Berkeley Square in the heart of London's West End, the Lapada Fair began with a champagne reception last Thursday, which was almost a roadblock event. Packed to the rafters, this has become an annual go-to opening, in which surrounding businesses on the square seem to align their own events on the same evening, so it really does feel like a special evening; the whole area has the feeling of an open village like atmosphere.

Now in its 9th year, the Fair has become firmly established as one of the kick-off events in the Fall season in London, with price points at between £500 and £500,000.00. The presentation at the Fair is beautiful, and with the Berkeley square trees dotted around and reaching up through the temporary structure, visually, there really is no other event quite like it. The galleries and dealers all pull the stops out with their displays, and the organisers go to great lengths to create one of the most impactive entrances you'll see at any Fair, anywhere. You definitely get that feel good factor as soon as walk in.

This year's stand of the show was awarded to Lucas Rarities, specialists in rare and exceptional pieces of period jewellery and object d'art, and who staged an unbelievable stand, themed entirely on the subject of fair ground attractions with a few corresponding art works lining the walls to boot. Both Francesca Martin-Gutierrez and Sam Loxton the proprietors of Lucas Rarities, were thrilled with the result of months worth of planning. The stand was fun, entertaining and looked spectacular. 

The Lapada Fair runs for one more day, and if you are in the area, then it really should be on your to do list.

Entrance: £20.00

Last Day: Wednesday 20 September, opening time:  11am - 7pm

For additional information: lapadalondon.com

thumb DSC 0777 1024Spectacular Entrance to the Fair

Screen Shot 2017 09 19 at 21.51.52Lennox Cato of Edenbridge

thumb DSC 0804 1024Robert Barley's Stand inclusive of a Berkeley Square Tree

thumb DSC 0827 1024A 'Mira Flygel' PH grand piano designed in 1931 by Paul Henningson on Hatchwell's stand, priced in excess of £100,000.00

thumb DSC 0838 1024Louis Walpole and Colin Smith on the Smith Robinson Stand

thumb DSC 0891 1024Mr Brainwash on the stand of Haynes Fine Art

thumb DSC 0884 1024Jeroen Markies specialist in Art Deco furniture - Dressing Table with Enamel and Silver fittings sold at £18,000.00

thumb DSC 0799 1024A Berkeley Square Tree Right in the Heart of the Tent

Mack1 copyMackinnon Fine Furniture

thumb DSC 0784 1024May Geolot of Mackinnon Fine Furniture

thumb DSC 0844 1024Rebecca Hossack Art Gallery

thumb DSC 0813 1024The Stand of the Show - Lucas Rarities

thumb DSC 0718 1024Lucas Rarities' Francesca Martin-Gutierrez F.G.A and Sam Loxton F.G.A.  - Stand of the Show Winners 

Lapada1

Last Day: Wednesday 20 September, opening time:  11am - 7pm

For additional information: lapadalondon.com

 

About the Author

Elliot Lee

Elliot Lee

Elliot Lee founded his antique business in 1994. Having bought his first Antique piece at the tender age of eleven, it has since then been his passion for Antiques, Fine Art, and aesthetically beautif...