Frieze Masters 2019
One of the major highlights on the Art world calendar, and now in it’s eighth consecutive year, Frieze Masters coincides with Frieze London and Frieze Sculpture, bringing together more than 130 galleries from around the globe. The fair showcases antiquities, Old Masters and select iconic works from the 20th century.
New and returning galleries neatly park themselves in rows of booths as visitors explore the rising international spirit of this year’s show. The fair’s Collection section, curated by Amin Jaffer and Sir Norman Rosenthal, brings an alluring mass of Eastern culture to the forefront, whilst solo shows curated by Laura Hoptman in the Spotlight segment widen the international scope to include some fantastic unseen pieces by American artist Susan Hiller (1940-2019) and works from pioneering African-American photographer Ming Smith.
Visitors can explore rare, medieval secular pieces in the Sam Fogg Gallery (C1). A Large Bone, Horn and Intarsia Casket (c.1400) and formidable sculpture A Life-Sized Polychromed Corpus of Christ (c.1300) capture our attention whilst further religious forms are dotted throughout the vast exhibition. Also notable is the ominous dangling polychrome sculpture Crucifix by Giovanni Angelo del Maino, with it’s movable head grotesquely punctured with nails that can be positioned to reveal life or death depending on which church it appeared in. (Barcarelli & Botticelli, G12.)
These interesting sacred relics seem absurd against the colourful, contemporary patterned canvases by Argentinian painter Manuel Espinosa (Stephen Friedman Gallery, E4) or works from the modernist abstract Dutch painter Piet Mondrian, once again highlighting the increasingly eclectic feel of the Frieze Masters exhibition.
More welcoming in this overwhelming sensory overload is the calming space at Hauser & Wirth (D1). A luxury cocoon of wooden panelling carefully designed by Baukuh architects showcases a number of handpicked Italian artworks. Whilst over at Gallery Hyundai (B14) an astonishing collection of life-size tv robots from Korean American video artist Nam June Paik gives visitors a chance to explore the sentimental elements of his work before a major retrospective of this artist at the Tate Modern later this month.
There are carefully curated free talks from exciting artists like Ai Weiwei or Mark Bradford but the undeniable highlight of Frieze Masters 2019 is the rare chance to get up close to the portrait of Michael Tarchaniota Marullus by Sandro Botticelli, on sale here for $30 million.
Photo: Mark Blower/Frieze Art Fair
Frieze Masters 2019 is at Regent’s Park from 3rd until 6th October 2019. For further information visit the exhibition’s website here.