Frieze Art Fair London and Frieze Masters 2015
For over a decade, Frieze London has been playing a significant role in supporting art galleries and exhibiting some of the most innovative works around. Judging by the visitors’ increasing interest and enthusiasm, it would seem that the event is growing in prominence every year. With 164 galleries displaying works by the leading artists of our time, the fair is recognised internationally as one of the most important events of its kind. Showcasing art from 27 different countries, there is an abundance of innovative creations and enough variety to cater for all tastes.
Frieze London focuses on art produced after the year 2000 and is divided into three sections, each with its own specific focus. The main part is dedicated to solo presentations by established artists such as Ken Okiishi, Xu Qu, Camille Henrot, and many other notable names. There are also brand new pieces and a number of works especially commissioned for the fair. Another section, named Focus, is dedicated to newer galleries supporting up-and-coming artists, while the Live section is an original and surprising mix of artworks and installations coming in different formats.
The browsing experience can be further enriched by attending the Frieze Talks, a range of lectures and discussions dealing with pertinent subjects such as the expansion of the art scene and the practical side of being an artist. Overall, the Frieze Art Fair gives an accurate depiction of the latest movements and serves as a point of reference in the art world, pointing the direction for new trends and introducing novel approaches to art making and exhibiting. The joint efforts of the top curators in the field results in an impressive combination of radical, intriguing and spectacular displays.
As one exits the fair, there is more to be seen outdoors: embellishing the English Gardens of Regent’s Park is the Frieze Sculpture Park, a collection of 16 pieces that can be enjoyed free of charge by all visitors. Stimulating at every step, Frieze London is impressive nor only for the great volume of material on display, but also for its diversity and the extravagance of some of its offerings. With contributions coming from Tokyo, New York, Hong Kong and many other cities including all the major European capitals, Frieze is the ideal destination for art enthusiasts and collectors. It is a unique chance to explore and familiarise oneself with some of the most exciting galleries around the world.
Running alongside Frieze London is the equally appealing Frieze Masters fair. Displaying artworks from the past and up to the year 2000, Frieze Masters is a must for anyone passionate about art and wanting to see an eclectic mix of works that is a rough summary of thousands of years of art history all under one roof. Now in its fourth year, it offers a wonderfully diverse range of art creations from Medieval manuscripts to Picasso’s masterful cubist gems as well as photography and modern collectibles. This year there are solo exhibitions by some of the most sought-after names in contemporary art such as Richard Hamilton, Frank Auerbach, Carmen Herrera, Roy Lichtenstein and many other artists represented by London based galleries.
In terms of recent works, other highlights include the Richard Green’s gallery, also in London, which brings a selection of artworks by modern masters like L S Lowry, Barbara Hepworth and Ben Nicholson. The newly introduced section Collections is also an interesting experiment as it groups together pieces from different points in history. Frieze Masters as a whole is in fact a great platform for exploring the relationship between modern and historical art-making and there is a desire to prove that most great artworks are flexible in that they can be made to fit different contexts with great ease.
One drawback is the fact that in such a commercially oriented setting where quick browsing is facilitated and stand hopping inevitable, because so many eye-catching pieces compete for one’s attention, it is easy to overlook some works or fail to dedicate the apposite amount of time to appreciate them and discover their value beyond the initial, immediate impact. Nevertheless, the fact that Frieze Masters is a whirlwind of visual stimuli only means that one can easily get immersed in all that it has to offer. Absorbing, sometimes humorous, and at times enchanting, it is an exciting hub of discovery not only for the collector and the purchaser, but also for the curious viewer and the simple art lover who may want to be in touch with the art world as it develops.
Photos: Alessio Paratore
Frieze Art Fair is on from 14th to 17th October 2015, and Frieze Masters from 14th to 18th October 2015, for further information or to book visit here.