First Night: Young Brits show life after Monet

Art99

Business Design Centre

London

CLAUDE MONET may not need a rock star or a politician to announce he is in town. But Young British Artists still feel a little naked without the "cool'"imprimatur from the combination of musician and government minister.

Last night Culture Secretary Chris Smith was joined by former Eurythmics star Dave Stewart at the opening of , the London Contemporary Art Fair. And the third element of contemporary art chic - a fashionable restaurant - was also an essential part of the evening's entertainment: the celebrations continued with a second champagne reception at Che restaurant in St James's.

Tickets for last night's gala, held in part to raise money for the Serpentine Gallery, were pounds 150. From today, entry to the fair, at the Business Design Centre in Islington, will be pounds 10.

That could, of course, prove the bargain of the year if one spots the next big thing among the canvasses and installations. Or it could leave the visitor wondering at the gullibillity of sections of the art world.

The young Japanese artist Tomoko Takanashi, one of Charles Saatchi's neurotic realists, has extended her reach from the roomful of miscellaneous junk she contributed to the Saatchi show. At she has a sculpture which includes Monopoly boards, mobile phones and tape measures. But Saatchi's blessing is lucrative. Even before the doors opened, this exhibit had already been bought.

But with 90 dealers exhibiting, one can take one's pick of a wide range, both in price and taste. From prints for around pounds 100, up to Ben Nicholson's October 1958 (Brown Goblet) for pounds 150,000, from a bejewelled kitchen plunger by Claire Carter for pounds 2,200 to a pounds 60,000 Damien Hirst spin painting, elegantly titled Beautiful Splatter Shit And Puss Painting, the choice is a broad one.

Indeed, the title can impress as much as the work itself. Simon Tyszko's Arran jumper straitjacket would be impress far less without its title: I Waited (An Eternity) To Hear A Loving Word. The fair now includes a separate section -Start - for 15 younger galleries specialising in new, experimental work. And there's not a still life goblet among them.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: 3rd Line Virtualisation, Windows & Server Engineer

£40000 - £47000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A 3rd Line Virtualisation / Sto...

Recruitment Genius: Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Service Engineer

£26000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A successful national service f...

Recruitment Genius: Business Development Executive / Sales - OTE £25,000

£15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join ...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Administrator - Fixed Term Contract

£17500 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: We currently require an experie...

Day In a Page

Syria civil war: Meet the military commander who says his soldiers will not rest until every inch of their war torn country is free of Islamist 'terrorists'

‘We won’t stop until Syria is back to normal’

Near the front lines with Islamist-controlled towns where Assad’s troops were besieged just last month, Robert Fisk meets a commander confidently preparing his soldiers for battle
The inside story of how Bill Clinton built a $2bn global foundation may undermine Hillary's chances

The inside story of how Bill Clinton built a $2bn global foundation...

... and how it may undermine Hillary's chances in 2016
12 best olive oils

Extra-virgin, cold-press, early-harvest, ultra-premium: 12 best olive oils

Choosing an olive oil is a surprising minefield. Save yourself the hassle with our handy guide
Rafa Benitez Real Madrid unveiling: New manager full of emotion at Bernabeu homecoming

Benitez full of emotion at Bernabeu homecoming

There were tears in the former Liverpool manager’s eyes as he was unveiled as Real Madrid coach. But the Spaniard knows he must make tough decisions if he is to succeed
Sepp Blatter resignation: The beginning of Fifa's long road to reform?

Does Blatter's departure mean Fifa will automatically clean up its act?

Don't bet on it, says Tom Peck
Charles Kennedy: The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

Charles Kennedy was consistently a man of the centre-left, dedicated to social justice, but was also a champion of liberty and an opponent of the nanny-state, says Baroness Williams
Syria civil war: The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of this endless conflict

The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of Syria's endless civil war

Sahar Qanbar lost her mother and brother as civilians and government soldiers fought side by side after being surrounded by brutal Islamist fighters. Robert Fisk visited her
The future of songwriting: How streaming is changing everything we know about making music

The future of songwriting

How streaming is changing everything we know about making music
William Shemin and Henry Johnson: Jewish and black soldiers receive World War I Medal of Honor amid claims of discrimination

Recognition at long last

Jewish and black soldiers who fought in WWI finally receive medals after claims of discrimination
Beating obesity: The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters

Beating obesity

The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters
9 best women's festival waterproofs

Ready for rain: 9 best women's festival waterproofs

These are the macs to keep your denim dry and your hair frizz-free(ish)
Cycling World Hour Record: Nervous Sir Bradley Wiggins ready for pain as he prepares to go distance

Wiggins worried

Nervous Sir Bradley ready for pain as he prepares to attempt cycling's World Hour Record
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?