NOW in its ninth year, Caroline Penman’s Chelsea Art Fair will be held at Chelsea Old Town Hall on the King’s Road, London SW3, from April 22 to 25.
This has recently evolved into a successful and affordable fixture offering original art from 46 exhibiting galleries, among them some well-known names including Manya Igel, Panter & Hall, John Noott, Bourne Gallery and the Wren Gallery from Burford.
The emphasis is on recent and contemporary works and this year there are seven new exhibitors, including George Babbington from London with 20th century watercolours, Ingrid Nilson from Kent with decorative prints and London’s East Hill Gallery with modern Russian works.
Following up the arrival of multi-billionaire Roman Abramovich to revive the local football club’s fortunes, there is, of course, nothing new about Russian power in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea and many a dealer is hoping it will expand at the fair.
Contemporary Russian works proliferate on a number of stands this year.
Since the stolid output of social realism insisted upon by the authorities during the Soviet period, Russian artists have celebrated their new freedom with a fresh and diverse output and this is certainly finding a responsive market in the West.
But Olga Baker, proprietor of the East Hill Gallery in Wandsworth, will bring work by Russian artists of the 1950s and 60s.
She says: “Collectors like the fresh palette, impressionistic style and strong composition from artists of this period. Prices range from less than £300 to more than £2000 and offer good investment potential.”
On the home front there will be plenty of work by familiar names like Mary Fedden, Ken Howard, Ruskin Spear, Augustus John and Edward Seago.
Admission is £6 and £10 to the private view on the evening of April 21.