Q&A: Piano Nobile

29 May 2024

As we get ever-closer to the opening of 2024’s The Treasure House Fair, we are excited to continue introducing the roster of exhibitors who will be joining us this summer. 

Today we meet Piano Nobile: a specialist dealer in 20th century British and European art, which aims to source and show the very best works of its kind in private ownership - and works with museums, institutions, as well as private collectors in the process. 

Above: Matthew Travers, Director, Piano Nobile.
Courtesy of Piano Nobile.

Why have you chosen to participate in The Treasure House Fair this year?
London is one of the global centres of the art world and there has always been much attention on a multidisciplinary art fair over the summer season held in the city. We enjoy showing in the context of such a diverse range of colleagues, from dealers of Antiquities to Modern Design.

What are you most looking forward to exhibiting during the event?
We will be showing a very significant early 1970’s head of Laurie Owen by Frank Auerbach. It is exceptional for its early date and impressive scale, and will be shown alongside further oils by the artist. This collection allows for a fascinating insight into Auerbach's working practice and stylistic shifts. For those who have not seen it, the powerful exhibition at the Courtauld Gallery of Auerbach’s early charcoal heads is very much worth a visit before it closes on 27 May.

How did you first learn about THF and what makes it stand out from other fairs?
We started showing at the Fair at its inception last year and have been friends with the organisers for many years. We were delighted to learn they had taken up the mantle of continuing the tradition of a cross disciplinary summer fair in London. 

What advice would you give to people visiting the fair for the first time?
Talk to the exhibitors and don’t be shy of engaging and asking questions, they are all experts in their fields and passionate about their subjects. Talking to the dealers can be a wonderful way to develop one's knowledge. I always learn something new when visiting fairs, be it about art, design or jewellery. The fair boasts some of the best dealers in their fields and it is always an exciting opportunity to train one's eye in new areas, with the confidence you are looking at the best - a useful exercise whether buying or simply admiring.  

What are a few highlight works your business is bringing to the fair?
We will be highlighting works from across the 20th century, with early paintings by Augustus John and Walter Sickert, to major examples of London School paintings by R. B. Kitaj, Leon Kossoff and Frank Auerbach alongside sculptural and conceptual works by Barbara Hepworth and Edmund de Waal. The stand will trace the trends and artistic developments of the last 100 years.

Walter Sickert (1860-1942). The Bridge, Chagford, 1916. Signed lower right 'Sickert'. Oil on board, 24.2 x 15.8 cm.
Courtesy of Piano Nobile.