Everyone is here, every age is represented, from now to antiquity. The Oxford Dictionary needs to update its current definition of masterpiece: “a work of outstanding artistry, skill or workmanship”. Add an upper case M and it becomes, “150 galleries exhibiting works of outstanding artistry, skill and workmanship”. Or more succinctly, “a microcosm of London, New York and Maastricht society”. Tonight the red carpet’s rolled out for an augmented vernissage.
While now it’s all about Perrier-Jouët Belle Époque, there’ll be a familiar conundrum in the forthcoming days. The Ivy Chelsea Brasserie, Le Caprice, The Mount Street Deli or Scott’s Seafood and Champagne Bar? Potted brown shrimps on crispy slivers of toast at Scott’s will inevitably win most days. Feet dangling from stools below the neverending silver bar, there is nowhere better to satisfy a craving for crustacea. What about The Ivy’s HLT (halloumi, lettuce and tomato)? It’s a wrap.
Burberry is this year’s official preview partner with an exhibition The Cape Reimagined. Collector’s pieces on show are inspired by the work of Henry Moore. It’s a wrap. Cross category | low delineation | wearable sculptures | augmented visibility. Expect to see a feathery flurry of Chelsea ladies donning couture capes this autumn.
Masterpiece Presents sadly isn’t the goody bag but excitingly is an annual entrance installation project. The inaugural immersive by top Chilean artist Iván Navarro was commissioned by newcomer Paul Kasmin Gallery. Fluorescence. Incandescence. Quintessence. Definitive newness. An instantly recognisable piece from the past is displayed at Agnews of St James’s Place: Dante Gabriel Rossetti’s haunting image of Proserpina, the Roman goddess, enjoying a pomegranate. Proserpina’s luscious auburn hair contrasts with the flawless pale skin of her augmented visage. A definite icon. Year on year hitting the zeitgeist while celebrating the past, Masterpiece 2017 could be defined as an “augmented vision”. It’s a wrap.