Frieze turns ten this year, and its London incarnation is its most international and multi-faceted, with exhibits from 35 countries, presenting the work of over 1000 artists all housed in a striking temporary structure designed for the second time by award-winning architects of the moment, Carmody Groarke.
Expect a spectrum of artists from unknown and emerging, through to household names all vying for equal attention as gallerists across the globe showcase their latest wares.
This year is the first to incorporate the ‘Frieze Masters’ series, a contemporary perspective on historical art – and ‘Focus’, a closer look at Frieze veterans, which debuted at the NYC fair earlier this year.
Frieze has steadily gathered a solid and ever-expanding following outside of the art world – much like the various fashion weeks attract those outside of its industry – because it’s a chance to see what’s happening on the global contemporary art front more broadly than in a curated museum exhibition.
Highlights of the fair included Carmody Groarke’s new installation ‘Turn To Clocks’ and sculptor Paul McCarthy who is showing his enormous silicone ‘White Snow Head’ that will join its friends of the White Snow Series at the Park Avenue Armory next May. There was also a strong rendering of perspective in Jonas Wood’s series of colorful fragments of his own life from LA’s David Kordansky gallery.
Lehman Maupin’s gallery brought a strong selection of works by big names Billy Childish, Gilbert & George, and Tracey Emin – but they proved more gallery than fair for the prospective art buyer not able to summon the wealth on an industrious arms dealer.
The most entertaining of the whole show was Ed Fornieles’ ‘Characterdate': an audience participation, false persona, speed-dating event that neatly aligned the lies and half truths that swarm the dating game.
But it’s not all confined to the translucent pavilions that cover the main drag of the fair either. Turner Prize contender Elizabeth Price is showing her film The Tent in a site specific installation at the MOT International over on New Bond Street. Price’s work uses a book, Systems, as its primary visual object, and draws narration and a melodic soundtrack from its pages.