Wednesday, 27 June 2018

Masterpiece London 2018 Highlights

I am still steadfast on my opinion on preferring 
Masterpiece London over other art fairs.

To be fair, 
I haven't been able to attend Frieze the recent years 
because I am out of town normally 

but I do hope to be able to compare this autumn.

It is a beautiful setting in the Chelsea Barracks where the 
Chelsea Flower Show is also held.

There is a complimentary van shuttle from Sloane Square and a golf buggy ride from the gates to the building too.

Fantin-Latour may not have street cred but looks good in real homes

18th century Italian silk fans
Modern wicker combined with fine jewellery
And good ol' Moussaief rocks 

But the stands aren't too niche and repetitive.

Each passing year, there seems to be more pop up eateries too.

It really is a full day out.

I went to the preview day today.

It officially opens tomorrow June 28 until July 4th.

Please do note that 

Some are intense talks at the official lecture theatre and 
there are also informal talks at stands.

It is a mini Sotheby's Art Course.

 Not sure if that botanic Swedish cabinet is a new one of the same one this stand had last year and the item sold on the preview day.
I didn't ask.

This is a very special piece that is being sold by the 
Grosvernor Estate for undisclosed reasons for 10 million euros.

 It took 10 years to make and was done by the 
Renaissance artist Giorgio Vasari.

Adrian Sassoon always has a special stand and brings out some of the Sevres porcelain and has some of the future Sevres pieces. 

 While everything seems more beautiful than the next, 
there were two artists that blew my mind.
 These pieces are metal pieces lit from an angle so its shadows demonstrate words on the wall.

 Fred Eerdekens is the artist's name.

Considering I was there midday on the preview day, I was surprised at how many items were already sold.
Mind you, if I could afford it I would have bought the turtle too.

 I did have to smirk at how many private lounges and events were being held on the preview day.

 Because preview isn't special enough LOL.

But there were lots of seating areas such as this dotted all over as walking around does give you a workout.

 Interestingly, this year, there weren't as many curated/designed rooms.
 Out of all of them this might have been the pick for me.
 That period of furniture which is highly collectible and the wallpaper was specially designed for this room by De Gournay.

 There were some others but it seemed to be simple but nothing extraordinary.

 The other artist
 I loved was the husband and wife team Rob and Nick Carter.

 One was a film maker and the other was a fine art artist.

These were either iPads or screens that would transform a scene on a loop.

So the flowers would deteriorate slowly on a timed loop.

 The Frick Pittsburgh has bought a few editions.

I hope you get to see it at Masterpiece or at the Frick because it is hard to really convey the beauty of these pieces.

 I do love seeing pieces 
that would normally be tucked away in a private home 
or in storage at a museum like 
this match stick holder by Carl Faberge.

This was the front for Rose Uniacke who was wearing a beautiful yellow dress.
 I didn't take a picture of her as she was talking to someone and I didn't want to interrupt her to ask her if I could take a picture.

But I must say that I loved what people were wearing and in my old age rarely bother to people watch but Masterpiece London is better than fashion week for watching people walk by!

I really hope you do make it but if not please do check out their website.


  1. I would dearly love to make it but the Atlantic gets in the way. No trip to London planned. You must have been brilliant at swatting for exams you are so good at concise summaries. I like the room mentioned - very now “Out of Africa”. I see so many pictures of these private events table settings swathed in flowers on British fashion blogger IG accounts. Londoners from all walks of life have the best fashion as well as young Japanese and any age group of African Snericans.

    1. I was a crammer Yvonne!! Next year I might just ask more people bc the looks were just as memorable as the art :)

    2. Yvonne, we Euro-Snericans of every age are deeply offended by this slight.

  2. Thank you for reporting on such a fabulous event to this arm chair traveller! The people watching sounds fabulous. The glimpse into the private functions was enticing! And of course, what beautiful art everywhere. The shadow sentences on the walls I loveeeee!!! Very clever. The Faberge match stick holder I find so ugly but you just know it’s ugly expensive the second you look at it! The Vasari piece is stunning. Can you really put a price on 10 years of time to create? Though as I understand these artists often worked on multiple things at once and prioritisation depended on who commissioned the piece. A book I read on Titian (i think!), apparently many angry letters sent by some complaining he was ignoring their commissions!!!! Oh to be in demand :)

    1. Hi Sophie, The sculptures are still in my mind!! I think 10 million euros is a bit tough and actually it has gone down bc it was more expensive than titians at the time but you couldn't buy a titan now for less than 100 million. The piece though was a Medici piece with great provenance but I don't know if a museum would buy it as they like paintings and there are no agents pushing the original artist hehe. But I think the frog is what they call joli laide LOL ugly cute :)

  3. What a wonderful post and so timely for me - I am heading to London from Brisbane on Sunday and had read about this event and hope to get there on Tuesday- I'm a huge Andrew Grima fan - did you happen to see that display? Thank you Robyn

    1. Yes I did! And the pictures don't really do it justice. Also see the talks programme bc there may be a few interesting talks that day Robyn - Have fun too :)

  4. Hello Naomi, That projected-script art is interesting--it reminds me of the anamorphic art that still is featured in shows and books. While the original metal pieces have their own sculptural form, it would be hard to think of what to make them say that would not sound like one of those framed inspirational quotations.

    I would like to see the Rob and Nick Carter films. I see from their website that they run from about thirty minutes to over an hour, giving them a pace utterly unlike the Jan Svankmajer animated decay that completes in seconds.

    1. The idea apparently came as they noticed people in museums read the description card on the right longer than the actual painting which is very true from what i see as well. This tends to let you wait for movement while enjoying the painting. I found it so clever. I normally hate written art unless it is Richard Prince - though that seems to have taken on many copiers - but the sculptural element was so clever and think you would enjoy the in real life Jim

  5. We suspect Sloane Square withholding Fantin-Latour street cred may not thrust him into oblivion. Granting him immortality is Whistler's early praise, Proust mentioning him in what most aesthetes consider the greatest novel ever written, and his portrait of Manet in Chicago's Art Institute is GSL's fave.

  6. That fan is just beautiful.

  7. Merry Christmas,
    You are so interesting! I don't believe I've truly read through anything like that before. So wonderful to discover another person with a few unique thoughts on this issue. Seriously.. many thanks for starting this up. This website is something that is required on the internet, someone with a bit of originality! If you want to read Christmas Speech Sample you have to see the link
    Thank you,


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