A magnificent weekend of art in Mayfair

A celebration of creativity in London’s chicest artistic hub

Christo’s Over the River (Project for Arkansas River, State of Colorado), 1999, from Christo and Jeanne-Claude: A Life of Projects, £63,000 at Stern Pissarro Gallery
Christo’s Over the River (Project for Arkansas River, State of Colorado), 1999, from Christo and Jeanne-Claude: A Life of Projects, £63,000 at Stern Pissarro Gallery

Now in its fifth year, Mayfair Art Weekend (taking place from June 29 to July 1) promises to be a celebration of the best of the capital’s historic-yet-dynamic art quarter. This year’s event features a partnership with the Royal Academy – which is celebrating its landmark 250th year – as well as the participation of more than 40 galleries, auction houses and artists exemplifying the rich, diverse creativity found throughout Mayfair and St James’s.

Howard Hodgkin’s Portrait of the Artist Listening to Music (2011-2016, price on request) can be seen at Gagosian
Howard Hodgkin’s Portrait of the Artist Listening to Music (2011-2016, price on request) can be seen at Gagosian

The long weekend kicks off on Friday June 29 with a line-up that includes a pop-up bookstore at Gagosian in conjunction with the gallery’s exhibition Howard Hodgkin: Last Paintings and a performance by DJ Cedric Bardawil at Lévy Gorvy in response to the vibrant works of Yves Klein and James Turrell, which are on view until Friday July 6. The opening evening will culminate with Gallery Hop! (from 6pm to 8pm), when guests will have after-hours access to the exhibitions August Sander: Men Without Masks at Hauser & Wirth and Talisman in the Age of Difference at Stephen Friedman Gallery.

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Among the other stellar works on view during the festivities will be sculptor Carol Bove’s show at David Zwirner, while Christo and Jeanne-Claude: A Life of Projects will be presented alongside works by major 20th-century impressionist, modern and contemporary masters (from £27,000 to £525,000) at Stern Pissarro Gallery. Land of Lads, Land of Lashes at Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac puts three pioneering female artists under the spotlight (prices for paintings range from $25,000 to $220,000; from $10,000 to $30,000 for small-scale sculptures; and $55,000 to $250,000 for large sculptures). Meanwhile, the festival’s In Conversation series will tackle intriguing topics such as “Is art forgery on the rise?” with academic and author Stephanie Dieckvoss, and there’s also a foray into the world of design with Kit Kemp of Firmdale Hotels.

Richard Prince’s What a Kid I Was (3 Times), 1989, price on request at Skarstedt
Richard Prince’s What a Kid I Was (3 Times), 1989, price on request at Skarstedt | Image: Richard Prince, courtesy of Skarstedt

In addition to traditional exhibition spaces, art will pervade Mayfair’s Burlington Arcade, which will be transformed with 2,000 paper flowers by French designer Mathilde Nivet, and the RA’s Annenberg Courtyard will serve as a hub for the weekend, complete with a willow-making workshop and vegan street food courtesy of FFS (aka Feral Food Store). Further refreshments take the form of craft beers from Deviant & Dandy, cocktails by Midsummer Nightcap and ice cream by Fortnum & Mason.

Greta Schödl’s Untitled (In Blau Getrankt – Soaked in Blue), 1929, £2,400 at Richard Saltoun Gallery
Greta Schödl’s Untitled (In Blau Getrankt – Soaked in Blue), 1929, £2,400 at Richard Saltoun Gallery | Image: Copyright of the artist, courtesy of Richard Saltoun Gallery

The Sunday schedule is also brimming with inspiration. The Long Artists’ Lunch is set to take place from 12pm to 5pm in Burlington Gardens, hosted by Royal Academician Bob and Roberta Smith, where a 15m-long surreal tablescape by artists Philip and Charlotte Colbert will serve as an interactive stage – not only for delicious food, but artist-led discussions and installations.

Howard Hodgkin’s Over To You, 2015-2017, price on request at Gagosian
Howard Hodgkin’s Over To You, 2015-2017, price on request at Gagosian

With gallery doors and auction houses open to all, this weekend is the perfect time to explore London’s thriving arts district.

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