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Modern and Post-war masters at the 20/21 British Art Fair

— September 2013

Associated media

Edward Burra (1905–76) 'The Garden',1927, Pencil, watercolour and bodycolour 55.8 x 38.1 cm. 
From Austin/Desmond Fine Art

The 20/21 British Art Fair, the only fair that specializes exclusively in British art will take place from 11–15 September at the Royal College of Art, Kensington Gore, London SW7.   It will be opened at 5p.m. on 11 September by Hattie Morahan, the prize-winning actress who plays Laura Knight in the recent film ‘Summer in February’ about the life of Sir Alfred Munnings.   Work by Dame Laura Knight is always seen at the fair, she was also a graduate of the Royal College.

The fair is a pivotal date for collectors of British art and continues to attract an enviably loyal following in London’s busy art fair calendar. Its success over 26 years has spawned many rivals but none have the same exclusive focus.   Its particular strengths lie in the excellence and range of modern (1900–45) and post-war art (1945–70) on show, but the fair also has a wide selection of contemporary art (1970 onwards).   

Each year the 56 exhibitors bring to their stands a great variety of work, much of which has been kept back especially for the fair.      The result is a niche event that annually showcases a truly eclectic selection of paintings, prints, drawings, sculpture and, new this year, a stand dedicated to photography.

The Royal College of Art is an ideal setting for the fair and is often called ‘the spiritual home’ of British art.   On offer will be work by most of the leading names in 20th-century British art alongside a selection of contemporary work, for example: Edward Burra, Elisabeth Frink, Patrick Heron, David Hockney, Howard Hodgkin, Peter Lanyon, Henry Moore, John Piper, Bridget Riley, Graham Sutherland and Keith Vaughan.

The high regard in which many of these artists are held is shown by the exhibitions at the major public galleries:  portraits by Dame Laura Knight and sculpture by Jacob Epstein are currently at the National Portrait Gallery. Patrick Caulfield is at Tate Britain as is the first large retrospective of the work of L.S. Lowry whilst the Dulwich Picture Gallery features ‘A Crisis of Brilliance 1908–1922’ highlighting those Slade artists caught up in the First World War.  Also of special interest this year will be the work of William Scott in the centenary year of his birth and he will feature at Tate St Ives.

At the fair, the history of the 20th- and early 21st-century British art is represented: Vorticists, Camden Town, Scottish Colourists, Bloomsbury Group, Surrealism to post-war abstraction, Pop art, the ‘young British artists’ and more recent graduate work.   The price range is from a few hundred up to many thousands of pounds.   

‘The only art fair I make an effort not to miss is the 20/21 British Art Fair.….it is the only gathering of dealers I find really enjoyable and inspiring with a wide range of high-quality Mod Brit on show…’     (Andrew Lambirth, The Spectator).

The fair is once again proudly sponsored by EFG Private Bank

Royal College of Art
Kensington Gore

11–15 September 2013
Wed: 3–9p.m.; Thurs: 11a.m.–8p.m.; Fri/Sat: 11a.m.–7p.m.; Sun: 11a.m.–6p.m.

Admission £9 (concessions £6)





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