Sculpture walk at the entrance of Masterpiece London, 2013.
What differentiates Masterpiece from other fairs?
Masterpiece was founded on the premise of cross collecting. By juxtaposing Old Masters against contemporary art, placing jewellery next to Design or antiquities, we cover the full spectrum of the art market drawn from an international roster of exhibitors – all when London is at the height of its arts and social calendar in June and early July.
How many exhibitors do you have this year?
We have consciously kept the number at just over 150 to make something more manageable than other fairs. This year we have a great variety of exhibitors and a strong selection of picture galleries, such as Thomas Gibson Fine Art and Lowell Libson who are exhibiting for the first time. Blain Southern are back for a second year with Lynn Chadwick to tie into his 100th anniversary and their own gallery show and they have also worked with the sculptors Tim Noble and Sue Webster to create a piece called 'The Masterpiece' especially for the fair.
Nazy Vassegh, Chief Executive Masterpiece Fair, London.
Do you adopt a similar vetting procedure to other fairs such as TEFAF?
We have 26 vetting committees in total with almost 150 experts in all different categories. We started the vetting process online several months ago, and then, just before the opening, a day is dedicated to inspecting every single piece of work.
What other projects and events are organised at Masterpiece this year?
We have a whole programme of events that go on during the fair. There are talks taking place on a number of our exhibitor stands as well as tours everyday. In the lecture theatre we have a varied series of lectures ranging from our cultural partners such as Sir John Soanes Museum through to Spears and Vanity Fair. Other organisations such as Sotheby’s Institute, also hold a course at the Fair.
We also have an exhibition of large-scale sculpture by Phillip King in the grounds of the Royal Hospital, which is a great way to celebrate our 5th anniversary and Philip’s 80th birthday. The free show has been organised with Thomas Dane Gallery and will be open until the end of August – so long after Masterpiece has closed.
Alessandra di Castro at Masterpiece London, 2013.
The fair always works closely with a charity. Who will benefit this year?
In addition to the Royal Hospital in Chelsea, we support a different charity each year. This time we are working with Marie Curie Cancer Care again to hold their gala event on 30th June and tickets can be purchased on our website. It is called 'the Masterpiece Marie Curie Party' and the same event last year raised £840,000 during the evening, which is the highest total they have ever raised from a single event.