The unmissable highlights of Masterpiece Art Fair 2018

By Rose Adams | 28 Jun 2018 | Culture, Art

Here are Tempus’ top five Masterpiece Art Fair picks to tick off your hit list

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* Masterpiece kicks off at The Royal Hospital Chelsea on 28 June, showcasing a premium selection of over 160 artworks from across the globe

There’s nothing quite like a summer afternoon spent snooping round an art fair, and Masterpiece London sponsored by Royal Bank of Canada, is the one to beat. Held 28 June – 4 July within the opulent grounds of the historic Royal Hospital Chelsea, it's renowned as the world’s leading cross-collecting fair for good reason. Offering a premium selection of over 160 artworks from across the globe – both historical and contemporary – as well as a myriad of sculptures, furniture and jewellery pieces, it's an unmissable hit for any art aficionado. 

Culture vultures will be enthralled by the combination of rare Impressionist and Modernist paintings, together with a programme of talks and presentations in association with luxury jewellery brand Chopard. Celebrating modern artists such as Ibrahim El Salahi, Chiharu Shiota and Rob & Nick Carter, the fair marks a week of unique art that’s not to be missed. 

Related: Barnebys report shows female artists are dominating the investment market

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* The unique Sekhmet bench, crafted from bronze and 24ct gold. Designed by acclaimed jewellery designer and artist Harumi Klossowska de Rola, will be presented by 18 Davies Street Gallery

18 Davies Street Gallery’s display will showcase a selection of the best of 20th Century French and Italian design, but its highlight is arguably the personal oak writing desk of fashion house founder and doyenne of Haute Couture Jeanne Lanvin. Featuring her monogram ‘MJL’, the exquisite piece decorated her Paris apartment and is carved in oak with gilt bronze handles. It was created especially for her by Armand-Albert Rateau in the early 1920s during his major redecorations of the fashion designer’s apartment, homes, and businesses.

Elsewhere, another unmissable piece, also presented by 18 Davies Street Gallery, is a unique Sekhmet bench crafted from bronze and 24ct gold. Designed by acclaimed jewellery designer and artist Harumi Klossowska de Rola, the stunning piece is inspired by the opulence and grandeur of ancient Egypt. Interestingly, Harumi is daughter of the artist Balthus and Japanese artist countess Setsuko, so it’s no wonder she too followed the pursuit of art and created such elegant masterpieces. 

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* A myriad of sculptures are presented to guests at the fair, including this curious piece. [Image credit: Richard Hudson, Twice, 2016, polished mirrored steel, h. 250cm, Courtesy Bowman Sculpture]

If you adore immersive art, don’t miss 'Five Stages of Maya Dance', which showcases a new body of work by renowned performance artist Marina Abramović. Presented by Factum Arte, in collaboration with Lisson Gallery, this set of five alabaster portraits of Marina Abramović merge performance, light and sculpture. As you move around the pieces, they decompose into intricately carved ‘landscapes’ of alabaster, offering a haunting alternative take on art. Through the use of carved alabaster, Abramović is exploring new ways to give form to her ideas.

While the main focus of the fair may be on art, a glittering selection of fine jewellery by leading designers is also not to be missed. One such brand is Taiwanese fine jewellery company CINDY CHAO The Art Jewel, which will be presenting designs from its opulent Black and White Labels. One of our favoured picks is this mesmerising 2017 Black Label Masterpiece XIII ‘Winter Leaves Brooches’ Four Seasons Collection. Curated from a sterling mix of diamonds, enamel, titanium and white gold, it's an unequivocally memorable exhibit. 

Masterpiece is renowned for showcasing a captivating collection of modern and archival paintings – but no art fair would really be complete without work by Pablo Picasso, undoubtedly one of the foremost artists in history. His oil on canvas masterpiece Les Dormeurs, 1965, will be presented to guests, courtesy of Landau Fine Art. The piece has hung for decades behind the desk of his only dealer, Paul Rosenberg – making this rare opportunity to observe it even more extraordinary.