‘Colourful, exotic and eccentric’ is how the 20|21 International Art Fair was described on Bloomberg TV and this year’s fair, which takes place in the prestigious galleries of the Royal College of Art from 14 – 17 May, aims to be just that.

It will be opened by Uri Geller, the internationally acclaimed illusionist, at 12 noon on Thursday, 14 May. Geller is an avid collector and also a talented artist who was taught by the great Salvador Dali.

On show at this ‘boutique’ fair, now in its ninth year, will be modern and contemporary art from the UK and around the world. Although most the 60 participating galleries are UK based, they will feature work from a whole host of countries including Eire, France, Japan, Russia, Serbia and South Africa to name a few.

There will be oils, original prints, watercolours, drawings, collage, some photography and sculpture from 1900 to the present day. Prices range from a few hundred pounds to many thousands – without doubt something to appeal to all tastes and pockets.

London continues to be a magnet for art collectors and art lovers. The major public galleries annually attract hundreds of thousands of visitors to an unrivalled variety of exhibitions, while the number of commercial galleries in the capital continues to grow.

Fairs, too, have a large role in the market by making art accessible to those at the starter level as well as to those seeking to add to their collections. Those such as 20|21 International, with a rich diversity of styles, media and price, are a major part of the London art scene.

20|21 is organised by Gay Hutson and Angela Wynn who also run the successful 20/21 British Art Fair each September at the same venue.

Highlights include

To mark the 75th anniversary of the Blitz, there will be a special display of works on paper by Olga Lehmann which shows both the devastation following the bombing of London and some moving images of New Year celebrations in 1940. The collection belongs to Agi Katz of the Boundary Gallery and they have remained in a drawer for 23 years! (more information available on website)

Another image of the Blitz shows London Bridge and St. Saviours by Roland Collins from Michael Parkin Fine Art whilst Manning Fine Art have the iconic 1939 poster ‘Keep Calm and Carry On’ published by HMSO.

A charmingly observed watercolour showing life in the Weimar Republic’s glamorous high society by ‘Dodo’ Burgner. Dodo was an artist and illustrator who produced many notable illustrations for the German satirical magazine ULK. She also designed costumes for Marlene Dietrich amongst others. Fleeing to London in 1936 she continued to draw and illustrate for many years. Her work had almost faded into obscurity until she was ‘re-discovered’ and was the feature artist in the Ben Uri Museum’s exhibition during the Olympics in 2012. From The Rae-Smith Gallery.

George Hooper (1910-94) a vibrant group of paintings and collages from the 1960’s – 1980’s, when his work blossomed into a riot of dynamic colours seemingly influenced by the Fauve movement. Hooper whose work is in the British Museum and the V & A. This body of work has been in family hands since his death in 1994 and he is certainly due for reassessment. From Moncrieff-Bray

This year there are two galleries from Dublin: Gormleys and The Doorway Gallery. The latter are showing work by Christy Keeney who studied ceramics at the Royal College of Art and whose work was commissioned by Eduardo Paolozzi and The Prince of Wales. Back in his native Donegal, he continues to paint and produce stunning sculptural ceramics which are much in demand.

Equestrian sculpture: a magnificent 2 metre high galloping horse made of scrap metal by Iain Nutting (Rebecca Hossack) and a bronze polo horse from Elliot Channer, a young sculptor who is fast gaining a following for his wildlife sculptures. From Carina Haslam Art.

And finally, ‘Lily Cole’, a haunting portrait of the superstar in oil and gold leaf by Barry Wilson (winner of the Saatchi online competition in 2011).