LONDON.- The 20/21 British Art Fair, the only fair specialising exclusively in modern and contemporary British art, will take place at the Royal College of Art, Kensington Gore, London SW7 from 10 to 14 September.
When it started in 1988 - as The 20th Century British Art Fair - the market for Modern British art was comparatively small and work by most of the artists represented could be bought at a fraction of the prices they now command. Few would have predicted the enormous rise of interest not just in British art but in art worldwide - which has occurred in the last few years and, today, this market has now grown beyond all expectation with record prices regularly being achieved.
At the Royal College of Art, which can justly be called the spiritual home of modern and contemporary British art, almost 60 of the UKs leading dealers show all the great names of the 20th century: Bacon, Caro, Freud, Frink, Frost, Hepworth, Hockney, Hodgson, Lanyon, Lowry, Moore, Nash, Piper, Riley, Scott, Sutherland and Spencer. Alongside is a large selection of work by contemporary artists, some of whom already have international reputations Hirst, Emin, Grayson Perry etc. and others who may be the stars of tomorrow.
The dealers are, without doubt, the backbone of the art trade. If you look into the archives of some of the oldest established participating galleries you will find evidence of their early support for many of todays most sought after artists.
In fact, without the years of nurture and support spent by dealers building up an artists career - by mounting and curating exhibitions, organising print editions, publishing catalogues etc - it would be difficult for an artist to establish a reputation.