Frieze Art Fair 2023: A guide to the 20th anniversary edition
Marking its 20th anniversary, Frieze London made a grand return to Regent’s Park, with exhibits from over 160 galleries across 46 countries. As one of the leading contemporary art fairs in the world, this year’s show explores the richness of British culture, making it the most international edition to date. Paired with its counterpart Frieze Masters, which investigates the ties between historical and contemporary art, the fair duo is complemented by Frieze Sculpture, an outdoor exhibition set within the park.
A stroll through the Frieze Art Fair is an overwhelming experience, to say the least. On entering, visitors are met with a vibrant spectacle of artists, dealers, galleries and collectors, buzzing around a myriad of artworks stretching as far as the eye can see. In addition to the gallery booths, the fair offers an array of sensory experiences – from gourmet food and drinks to luxury product stalls and VIP spaces showcasing their finest offerings.
While a summary of the fair would hardly be possible, certain booths undeniably steal the spotlight.
Danielle Mckinney’s exhibit at the Marianne Boesky Gallery is one of them. In her debut London show, the New Jersey-based artist presents a series of paintings that emanate warmth and intimacy, capturing Black female protagonists in serene moments of reflection. Drawing inspiration from Vermeer’s quiet domestic scenes, her works possess a magnetic quality, immersing viewers into their dream-like worlds. Alongside her signature oil pieces, Mckinney also introduces small, intimate watercolours on paper that leave a profound impact on the viewer.
Another standout is New Delhi gallery Nature Morte’s group presentation with works by artists Sagarika Sundaram, Suhasini Kejriwal, Subodh Gupta, Asim Waqif, Kamrooz Aram and Manisha Parekh. The booth exhibits intricate handmade crafts, including textiles, sculptures and cut-outs. A highlight of the presentation is a vintage pedal sewing machine, set up as though stitching through layers of material crafted from shattered porcelain plates. This piece possesses a tangible shine and remarkable intricacy.
Guests are invariably drawn to Patrick Goddard’s Invasion (2023), which features thousands of snails scaling the outer walls of Seventeen gallery’s space. The 3D-printed and hand-painted snails are an artistic reply to certain claims about Britain experiencing an “invasion” of migrants – a piece surreal and thought-provoking.
A fantastic segment of the fair is Focus, dedicated to emerging galleries founded within the last 12 years. Comprising 34 galleries from 18 nations, some marking their Frieze debut, the themes explored range from desire and memory to the environment, power and colonial history. Standout contributions include a booth shared by Heidi and Hot Wheels, showing the latest short film by Jordan Strafer, Loophole (2023). The 24-minute film is a gripping and unsettling erotic thriller, intertwining real extracts from William Kennedy Smith’s rape trial transcript with dark, romanticised scenes.
While the ticket prices for the fair can be steep – with preview day admissions ranging from £90 to £245, and weekend tickets varying from £46 to £90 (students and children aged 2-17 get a discount at £32) – the vast array of activities and the expansive nature of the fair justify the cost for those prepared to embrace all that Frieze offers. Ensure you set aside at least two hours to make the most of it.
Frieze London 2023 is at Regent’s Park until 15th October 2023. For further information visit the event’s website here.