Frieze Masters at Regent’s Park
Art historical, contemporary miscellany: the melange of artworks takes a little getting used to as medieval works of art and current photography stand side by side in this year’s Frieze Masters fair. Combining Classical and Old Masters, Oceanic and Modern, Contemporary and Impressionist works all under one (temporary) roof, Frieze Masters opens to the public a vast array of art from 130 of the world’s finest galleries. The Old Masters may be old but there’s life in them yet.
An interesting twist in this year’s Frieze Masters is the inclusion of Spotlight, a collection of solo presentations by artists working in the 20th century. Organised by Brazilian curator Adriano Pedrosa, Spotlight goes beyond the traditional conception of white, male, Western figurative art “master”, bringing to the field works of art by female and non-Western artists. At this stage the collection is impressive yet limited in size, though who is to say that the organisers of the fair won’t push the boundaries further in years to come?
Highlights of the exhibition include Coll and Cortés Fine Art’s rather dark collection of Iberian and Latin American Baroque works, Luxembourg and Dayan’s Brit Pop artist Allen Jones’ pieces, and Grosvenor Gallery’s F.N Souza: Black on Black collection, which is included in Spotlight. Of course, viewers can still appreciate the more traditional works one would expect to find at Frieze Masters – from Indian miniatures to Gothic paintings, Degas to Picasso and David Hockney to Francis Bacon.
Those who are not art collectors might get the impression of standing in the middle of a large-scale art buyer’s playground. The general feel is of the exclusive art world – dealers and buyers addressing each other on first name terms, questions of “how much for the…” appearing more popular than discussion about art and artists. There is definitely a luxury sell factor involved. Still, the fair can make for a rewarding experience for art lovers, especially with the inclusion of the Frieze Masters talks (access to talks is included in the admission price), guided tours and the sculpture park. Worth a visit for those interested in a contemporary twist on historical art and those who can fork out the £32 entry fee.
Photo: Joe Clark
Frieze Masters is at Regent’s Park until 20th October, for further information visit here.