To wrap up this semester’s calendar of contemporary art fairs, Masterpiece aims to capture the attention of customers who have barely gotten over Art Basel. The challenge will be launched from 27 June to 3 July in West London’s historic Royal Hospital Chelsea.
The number of exhibitors remains stable at 157, compared with 160 last year and 153 in 2017. Its identity, based on a blend of classical art and the latest contemporary creations, reflects the tastes of today's collectors more than ever. Classical painting and 20th and 21st-century arts are tied in terms of the number of exhibitors – around 60, including Agnews, De Jonckheere and Richard Green on one side and Hauser & Wirth, Mathivet, Henze & Ketterer & Triebold, Robilant + Voena and Toninelli Art Moderne on the other. Alessandra Di Castro, Steinitz, The Sladmore Gallery and Robert Young Antiques will represent antique furniture, while only four stands –Yann Ferrandin, Finch & Co, Patrick & Ondine Mestdagh and Axel Vervoordt – will exhibit African and pre-Columbian art. The diversity of specialties represented at Masterpiece is matched only by the number of lectures and round tables organised for the occasion. In particular, the one on 27 June at 7:30 p.m. by Anna Dempster, head of academic programmes at the Royal Academy of Arts, questioned why and how certain artists constitute an art collection. On 28 June at 5 p.m., a lecture by Andy Hei, founder and director of Fine Art Asia, a Hong Kong fair with which Masterpiece is linked this year by a partnership, explained the difficulties and challenges of the West's cultural collaboration with China.