The Economist compares London’s glut of art fairs:
LIFAF is in a huge, handsome exhibition hall in Shepherd’s Bush, a location most find difficult to reach. AAL and Masterpiece are both set in central temporary pavilions, the former in Kensington Gardens, the latter on the grounds of the Chelsea Barracks. All of the fairs look good. LIFAF boasts an airy spaciousness, with stands that can accommodate furniture and even big telescopes. Decorative arts and design dealers, such as Peter Petrou, have already reported good returns. Robilant+Volena only brought contemporary works and immediately sold a large Clarence Ross photograph of a hurricane wave, for which they asked £65,000. Greens of Cheltenham, jewellery dealers, had its best fair in years.
Nevertheless, there is considerable rancour among dealers who took part. As the opening approached and much empty space remained, some big names (among them Peter Finer, an armour dealer) were offered free stands. Not suprisingly there is talk of not taking part again next year, and not only among dealers who failed to sell well.
As for AAL, its soft light gives the ceramics on view a lovely glow. The high level of material exhibited by its 60 participants lead some to believe this fair will become one for connoisseurs (though the paintings must improve).Continue Reading