Home Arts At the time of the London fairs, Eye of the Collector returns for its third edition

At the time of the London fairs, Eye of the Collector returns for its third edition

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London’s Eye of the Collector show nearly got off to a false start when it launched in 2020 and was forced to hold its inaugural edition online during the first waves of the pandemic. But the boutique, boothless fair has now opened its third edition (until May 20) and its second in-person event, at its usual home – the ornate 19th-century riverside mansion turned exhibition space. , Two Temple Place.

“I would say May 2022 was our real release,” founder and director Nazy Vassegh said at yesterday’s preview, amid buzz from collectors and patrons. This edition comes at a turbulent time for art fairs in London – earlier this year Masterpiece, of which Vassegh was chief executive from 2013 to 2017, announced that it would cancel its June edition. Two of Masterpiece’s original founders later announced that the new and significantly smaller Treasure House Fair will take place at Masterpiece’s premises from June 22-26.

Changes like these make it all the more important to establish a unique brand and vision and Vassegh believes Eye of the Collector’s distinct model – curated and intimate presentations of art and design – is suited to the base of discerning London collectors. “I think that’s why we can be creative and bold, and we can present artwork in different categories – we can be confident because we have that level of knowledge.”

Nazy Vassegh, founder of Eye of the Collector

Photo: Linda Nyland

Last year, Vassegh made strides to increase the number of female artists on the fair floor, and Eye of the Collector maintained a 50% female ratio for 2023. This year, more attention has been given to increasing the number of emerging artists.

Prices at the fair range from £1,200 for a 2014 ceramic work by Frances Marr to £900,000 for one by Frank Auerbach Camden Palace—Spring Morning II (2000), and the inventory of the fair will remain available online at Artsy and Christie’s after the physical close of the fair on May 20.

London gallery Kristin Hjellegjerde had sold the majority of its inventory brought to the fair yesterday afternoon, including works by Soheila Sokhanvari and Rebecca Brodskis at undisclosed prices. Meanwhile, Whitford Fine Art, also of London, sold the intriguing painting sea ​​shapes (circa 1950) by Mildred Bendall for £10,000 and painting by Cissie Kean red kite (1950) for £12,000. The fair also announced the sale of ceramic vase work Model of ethnic cleansing1994 by Eye of the Collector curator artist Grayson Perry for £28,000.

A number of new artworks and objects, specially created for the fair, are also on display, including those resulting from a collaboration between luxury homeware brand Zoffany and artists such as Markus Lüpertz and Francesca DiMattio. Also on display are emerging artists John Abel, Liorah Tchiprout, presented alongside heavyweights such as Bridget Riley, Lynn Chadwick and Barbara Hepworth, all presented by Alan Wheatley Art, who has been present at the fair since its inception.

First-time exhibitor Ed Cross Fine Art brought paintings by Ade Odedina and Eugene Palmer along with tapestry works by Anya Paintsil, some of which are on display at Two Temple Place, while d others are posted online. “The atmosphere between the galleries is very nice, which is a different experience for us as exhibitors,” said gallery manager Ed Cross, who summed up his experience positively: “It’s an amazing experience to come here and make your way through the I think it’s a much more exciting experience for visitors than a traditional fair.”

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