The forthcoming London Art Week will have a focus on Old and Modern Masters, alongside featuring fine art from antiquity to the 20th century.
The dealer-led festival will return to the capital from June 27 to July 5, bringing connoisseurs, collectors and museum curators to the week-long high point in the international art calendar.
London Art Week sees important gallery exhibitions hosted by leading fine art dealerships coincide with the Old Master sales at top-tier auction houses, gathering a critical mass of historic art for sale in the capital.
Amelia Higgins, the new Director of London Art Week, is one of the ‘next generation’ in the art world who revel in the variety and quality of older art on the market in London, and wishes to enthuse a wider audience. “Imagine a series of mini-museums,” she said, “Dozens of them, all within walking distance of each other, but with the added benefit of a private guided tour and where everything is for sale. The dealers and gallery managers love to share their knowledge and expertise, in conversation over a painting, sculpture or drawing, revealing its story and that of the artist. Learning about older art helps bring new ways of contextualising contemporary art, and buying it can be pleasingly affordable too: drawings start around £500.”
Galleries in St. James and Mayfair are joined by numerous dealers from further afield: Holland, Italy, France, Belgium, Germany. Special talks and events are part of the experience, which is quite different to attending a fair, as each gallery has its own special ambience and personality.
London Art Week is important for art scholarship; dealers can spend years gathering and researching material for their exhibitions, often producing an accompanying catalogue. Last year, London Art Week revealed a number of major discoveries, including the only known portrait bust of Frankenstein author Mary Shelley, a lost painting by the great sculptor Antonio Canova, and works by Gainsborough, Lawrence, Artemesia Gentileschi and Joseph Wright of Derby.