Roundup: Masterpiece Online 2020
The Design Edit enjoys a virtual tour and picks some highlights from the wide range of collectible design on offer.
22nd – 28th June 2020
INSTEAD OF OPENING IN its usual prime position in front of the august seventeenth-century backdrop of Sir Christopher Wren’s Royal Hospital Chelsea, this year’s Masterpiece London is taking place online. The eclectic art fair is showcasing 138 global exhibitors until 28th June, as well as raising funds to help museums that have been affected by the coronavirus pandemic, through its newly created Masterpiece Cultural Fund.
The experience of online browsing may lack the charmed glamour of waltzing the carpet in Chelsea from stand to stand, but Masterpiece London is simulating the usual summer razzmatazz, with a busy virtual programme of talks, panel discussions, virtual tours and individually tailored private views. Just bring your own champagne!
Meanwhile, Artsy, the online sales platform, which is hosting the individual presentations of the galleries, is keeping the window open until 8th July, so that if you need longer to ponder a purchase, you have it.
At Masterpiece, you can range serendipitously through objects from antiquities to contemporary art, from silver and jewellery to Old Masters. Within collectible design, depending upon the elasticity of your historical definition, you can find objects right through from the early twentieth-century Arts and Crafts movement, to the present day.
The Design Edit took a virtual tour and came back with these highlights:
Adrian Sassoon gallery is fielding work by many of its artists – including this magnificent large piece by the renowned metal artist Junko Mori, titled ‘Propagation Project; Sun Flower’, forged from mild steel, price £31,000.
Italian Gallery Robertaebasta is offering this spectacular sofa (1970-1980), the backrest in the shape of ram’s horns, designed by the multidisciplinary Spanish artist, architect, painter, filmmaker and writer, Frederic Amat. It is the only known example currently on the market (£18,000).
From a similar era comes the beautifully photographed early ‘Goutte d’Eau’ coffee table in patinated bronze (1970s), by Belgian designer Ado Chale (€92,000), offered by Morentz. A leading figure in the decorative arts boom in Belgium in the 1970s, Chale was inspired by the pre-Colombian culture of South America and natural materials. This table is inspired by the eddies generated by a raindrop across an expanse of water, creating an almost surreal impression of depth and weightlessness, above the sturdy architectural metal base.
A number of strong individual pieces at David Gill gallery include this feline, fantastically curved bench, titled ‘Catharsis’ 2019 (POA), by Sebastian Brajkovic, offering an elegant contrast of black bronze and gold-embroidered pink linen.
Finally, our eye was caught by this impressive black twisting vessel by Gareth Neal, at Sarah Myerscough Gallery, ‘Si-02 Vessel A-02 (large)’, created from black silica using digital 3D printing, (Editions 3-5. £24,920 ex. VAT. Price increases as edition sells).
. A true marriage of the simplest of abundant materials and 21st century technology.
Masterpiece Online – the largest online art gallery featuring fine art, decorative art, antiques, crafts and fine jewellery from hundreds of international galleries and thousands of artists.