20/21 British Art Fair, London

The 20/21 British Art Fair opens today at the Royal College of Art, London. It is the only fair to specialise in Modern and Post-War art, but also feature work up to the present day. The college is often dubbed “the spiritual home of British art” and is the ideal setting for the fair. Running 10-14 September, the fair presents 55 exhibitors, who offer an inclusive collection of paintings, prints, drawings, photography, sculpture from the Modern (1900-1945), Post-War (1945-1970), and Contemporary (1970 onwards) periods. The intimate and friendly atmosphere appeals to the young, the first time buyer and the dedicated collector.

Now in its 27th year, the 20/21 British Art Fair was founded on the premise that Modern British art (with the exceptions of Henry Moore, Francis Bacon, Lucian Freud and Ben Nicholson) was undervalued and needed a flagship. When the fair began the market for international modern art was booming and British art was gathering momentum. The inferiority complex surrounding French Art was fast disappearing and in its place came a surge in outstanding art school alumni, including the much applauded YBAs.

Founded by Gay Hutson and Angela (Bunny) Wynn with the assistance of a number of dealers, the fair began life as The 20th Century British Art Fair. At first, the event opened at The Cumberland Hotel in Marble Arc, later moving to the Royal College of Art in 1991. The important building seemed like a natural choice, in that it is known as it boasts such internationally recognised alumni such as Barbara Hepworth, David Hockney, Patrick Caulfield, Tony Cragg, Chris Ofili, and Tracey Emin – most of whose work can usually been found at each fair.

The fair’s aim is to promote historical and modernist art, with a smattering of contemporary works too. This year visitors can expect to see presentations from the likes of The Canon Gallery, Rebecca Hossack Gallery, Beaux Arts, Whitford Fine Art, Osborne Samuel, Hilton Fine Art and James Hyman Gallery. Osborne Samuel will display work from John Blackburn, Brendan Stuart Burns, Lynn Chadwick and Roger Hilton, while Beaux Arts presents Paul Mount, Sandra Blow and John Piper.

20/21 British Art Fair, 10-14 September, Royal College of Art, London SW7 2EU.

1.Sir Terry Frost RA 1915 – 2003 Vertical Rhythm II, screenprint in 26 colours on Arches wove paper, image size: 71.3 x 70.6 cm, 2002, signed, edition of 85. From: Dominic Kemp Modern British Prints.