FRIEZE LONDON ::
Oh London! One always feels at the center of the universe. All the buzz, all the hype, all the chic&vip is right here, just at your hand’s reach.
As if one art fair wasn’t enough, Frieze, that has reached its 10th year, has doubled its capacity with Frieze Masters that collects and displays artworks from the 13th century until the year 2000. So if you are tired of all those newcomers on the other pavilion and miss your Picasso or Brancusi, just pop in here, in the quieter and posher gray hallways where Dali, Avedon and Freud talk classly to each other.
Frieze is gossip, parties, sales, talks, and art, of course. But London is so much more than Frieze. Just to give you an idea of how busy this town can be, let me mention the openings in this same week of Kiki Smith, Luc Tuymans and Anish Kapoor, topped off by Edward Munch closing at the Tate Modern, Christie’s Multiplied – another art fair -, PAD in Berkeley Square (Pavilion of Art and Design) and finally SUNDAY, another little sister of Frieze, the scrappy one that is becoming a swan. And last but not least, just to entertain a few more people, there was London Cocktail Week andLondon Film Festival, with stars such as Tim Burton and Helena Bonham Carter in town.
Are you still on your feet? Then run to the next party where champagne runs as water. Do you think you need to be one and thrine? Yes, you do. So for next year, if you plan to come, you better shape up.
VIPs here are very much taken care of with private views and openings on selected times and hours and I was fortunate enough to jump on this bandwagon a couple of times during this week.
On Tuesday 9th, I was at Paul Fryer‘s opening at The Hospital Club, one of those fantastic private spaces (and proud sponsors of Frieze) that would make any gallerist happy. Fryer is a well known visionary British artist who was recently at Gucci Museum in Florence. His exhibition Undivided Light was one of those little gems that didn’t go under Frieze’s tents because they deserve a better showcase. He was of course the star of the night, greeting, drinking and meeting everyone, always with a smile and as joyful as a child in a candystore. When I finally managed to talk to him he told me he was “very happily drunk for the outcome of the night” and confessed that “we need more visionary artists and more people who believe in the impossible possibility that we can change this world. But even more than that, we, naive artists, we do need more supporters “. Then I asked if he was planning to come to Italy again and he said that all the works on show were probably going to Turin for Artissima or Milan or Florence “but we are still talking because the Italians like to talk. A lot”.
In the meantime Charles Saatchi was buying his “Suspended woman” for an undisclosed amount of pounds.
And then Frieze opened, the public was quietly queuing as only the Brits know how to and the market was booming, as always, as expected. A few hours in and Hauser&Wirth were already selling the disgustingly interesting head of Snow White by Paul McCarthy. But. But there’s a big but this year, because collectors and dealers are choosing more wisely, less Damien Hirst and more Kippenberger, Bourgeois and Schutte. And a propos of Damien Hirst, his much talked about horrific gigantic statue “Verity” is now in Northam’s harbour and it will stay there for 20 years. Nobody wanted it, but this is the downside of having such an haunting artist as a local celebrity.
Haunting is a word that instead works well with Luc Tuymans’ works, but not in this exhibition Allo! where the Belgian painter was present for another VIP view at 24 Grafton Street. Here collector and gallerist David Zwirner has set new heights, also in terms of gallery space. A stunning three-storey building almost as precious as the painter he shows. Allo! takes inspiration from Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness but ends up talking about the final scene of the 1942 film The Moon and Sixpence, which is itself an adaptation of W. Somerset Maugham’s eponymous novel from 1919. The plot is loosely based upon the life of Paul Gauguin and its Tahiti journey. Not as striking as other works from Luc but certainly worth stopping by.
A few steps away from the champagne and mojitos in Grafton Street, in the same night, Kiki Smith was offering beers (yes, you read right!) at her VIP meetings and greetings at Timothy Taylor Gallery where she was presenting Behold, a series of works in bronze, porcelain, stained glass in which she was “exploring this new concept of female, feminine and repetition through the recovery of medieval art techniques”. She was all smiles and happiness and seemed in great shape. But beer? No way!!
And now that this is over, what will remain after 175 exhibitors from 35 countries will go home? A few interesting pieces, a gigantic circus that keeps moving on and on and that will now jump on other flights to Paris for FIAC and in a few months to Miami for Art Basel, and again to New York for the American edition of Frieze. Are contemporary art fairs still a great conveyor of ideas through which understand and perceive reality or just big banks on the go?
Elena Dal Forno
Frieze London is an annual fair showcasing contemporary art from around the world. Celebrating its tenth anniversary, the exhibition takes place in central London and runs from 11-14 October 2012.
October 14th, 2012
Lynda Benglis sculptures and Hans Hurting paintings at Cheim & Read’s booth at Frieze Masters. All photos by Caroline Claisse for Art Observed unless otherwise noted
Frieze Masters and Frieze London concluded on October 14th, with both fairs reporting solid sales on the high end. This year, there was a distinct focus on curated booths and curatorial projects and less of an overt feeling of commercialization. Frieze Masters in particular focused on serious connoisseurship and an academic approach, both of which translated into a successful fair for dealers.
A massive Calder hanging mobile, Triumphant Red , 1959-63 at Helly Nahmad’s booth at Frieze Masters was priced at $20 million
Auction week also coincided with the fairs, as well as the numerous exhibitions in private galleries and museums. In addition, Pace Gallery, David Zwirner, Per Skarstedt and Michael Werner inaugurated new spaces in London.
A Robert Mangold Painting, Red Frame/Yellow Ellipse, 1988 at Barbara Mathes Gallery at Frieze Masters
At Frieze, White Cube sold a new Damien Hirst, Destruction Dreamscape, for £500,000; Hauser & Wirth sold Paul McCarthy’s White Snow Head for £812,000 reportedly10 minutes after opening. At Frieze Masters, there were reports of at least two strong Picasso sales: Homme et Femme au bouquet, 1979 sold for $8.5 million at Christophe Van de Weghe’s booth; Acquavella also reported a Picasso sale of $9.5 million for its Buste d’Homme, 1969.
Sol LeWitt, Open Geometric Structure, 1990 (on floor) and John Latham, Untitled, 1958 (on wall) at Lisson Gallery, Frieze Masters
Frieze London (formerly Frieze Art Fair) has grown in size in the past ten years – 264 dealers from 35 countries showed work by over 2,400 artists. Compared to 2003, 124 galleries from 16 countries showed the work of 1,200 artists in a space about half the size. 27,000 visitors attended Frieze in 2003, compared to the approximately 60,000 this year. This was the first year for Frieze Masters, which also took place in Regent’s park.
Installation View of Pace Gallery’s booth at Frieze London, photo courtesy Pace Gallery
The total revenue for both fairs was over $1 billion, according to preliminary estimates by the insurer Hiscox Ltd.
A Zhang Huan ash painting at White Cube’s booth at Frieze London, photo by Art Observed
Installation view of booth of the Brazilian gallery, A Gentil Carioca, at Frieze London
Carol Bove, The White Tubular Glyph, 2012 at David Zwirner’s booth at Frieze London
Fiona Tan, Vox Popula London 2012 at Frith Street Gallery’s booth at Frieze London
Gillian Wearing, My Hand, 2012 at Maureen Paley’s booth at Frieze London
James Rosenquist, The Facet, 1978 at Acquavella’s booth at Frieze Masters
Frieze Projects: Grizedale Arts, Yangjiang Group, Colosseum of the Consumed
A fairgoer at Frieze London
Haegue Yang, Flip Fleet Flow Units 2012 at Kukje Gallery’s booth at Frieze London
Bosco Sodi at Eigen+Art’s booth at Frieze London, photo by Art Observed
Donald Judd, Untitled 1980, David Zwirner’s Frieze Masters booth
Alberto Giacometti drawing and sculpture at Thomas Gibson Fine Art’s booth at Frieze Masters
Aristotle by Jusepe de Ribera (1591‐1652) at Coll & Cortés’ booth at Frieze Masters
Thomas Schütte Wichte 2007 Frith Street Gallery’s booth at Frieze London
Installation View, Standard Oslo’s booth at Frieze London
Installation View, Pilar Corrias London’s booth at Frieze London
Ricci Albenda, Sunrise Sunset 2012, Marc Camille Chaimowicz, Carpet III, 2009 at Andrew Kreps Gallery at Frieze London
Marina Abramovic’s work at Galerie Krinzinger Vienna’s booth at Frieze London
Rosemarie Trockel, Phobia 2002 Sprüth Magers‘ booth at Frieze London
Sarah Lucas, Mumum 2012 at Sadie Coles’ booth at Frieze London
Farhad Moshiri, Woman Combing, 2012 at Thaddaeus Ropac’s booth at Frieze London
Thomas Scheibitz, Smiley (2009), courtesy Tanya Bonakdar Gallery and Sprüth Magers Berlin London, in Frieze Sculpture Park, photo by Art Observed
Peter Liversidge’s Everything is Connected, 2012, courtesy Ingleby Gallery, in Frieze Sculpture Park, photo by Art Observed
Preview Frieze London and Frieze Masters
Since its premiere in 2003, Frieze London has grown to become what is probably the most important fair for contemporary art worldwide. As main sponsor, Deutsche Bank has been Frieze’s partner since 2004. To mark its 10th anniversary, the art fair is now on a mission to expand: following Frieze New York, it currently launches Frieze Masters, which shows art from antiquity to the 20th century from a contemporary perspective. Another reason to visit the British capital during “Frieze Week.”
||In May, the first Frieze New York took place on Randall’s Island, located in the East River between Manhattan and Brooklyn. The start of the fair was highly promising, and the public and press alike were excited about it. “Frieze Art Fair electrifies New York” was how the Wall Street Journal summed it up. But the art fair in the British capital is also expanding. Frieze Masters now takes place parallel to Frieze London, which focuses on current works by living artists. Deutsche Bank, the main sponsor, also cooperates with the two new Frieze fairs.Over 90 international galleries show art from antiquity to the 20th century at Frieze Masters — in a temporary architecture designed by Annabelle Selldorf. The architect is considered to be a specialist for rooms in which art is presented and produced. Selldorf has not only designed the galleries of Barbara Gladstone and David Zwirner, but also the studios of Jeff Koons and David Salle. For Frieze Masters, she has created a design that is both elegant and contemporary. The new fair can be reached comfortably by foot from Frieze London, as it also takes place in Regents Park. Thus, visitors can inform themselves about current trends and also rediscover older art and classics of the 20th century from a contemporary perspective.
The expectations for the new fair are high. “Frieze Masters will attract the world’s most adventurous and imaginative art collectors to London,” says Nicholas Penny, Director of the London National Gallery. “The fair is designed to revolutionise the relationship between ancient and modern, old and new.” The Spotlight section is bound to be particularly exciting. Here, 22 galleries from the US and Germany as well as from Lebanon, Portugal, and Romania will each present a selected position from the 20th century. The focus is on conceptual and feminist positions from the 1960s and 1970s. These are the “pioneers working at one of the most radical periods of art history,” according to Adriano Pedrosa. The curator of the 2011 Istanbul Biennial acts as consultant to the fair in its selection of galleries for the Spotlight section.
Part of Frieze Masters’ contemporary approach are the talks that take place in the framework of the fair: for instance Cecily Brown, who processes influences by painters such as William Hogarth and Willem de Kooning in her gestural, expressive canvases, talks to Nicholas Penny about her reinterpretations of traditional art historical themes. While Glenn Brown discusses his versions of paintings by artists as varied as Georg Baselitz and Fragonard with Bice Curiger, Luc Tuymans explains how he turns historical events into painting in a conversation with Louvre curator Dominique de Font-Réaulx.
The tenth run of Frieze London is the most international to date: 170 exhibitors from 34 countries present themselves in fair tents designed, as last year, by the architectural firm Carmody Groarke. The new Focus section is reserved for younger galleries who opened after 2000. Some of those selected are Algus Greenspon (New York), Casas Riegner (Bogota), Chatterjee & Lal (Mumbai), and Chert (Berlin). The Frame section also dedicates itself to young galleries, showing exclusively solo presentations. The fact that 16 of the 21 galleries are taking part in the London fair for the first time promises fascinating discoveries. At the François Ghebaly Gallery (Los Angeles), visitors can experience the legendary underground filmmaker Mike Kuchar as draftsman. Experimenter (Calkutta) introduces the artist Bani Abidi, who was born in Pakistan and lives in India. In her humorous works, she trenchantly addresses the political and cultural differences and similarities between the two neighboring enemy states.
To prevent visitors from losing orientation despite the immense amount of art on view, Frieze implements innovative technology: visitors can download a free app for their iPhones and iPads, including an interactive plan of the fair—a service once again made possible by Deutsche Bank. As main sponsor, it presents itself at the fair with its lounge, where works from the Deutsche Bank Collection are juxtaposed under the title Pairs. At the premiere of Frieze Masters, works of Classic Modernism meet with contemporary works: Piet Mondrian, Vassily Kandinsky, David Bomberg, and Andreas Feininger encounter Daniel Richter, Ugo Rondinone, Adrian Paci, and Frank Auerbach. Between the pairs, correspondences in form and content arise that span decades. In addition, preliminary drawings to Keith Tyson’s 12 Harmonics are on view in the lounge. The monumental painting series was installed at the end of last year in the entrance hall of Deutsche Bank’s London Head Office. One of the drawings was auctioned off to benefit Help a Capital Child and the Meningitis Research Foundation.
Anyone interested in visiting ArtMag, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary this October, should come to the press booths at Frieze London, where visitors can surf through the latest issue at stand M 20 and even win a trip to the next Frieze New York. Every subscriber to the ArtMag newsletter has a chance to win two plane tickets to New York including two nights at a hotel and two VIP tickets to the fair.
From the very beginning, the advanced accompanying program of films, talks, and commissioned works has played an important role in forging Frieze’s image. For this year’s Frieze Projects, curated by Sarah McCrory, Thomas Bayrle, Aslı Çavuşoğlu, DIS magazine, Grizedale Arts / Yangjiang Group and Joanna Rajkowska created site-specific interventions. While real actors from a TV crime series take part in Çavuşoğlu’s performance Murder in Three Acts, Bayrle accentuates the fair entrance with print works consisting of his typical motifs reproduced by the hundreds. The pioneer of European Pop Art has long been part of the Deutsche Bank Collection; his contribution to this year’s documenta was one of the highlights of the show.
Frieze London expects prominent guests for the talks, too: Tino Sehgal
discusses conceptual art, choreography, and the work of art as object with Jörg Heiser
, while John Waters
converses with Sturtevant
about the theme “stupidity.” Waters began his career making infamous trash films like Pink Flamingos
and Female Trouble
; he now exhibits as an artist in the New Museum
and at Gagosian
. With her imitations of the icons of contemporary art, Sturtevant questions everything we think we know about the original and originality, aura and authorship. To arrange for an artist who says that she’s interested in nothing but making people think to get together with John Waters to talk about, of all things, stupidity guarantees an event that will be both funny and inspiring. Really, only the makers of Frieze would come up with an idea like that.
Frieze London/Frieze Masters
Regents Park, London
October 11 – 14, 2012
First impressions from Frieze Art Fair and Frieze Masters
First visitors at Galerie Barbara Thumm, work by Teresa Burga,
Frieze Masters 2012,
Image: Linda Nylind/ Frieze
The tenth edition of Frieze London takes place in London’s Regent’s Park from 11–14 October 2012. With exhibitors from 35 countries the tenth edition of Frieze London is the most international event organised by Frieze.
Argentina, Hungary, Austria, India, Belgium, Ireland, Brazil, Israe,l Canada, Italy,
China, Japan, Colombia, Korea, Czech, Republic, Lebanon, Denmark, Mexico, France, Netherlands, Germany, Norway, Greece, Poland, Portuga,l Romania, South, Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, UAE, UK and USA
Frieze London is a presentation of 175 of the most forward- thinking contemporary galleries and will present new work by over 1,000 of the world’s most innovative artists. This year the fair is once again housed in a bespoke temporary structure designed by architects Carmody Groarke.
The tenth edition features a new section: Focus, open to galleries established after 2001, showing up to three artists. Focus was first introduced at Frieze New York, which took place 4–7 May 2012 in Randall’s Island Park, Manhattan. The Frame section of the fair is dedicated to galleries under six-years old, showing solo artist presentations. The selection of the 25 Frame galleries was advised by curators Rodrigo Moura and Tim Saltarelli. Frame is supported by COS.
This year, coinciding with Frieze London, Frieze also introduces Frieze Masters, a new fair with a contemporary perspective on historical art. Together the crossover between the two fairs will make London the focus for a broad international art audience.
Frieze Projects is a unique programme of artists’ commissions realised annually at Frieze Art Fair. Frieze Projects is curated by Sarah McCrory and supported by the Emdash Foundation with additional support from Maharam.
The artists commissioned to create five site-specific works for Frieze London are: Thomas Bayrle, Aslı Çavuşoğlu, DIS magazine, Grizedale Arts / Yangjiang Group and Joanna Rajkowska. The Projects programme includes an examination of the use-value of art by Grizedale Arts and Yangjiang Group in the form of a structure that will act as a forum for a number of artists who produce food, chaotic dining events, performances, and talks. In contrast, Joanna Rajkowska’s work will invite contemplation and reflection by transforming an area of Regent’s Park into a field of smoking incense. Aslı Çavuşoğlu’s recreation of a crime drama scene will find unlikely parallels between the production of murder mysteries and decisions made whilst making art. DIS magazine’s unique approach to the production of imagery will be a response to the fair, and a design by Thomas Bayrle will be dramatically woven into the fabric of the fair.
The winner of the Emdash Award 2012 is the Belgian/American artistCécile B. Evans, who is based in Berlin. Evans’ winning proposal takes the form of an audio guide to Frieze London accompanied by a holographic ‘host’. The audio guide will feature a panel of notable non-art experts.
Brian O’Doherty, Tino Sehgal, Sturtevant, Lynne Tillman, Marina Warner and John Waters are all part of the line-up of international artists, filmmakers, curators and cultural commentators taking part in Frieze Talks 2012.
Alexander Calder at Helly Nahmad Gallery, Frieze Masters 2012
, Image: Linda Nylind
The Sculpture Park at Frieze London 2012 has been selected by Clare Lilley, Director of Programme at Yorkshire Sculpture Park. Lilley has put together an ambitious selection of works, offering a rare opportunity to see a significant group of public-scale sculpture by internationally recognised artists. The 2012 Sculpture Park is the largest-ever presentation of outdoor sculpture at Frieze London.
Lilley’s selection features work by some of the most acclaimed international sculptors working today, both established and emerging. These include new pieces by Hemali Bhuta, Andreas Lolis, Damián Ortega and Maria Zahle. Other artists participating in the Sculpture Park include: Adip Dutta, Hans Josephsohn, Yayoi Kusama, Liversidge, Michael Landy, Peter Jean-Luc Moulène, David Nash, Simon Periton and Alan Kane, Anri Sala, Thomas Scheibitz and William Turnbull. The Sculpture Park at Frieze London is open free to the public.
Public opening dates and hours:
Thursday 11 October: 12-7pm Friday 12 October: 12-7pm Saturday 13 October: 12-7pm Sunday 14 October 12-6pm
Wednesday 10 October
The new Frieze Masters fair is a dignified partner for the funkier Frieze London
Picasso’s ‘Buste d’Homme’ (1969) sold for $9.5m
It’s still in the honeymoon phase, but the marriage between Frieze Masters and Frieze London looks made in heaven. With an inaugural VIP day praised by critics, collectors and dealers alike, Frieze Masters appears calmer and cooler than its contemporary counterpart, as befits a fair that spans the ages from ancient civilisations to the year 2000. Serene grey walls, avenue-wide aisles, VIP guests dressed to impress rather than kill and the presence of so much history in the aisles give this marquee the air of a pop-up museum. It was a thrill to see, for example, a panel by Venetian Renaissance master Bartolomeo Vivarini hanging just metres from a masterpiece by Pierre Bonnard, a trio of medieval gargoyles or prints by 20th-century US photographer Richard Avedon.
Solo shows were always on the menu for the Spotlight section, and even in the first hours it was proving lucrative as well as educational. New Yorker Franklin Parrasch’s decision to focus on Californian abstractionist John McLaughlin was rewarded by the sales of three paintings at around $38,000 each, and one large black-and-white picture priced at $250,000.
The aura of connoisseurship does not detract from commerce. Major early sales included, at New York’s Acquavella Galleries, Picasso’s “Buste d’Homme” (1969) at $9.5m. Gagosian reported sales of several of its Avedon prints; while London’s Lisson Gallery happily exchanged a mixed-media work by British conceptualist John Latham for £150,000.
Perhaps the biggest risk-takers here were the galleries that specialise in Old Masters and antiquities. Off to a “great start”, London’s Sam Fogg, who specialises in medieval and early Renaissance art, sold five works in the first three hours, including two stone sculptures of heads, a St Michael from 14th-century France and a 16th-century head of Christ, for £50,000 each. “We’ve been selling to existing clients, contemporary collectors and contemporary artists,” enthused Fogg, adding that the fair was “very well organised and beautifully arranged”.
Also satisfied were the Salomon Lilian gallery from Amsterdam, which specialises in Dutch and Flemish Old Masters. Here, sales included two diminutive oils, one by David Teniers the Younger (1610-1690), “Old Man Reading” (£250,000), the other a panel by Frans Francken the Younger entitled “Death and the Miser” (£250,000). According to Loureen Lilian, the wife of the gallerist, “We are seeing collectors of contemporary and modern art viewing the Old Masters with real interest.”
Echoing this, London-based dealer Jean-Luc Baroni observed that many contemporary collectors are beginning to “want something more tangible”. A Klimt to go with your Koons, madam?
The following morning, Frieze London (formerly Frieze Art Fair) opened to sparkling sunshine and a funkier mood. One of the non-selling Frieze Projects commissioned by curator Sarah McCrory, German artist Thomas Bayrle’s mesmeric, Pop-style patterns turned the entrance corridor into a space for merriment – or migraine, depending on your state of mind.
Inside, healthy sales suggested that high spirits would prevail. Snapped up within the first 10 minutes was the spectacular sculpture “White Snow Head” (2012) by Californian star Paul McCarthy. Priced at $1.3m, the girl’s shell-pink visage, dripping with McCarthy’s signature goo, came straight from the artist’s studio to the stand of international dealers Hauser & Wirth. Other important transactions included a new silver-on-black scalpel painting by Damien Hirst, “Destruction Dreamscape” (2012), which departed White Cube’s space with an asking price of £0.5m.
On the stand of London gallery Victoria Miro, works by Grayson Perry, Peter Doig, Maria Nepomuceno and Chris Ofili grabbed the eye with their glorious interplay of tropical hues. Bestseller here was one of the signature painterly webs – this time in hot pink and yellow – by Japanese grande dame Yayoi Kusama. Made this year and entitled “Universe RYPK”, it was priced at $0.5m.
The effort by Frieze organisers to reach out to emerging artists, and spaces with curatorial projects and softer commercial sections, appears to be reaping rewards. Introduced at Frieze New York earlier this year, the new Focus section is devoted to galleries established after 2001. Satisfied participants here included Mihai Pop, of Plan B gallery in Cluj, Romania. Pop put together a display that embraced not only fashionable Romanian painters Adrian Ghenie and Victor Man but also unfamiliar, politically-minded installation artist Rudolf Bone.
“Nobody will buy that,” Pop said cheerfully of “Panspermia” (1984), Bone’s gritty grid of glass planes smashed by a rock. “But it doesn’t matter; sometimes it’s about showing the work.” He could afford to be generous: both Ghenie’s and Man’s canvases had sold in the first few hours for €35,000 each.
First impressions suggest that Frieze London’s famously exuberant appetites – both in terms of the art on display and the aura of its guests – may have been tamed slightly by its more dignified new partner. “It’s slightly less frenzied but that’s a good thing,” observed Victoria Miro, who is showing in both spaces. Her words were echoed by Sarah Goulet, public relations associate at Pace gallery, where a flurry of sales had included “System of Display” ($45,000), a silkscreen work on mirror by rising African-American star Adam Pendleton. “This year Frieze London feels like a reunion of old friends,” Goulet commented. “We are seeing a lot of big American and European collectors who have clearly been to both fairs. It’s a symbiotic relationship.” Long may the honeymoon continue.
Frieze London and Frieze Masters both run to Sunday, www.frieze.com
This article has been amended to correct the job title of Sarah Goulet, who is public relations associate at Pace
- Jim Lambie at Frieze London
Jim Lambie ‘Untitled’ (2012) at Sadie Coles HQ at Frieze London 2012. photograph by Linda Nylind
Paul McCarthy At Frieze
Paul McCarthy’s White Snow Head at Hauser & Wirth at Frieze Art Fair, London 2012. Sold for 1.3 million.
- October 8, 2012, 5:22 p.m. ET
Cutting-Edge Frieze Art Fair Embraces the Past—With Caution
$305,000 | A Kota guardian figure, used for the protection of ancestral relics, from Gabon and offered by London gallery Entwistle.
Since its founding in 2003, Frieze Art Fair has competed with older fairs like Art Basel by successfully establishing itself as a London venue solely for contemporary artists whose works are often finished just days before the fair.
The fair’s success led to New York’s first Frieze, a large-scale event in May. But in London, the 10th Frieze will change the recipe: While 175 exhibitors show fresh works, 101 galleries will sell art created before 2000 at the newly christened Frieze Masters.
Photos: Highlights from the Frieze Art Fair
A number of established galleries will visit Frieze for the first time, many offering works by older household names that may be less risky as investments.
“Nothing’s going to happen over the next five years that will change Picasso’s place in art history. That’s not guaranteed with a lot of newer artists,” said Nicholas Acquavella, director of New York’s Acquavella Gallery, which represents only four living artists.
Acquavella is bringing over 25 mostly 20th-century works, the same number it takes to Art Basel and Art Basel Miami, the gallery’s most important fairs. They include Picasso’s 1969 oil “Bust of a Man,” to be priced from $8 million to $10 million, an 1895 Degas pastel for at least $5 million and a 1978 oil, for $2.5 million, by Pop-Art pioneer James Rosenquist.
The art market has largely avoided the recession plaguing other European sectors, but second-tier works are facing challenges on both the primary and secondary markets as moguls snatch up masterpieces while penny pinchers opt for less expensive art.
“It’s like fashion: The top end like Louis Vuitton and Prada are doing well and the high street has accessible prices. It’s the ones in-between who suffer,” says John Rocha, a fashion designer who has attended Frieze for eight years and bought works there.
Frieze doesn’t release a full list of sales, but prices paid last year—when 60,000 people visited the fair—varied wildly. Modestly priced pieces sold for as little as $80, while “Strip (CR921-1),” a new Gerhard Richter painting, sold for $2.4 million.
Frieze’s main challenge now will be preventing Frieze Masters from eclipsing the edgy reputation of its contemporary counterpart. “It wouldn’t become as big as Frieze London,” at future Friezes, said Frieze Masters director Victoria Siddall.
New York’s David Zwirner has brought his eponymous gallery to Frieze since the fair’s debut and considers it Europe’s most important fair after Basel. Though Mr. Zwirner sold a $1.35 million painting by the German surrealist-influenced Neo Rauch last year, he predicts Frieze Masters will up the ante on prices. “Frieze has always had a little bit of a problem when it came to a higher price point,” compared with Basel, said Mr. Zwirner; he’ll show at both Frieze London and Masters.
Zwirner is one of several blue-chip galleries including Pace and Michael Werner to open spaces in London this autumn as the city, already known as a hub for older art, also takes advantage of its geography (a somewhat shorter trip than to New York) to attract Asian buyers.
The Masters fair has also caught the attention of Sotheby’s, which posted a 16.7% drop in auction sales the first half of 2012 compared with the year-earlier period. The auction house has timed its showing of a drawing by Raphael, to be sold in December, so that collectors coming to see Frieze Masters will drop by to see it. The drawing of an unidentified apostle, estimated between $16 million and $24 million, was drawn circa 1519 for Raphael’s last, nearly completed painting, “The Transfiguration.”
Crossover collecting, where buyers focus on art from different periods, is a slowly growing trend, dealers say. This year, 30% of buyers at Sotheby’s Old Master drawings sales had also bought in their contemporary sales, up from 7% in 2007.
“Drawings can often be read more easily by a contemporary eye. They’re immediate and spontaneous,” said Cristiana Romalli, senior director for Old Master drawings at Sotheby’s, adding that many collectors are more attracted to works without “details that pertain to a specific period.”
New York financier Leon Black, owner of the nearly $120 million pastel “The Scream,” paid Christie’s $47.6 million three years ago for a Raphael chalk drawing, a record auction price for a work on paper at the time.
Frieze Masters dealers are also hoping to harness the fair’s reputation as a contemporary art haven by bringing works with abstract themes.
“Longevity and angst were ideas that artists were also struggling with hundreds of years ago, even if they weren’t getting frequent commissions to paint them,” says David Koetser, whose Zurich-based gallery will be bringing around 22 paintings priced from $50,000 to $4 million. Mr. Koetser will hang four of them, including a still life circa 1630 by Margarete de Heer, in clear suspended cabinets so visitors can walk around them—much like the way one would display contemporary works. The four-day Frieze begins Thursday.
The art fair also will host Frieze Frame, a section for 22 galleries under six years old that hold solo shows in subsidized stands.
NYTIMES T magazine
Loud and In Tents | Frieze London
- A collage by the artist Lygia Clark at Alison Jacques Gallery.
In its 10th year, London’s Frieze Art Fair is bigger and more extravagant than ever, with 175 of the world’s leading galleries, and some of London’s hippest restaurants like Hix and Rochelle Canteen, packed under one Carmody Groarke-designed tent. At the entrance visitors are clocked in the face by “Sloping Loafers,” a long corridor feeding into the fair and carpeted with a loud print of overlapping green, yellow and red loafer shoes, a collaboration between the Frieze Foundation, the textile company Maharam and the German artist Tomas Bayrle. Inside, the usual power brokers, like Gagosian and Victoria Miro Gallery, hog the prime real estate, showcasing a giant carbuncular sculpture by Franz West and Grayson Perry’s brilliantly colored and intricate tapestry work, respectively. But not to be overshadowed were smaller installations at Herald Street Gallery that included a sketch by Pablo Brownstein of London’s Liberty Department store being demolished or the Alison Jacques Gallery, where Lygia Clark’s relatively diminutive black and white collage works were on view. A sign of the economic times? On the whole, there were few showoff behemoth installations in favor of paintings, prints and sculptures on a more domestic scale.
Many visitors took advantage of the mild weather and milled around Regent’s Park where the Frieze is held, taking in the beautiful flower gardens and turning leaves, but also the scattering of sculptures like the giant spotted, dragon-necked flower by (surprise, surprise) Yayoi Kusama and Anri Sala‘s tall, warped “Clocked Perspective.” A 10-minute walk to the opposite end of the park revealed a second enormous tent (this one designed by the architect Annabelle Selldorf), dedicated to Frieze Masters, a new fair for art created before the year 2000. The masters fair aims to send a jolt into the market for work that wasn’t born yesterday. But admittedly it was a bit of struggle to leave the Frieze tent, buzzing as it was with exciting new artworks, cultivated eccentrics and unwashed asymmetrical hair sculptures, and move into a different tented world populated by Picasso prints and Andy Warhol drawings. Also in the jumble at Frieze Masters were exquisite Persian rugs, Roman statuary from the first and second centuries, and, my favorite, Giovanni Stanchi’s “An Allegory of the Four Seasons” — anthropomorphic portraits composed from painted flowers, fruits and vegetables.
Two off-site exhibitions not far from the Frieze tents are definitely worth a peek. Toby Ziegler’s “The Cripples,” concealed 14-floors below street level in an underground parking lot, is dazzling. Five large sculptures make reference to a work of the same name by the Flemish painter Pieter Bruegel and six enormous light boxes featuring thickets of horse legs glow and dim in the large concrete room (3-9 Old Burlington Street; through Oct. 20). And down the road at the Marlborough Contemporary, a new offshoot of Marlborough Fine Art, is Angela Ferreira’s exhibition “Stone Free”: sketches, photographs and installations connecting the Cullinan Diamond Mine in South Africa with Chislehurst Caves in South East London, ground zero of ’60s counterculture. (The title of the show comes from song by Jimi Hendrix, who performed there.)
The after-party, tonight at the Scotch, is a joint production with The Gentlewoman Magazine. Aside from a V.I.P. Frieze pass, it’s the hottest ticket in town.
FINANCIAL TIMES LONDON
October 12, 2012 8:44 pm
The Art Market: Spoilt for choice
Fairs are multiplying madly. Is all this sustainable, and isn’t it leading to over-production?
‘Portrait of James Lord’, 1964, by Alberto Giacometti
The biggest buzz surrounded Frieze Masters, the latest addition to the Frieze stable, which opened on Tuesday in a separate tent near London Zoo, offering art from antiquity to the end of the 20th century. In a spacious tent elegantly fitted out by starchitect-to-the-artworld Annabelle Selldorf (three shades of grey were the only colours allowed, triggering many “50 shades” jokes), traditional dealers offered Renaissance gold ground paintings, Dutch still lifes, tribal art, Egyptian antiquities, modern art – and even contemporary art, as long as it was made before 2000.
The fair garnered praise for the high quality of the works on show and the cool minimalist presentation. Among the standouts was the stunning show of Calder and Miró at Helly Nahmad: one giant Calder, “Triumphant Red” (1959-63), bought just this June at Christie’s London for £6.2m (about $9.6m) and now being offered for an equally triumphant $20m, with a Miró painting (“The sorrowful march guided by the flamboyant bird of the desert”, 1968) at the same amount. An unconfirmed rumour held that both had gone to a Russian buyer.
Thomas Gibson was serenely showing a mainly not-for-sale group of Giacometti sculptures, drawings and paintings; McCaffrey Fine Art fielded a solo show of William Scott while Gagosian focused on Richard Avedon portraits. Sam Fogg showed a remarkable group of three 13th-century church gargoyles, at £2m.As the fair started sales were uneven, with modern art doing better than the Old Masters; but as adviser Lisa Schiff said, after looking at a 17th-century Dutch painting with a client, “These are not purchases you hurry into, you need to do some research before you pull the trigger.” This is exactly the sort of crossover collecting the Frieze organisers were hoping for when they created the new fair.
Frieze Masters did not steal the thunder of the contemporary Frieze London (now open to works made after 2000), which attracted the usual hordes of VIPs on Wednesday. This fair has shed its gritty, edgy image to become far more generic, and some collectors said it no longer contained any surprises. Its younger gallery “Frame” and “Focus” sections may be a little weakened by Masters’ “Spotlight” section, which slightly overlaps. We shall see how that plays out next year.
Nicholas Hlobo sculpture
Sales at Frieze London started off sedately, but Stevenson from South Africa was happy to see a Nicholas Hlobo sculpture bought for Tate by the Outset fund for €50,000; Cheim and Read sold a Louise Bourgeois sculpture for $1.5m, while Sprueth Magers found a European buyer for Condo’s “Red Profile” (2012) at $325,000.
. . .
In the midst of all this, the price data site Artprice reported that the market for contemporary art actually shrank 6 per cent between July 2011 and July 2012. The market is worth $1.1bn, it estimates, based on auction results. Asia, which includes mainland China and Hong Kong, Malaysia, Indonesia, Korea, Japan and Taiwan, represent a chunky 43 per cent of the market. The Chinese figures are to be treated with caution; Artprice maintains they are carefully checked, although I don’t quite see how. Basquiat was the highest grossing artist with $103m in sales, followed by Zeng Fanzhi and Christopher Wool.
. . .
In another counter-intuitive turn, when Phillips de Pury opened the auction week on Wednesday night with a £12.2m sale, it fell well short of the £15m-£22m expectations and saw a bleak 34 per cent bought in. The top lot was a Basquiat at £2.6m. While the auction house does not confirm this, it will be moving into huge new quarters next year at 30 Berkeley Square, just acquired for over £100m by its owners, Russian luxury goods company Mercury.
. . .
On the subject of crossover collecting, the hedge-fund mogul Christian Levett has joined forces with gallery owner Toby Clarke of Vigo, launching the new venture – which retains the name of Clarke’s old gallery – in the former Blain|Southern space in Dering Street this week. Levett collects in a number of areas, notably antiquities and modern art, as well as buying contemporary art. In 2011 he opened the Musée d’Art Classique de Mougins in the south of France, which displays Roman, Greek and Egyptian sculpture, vases, coins and jewellery as well as ancient arms and armour. He also collects living artists represented by Vigo such as Leonardo Drew, Biggs and Collings, Kadar Brock and Boyle Family, from whom he has commissioned a world series installation. “It is exciting to partner with a collector with such varied tastes, who is open to different forms of art,” said Clarke.
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Many visitors to Frieze, almost overwhelmed with events, were questioning whether the whole art fair phenomenon is spiralling out of control. Hardly a week goes by without another art fair being created: the latest is Art Istanbul (September 2013), launched by Sandy Angus, one of the founders of the Hong Kong fair, now part of the Art Basel group. Is all this sustainable, and isn’t it leading to over-production? At a debate entitled “Does Size Matter?” this week a representative of Gagosian gallery affirmed, straight-faced, that “there is no over-production” – and went unchallenged. Considering that White Cube is showing Kiefer in Hong Kong, and both Gagosian and Ropac are launching their new spaces in Paris with Kiefer, it seems difficult not to believe that many artists might be overstretching their creative capacities.
Georgina Adam is editor-at-large of The Art Newspaper
So, Frieze is over. Or, rather Frieze London and Frieze Masters are over. And thus the most self-aware art festival closes its 2012 London extravaganza. It was quite a year, starting with the usual Nathan Barley moments: when I went to pick up my press pass, the queue at the press office was longer than the queue to get in the fair. Surely Andy Warhol would have enjoyed it: in 2012, everyone will be an art critic for fifteen minutes. At first, I was mildly concerned, that this might be the year that everyone who claims they’ll never go to Frieze again finally decides not to, but once inside, things were packed to the usual crowd-surfer-only levels.
I’m always suspicious of journalists who turn up with eerily perfect quotes in their articles, but when I heard someone saying “There’s so much to buy and so little time”
at one of the Frieze Masters‘ stalls, I suddenly had a tiny bit more faith in journalism as a profession. In many ways, the sheer incongruity and fundamental appropriateness of “so much to buy so little time” is what drives Frieze, both economically, of course, and creatively. When this review opened I said Frieze was self aware but that’s probably why Frieze inevitably ends up being more enjoyable than other art fairs, it knows what it’s there to do (i.e. sell art), but somehow avoids making that fact obvious. Sweaty dealers fretting over sales may make the art market what it is, but who wants to see that? Surely, Frieze reasons, a live, three-act murder mystery by Asli Cavusoglu is more fun to watch. Damn right it is.
What were the highlights? Frieze Masters certainly rates, not least for the sensitivity to
presentation of the participating galleries. The Frieze Masters‘ stalls were rather more like little art kiosks which you could duck into to escape both the pummel of London rain and the frenetic atmosphere of the contemporary fair across the park. A number of galleries chose to make their stalls essentially “mini-exhibitions” which focussed on the work of a single artist. Hauser and Wirth showed off a dazzling array of Eva Hesse drawings, Pace Gallery had a row of transcendent Kurt Schwitters collages, Wienerroiter-Kohlbacher brought out the Egon Schieles. It was almost too much to take in, but the difference with Frieze Masters was that there was enough space and time to return and look again rather than being pumped along by human peristalsis as in Frieze London, and you could buy a gargoyle if you had the extra cash.
Frieze London 2012 Phototgraph by Linda Nylind Courtesy of Linda Nylind/ Frieze
Not that there’s anything wrong with being pumped along by human peristalsis, it’s just about context. Returning to Frieze London, I did my damnedest to focus, especially on the Frieze Projects which always sound so great conceptually, but somehow underwhelm. I’m generally sorry to say it was another one of those years. The only one of the Frieze Projects which really managed the kind of otherworldliness I was hoping for was the project by Grizedale Arts and Yangjiang Group titled Colosseum of the Consumed, a modest wooden “colosseum” in which various artists and performers created works tailored to the surroundings and which was dotted with food stalls from the kind of organic and sustainable range of producers art-beings frequent — I must say, the kimchi on offer was a work of art in its own right. I only caught one of the performances, Bedwyr Williams’ autopsy of a humanoid curator fashioned from cake. His performance had the verve and poetry-
comedy linguistic flair he’s known for, and managed to rhyme “sambuca” and “puker” to a standard of which any MC would have been proud.
Joanna Rajkowska’s Frieze Projects piece was also worthy of note. You’ve heard of “sound pieces” no doubt, not least after Susan Phillipsz Turner Prize victory in 2011, but Rojkowska ventured into the lesser plumbed world of the “smell piece”. The idea was that Rajkowska would have incense burning near the entrance of the fair and this would have a transformative effect for all the fair goers and G4S security folks, perhaps turning the queue experience into a form of transcendental meditation. Rain, unfortunately, made it impossible to fully engage with the work, but the dry moments, were more interesting for how routinely life went on, incense or no incense. Perhaps we’re all so accustomed to bizarre odors in public, not least parks, that we’re rather
more likely to be reminded of Camden High Street than Xanadu when the incense does its thing.
For me, Frieze ended after a magisterial talk titled, On Stupidity, by John Waters in which the self-styled Pope of Trash explored the value of stupidity and the limits of intellect. The audience had dozens of questions, “Is art stupid?” “Is sex stupid?”, “Is the internet stupid” — no one was dumb enough to ask if talks on stupidity were stupid — Waters’ responses were all far too witty to condense (and many, this being Waters, were gloriously unprintable) but broadly the answers seemed to be yes, and long may such stupidities continue. Convert it to Latin and you’ve got a creditable motto for Frieze.
Servet Kocyigit, Everything (2012)
Mark Handforth, Colour Phone (2012)
Geoffrey Farmer, Casey Kaplan
Yayoi Kusama, Flowers That Bloom Tomorrow (2011)
Michael Landy, Self-Portrait as Rubbish Bin (2012)
The Telegraph London
Frieze Art Fair 2012: busier and buzzier than ever before
Ten years since its beginning, the Frieze Art Fair is still bringing all the glamour of the art world to the capital, writes Florence Waters.
Ten years on and Frieze Art Fair, London’s international contemporary art bazaar, is just one organ in what is now a city-wide festivity, an excuse for galleries to flaunt their best new art in a heady long weekend that brings collectors, dealers, scholars and all the glamour of the art world to the capital.
One of the most exciting things to observe on VIP day at Frieze, apart from the intoxicatingly light-handed exchange of cash and Tatinger, is the pace of the changing mood. One always notices the changes, and this year there are many. In typical austerity-defying fashion one New York gallerist told me yesterday that the first day this year was “busier and buzzier” than she had ever seen it, another told me that there was quite a different crowd than normal – and an unusual number of new collectors.
The biggest change is in the presentation of the wares themselves. On the whole, galleries have opted for restrained curation and honestly crafted pieces over big statements. Bombast is out, and art on a domestic, thoughtful scale is in. Precious Objets d’Arts with a contemporary twist were the order of the day; Matthias Merkel Hess’ glazed porcelain oil cans (‘Bucketry’, 2011-12) were selling like hot cakes at ACME; the French artist Jean Luc Moulène’s vase-sized gorgeous ornamentally entwined glass sculpture that requires three highly-skilled glassblowers in a costly high-risk process, was barely visible for the mob at the Thomas Dane Gallery. There was plenty of tapestry, crochet, gold, jewelry, a painting simply called ‘Baskets’, 2012, by Sigrid Holm Wood, painted in natural dyes all naturally sourced by the artist in Chinese healing plants.
Perhaps this conservative shift is in part due to the advent of the first Frieze Masters, which takes place across Regents’ Park this week (Ed Miliband has been among high profile guests), and the rising popularity of rival design fair, the Pavilion of Art and Design. This week sees the opening of more heavyweight satellite events than ever too, among them a major exhibition of new works by the master of refashioned formalism Anish Kapoor, at Lisson Gallery, and the crowd-pleasing “outsider” art wagon Museum of Everything which has landed at Frieze Masters.
But shifting interests reflect the times too. Last year, one of the artworks getting the most attention was a private “superyacht” (it cost €65m to buy as boat, and €75m to buy as an artwork, authenticated by the German artist Christian Jankowski). This year, in the same spot was erected one of the more memorable of this year’s “Frieze Projects”, experimental audience-participatory artworks designed to punctuate and enliven the monotony of the aisles. The Chinese artist collective, the Yangjiang Group, have teamed up with Cambrian organization Grizedale Arts to erect ‘Coliseum of the Consumed’, a plywood scaffold for food stalls and performances, which operates on the simple basis that “art should be useful”. I spoke to one of the stall owners who was selling juniper juice in plastic baggies and had raised £40 for Youth Group UK doing so.
For all the superficial changes, a decade after it first opened remarkably little has changed at Frieze, given how much has changed outside the marquee walls. Why, for instance, has it taken ten years for the first African art gallery to land at London’s international art fair?
Stevenson Gallery from Cape Town and Johannesburg had many reasons to celebrate yesterday. Not only were they a welcome addition to the contemporary art market bazaar, but the Tate had chosen to buy one of their works too. ‘Balindile I’ by young rising South African star Nicholas Hlobo is a long phallic hosepipe sculpted out of inner tubes which grow into a rubbery plant slumping like an undignified dead animal and sewn together with ribbon. It was among four new acquisitions the Tate made at Frieze yesterday, including a wonderful Seventies canvas by the underrated American painter Jack Whitten who was making sweeping cloth abstracts long before Gerhard Richter.
In terms of new artists, it’s always interesting to see who has been put out by dealers – and who is selling. Thomas Dane had almost completely sold a whole wall of nine works by British painter Caragh Thuring, one of them to Tate. Reminiscent of Hockney’s early stuff, she interprets environments such as a New York subway station by isolating symbols and patterns in architecture and arranging their forms onto linen in a simplified and flat manner that play tricks with our memory of a place. Overall, a Frieze year to enjoy.
Frieze Art Fair runs until Sunday in Regents Park
Untitled, 2012 by Maria Nepomuceno at Victoria Miro
Frieze Week, various venues, round-up
As Frieze London draws to a close, Alastair Sooke gives his verdict on the exhibitions run in tandem with the contemporary art fair, including the National Gallery’s Richard Hamilton: The Late Works.
An enormous flower is sprouting from the lawns of Regent’s Park. Crawling with black polka dots, it writhes and rears its head like something from The Day of the Triffids. Of course, it isn’t a real flower, but a sculpture by the Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama greeting visitors to Frieze London, the annual contemporary art fair that ended on Sunday.
Alluring yet dangerous-looking like a Venus flytrap, Flowers That Bloom Tomorrow (2011) made an appropriate gatekeeper for the fair. Inside the hothouse of the nearby marquee, the rarefied ecosystem of the art market offered up artists like exotic plants. Dealers and their clients were like Dutchmen in the grip of tulip mania. Frieze is by turns exhilarating and maddening. Nowhere else is the cross-fertilisation of art and money so flagrant.
Still, a welcome side effect of the fair’s success is that London’s galleries mount exciting exhibitions to coincide with it. One such show is Richard Hamilton: The Late Works at the National Gallery (until Jan 13; four stars). Having accepted the invitation to exhibit there in 2010, Hamilton, who pioneered British Pop art in the Fifties, worked on the show until his death last year aged 89.
The exhibition contains almost 20 riddling paintings, full of allusions to art history as well as the artist’s earlier work. Many of the pictures were designed using a computer, and their precise style, presenting nude women inside modernist interiors, is part Old Master, part Ikea catalogue.
The contemporary world looms large: we see vacuum cleaners — an obsession of Hamilton’s since his Pop collages of the Fifties — as well as mirrors and modish furniture. There are references to Hamilton’s hero, Marcel Duchamp.
But there is an awareness of older traditions, too. In several pictures, Hamilton draws upon religious painting. In An annunciation (b) v2 (2005), a curly-haired, naked Virgin receives divine news by telephone. Hamilton, who has a reputation as a cerebral artist, was no stranger to sensuousness and jokes.
Lobby (1985-7) replicates a Seventies postcard of the foyer of an upscale hotel in Berlin. It is a large, perplexing oil painting, in which mirrored pillars complicate the convincing representation of space. In the distance, we glimpse an expressionless attendant, but otherwise the scene is empty, anodyne, absurd. An Escher-like staircase leads nowhere. We can practically hear the “plink” of an elevator, and the dirge of piped music.
Hamilton called Lobby a “metaphysical” painting, since it presents “a kind of purgatory”. It offers a chilling vision of an excessively corporate world in thrall to shiny surfaces. Everything feels numb and hollow.
Hamilton once told me that for most of his life he felt “rejected”. I suspect he may be the most underrated British artist of the 20th century — the opposite of, say, his near-contemporary David Hockney. In recent years, Hockney has won acclaim for doodling on an iPad, whereas Hamilton, who was always at the forefront of using technology to make art, garnered none. In advance of a retrospective opening at Tate Modern next year, the National Gallery’s exhibition should start securing Hamilton the recognition he deserves. Better late than never.
There is one reason to see Mel Bochner: If the Colour Changes at the Whitechapel Gallery, and that is the American artist’s so-called “thesaurus paintings” (until Dec 30; three stars). In this recent series, Bochner, who is often described as one of the founding fathers of conceptual art, paints synonyms of words in bright capital letters.
In Sputter (2010), the title sparks a list of 20 related words (“stutter”, “stammer”, “sniffle”, “snort”, “yap”, “yelp”, and so on), culminating in the brutal monosyllable: “croak”. Here is a Beckett-like prose poem condensing existence to its grim essentials. But it is funny as well as bleak: the tasteless, Sesame Street colours clash with the pessimistic message that life is a struggle before we kick the bucket.
Master of the Universe (2010), which ends with the sting in the tail of “Gotcha by the Balls”, is a slangy satire upon Western capitalism. It is hard to resist paintings with such sly wit. In comparison, Bochner’s earlier work, some of which is on show at the Whitechapel, feels boring.
Franz West: Man with a Ball, an exhibition at the Gagosian Gallery of work by the influential Austrian artist who died this summer, is full of infectious, rough-hewn energy (until Nov 10; four stars). Intestinal forms in baby pinks and blues wriggle and quiver like serpents hypnotised by a snake charmer — though arguably the fibreglass supports detract from the effect.
Amorphous lumps of papier-mâché and polystyrene splashed with bright acrylic paint levitate on slender steel sticks. (In some cases, West’s boulder-like forms balance on cheap ironing boards.)
Everywhere, there is a sense that the work — a jab in the eye of classical sculpture — is still in flux. This must be the most exuberant, freewheeling show in town.
Valkyrie Crown, a patchwork fabric structure by the Portuguese artist Joana Vasconcelos currently nesting like an alien life form in the upper gallery of Haunch of Venison, has a festive quality, like a massive piñata (until Nov 17; three stars). With its sprawling tendrils and tentacles, it is pleasingly unruly.
The same can be said for the humanoid sculptures of the Leeds-born, LA-based artist Thomas Houseago at Hauser & Wirth (until Oct 27; four stars). With their gloopy surfaces smeared onto jerry-built supports, these figures have an awkward, lumbering quality that imbues them with personality.
By contrast, Rothko/Sugimoto at the new Pace London gallery feels insufficiently anarchic (until Nov 17; three stars). Glowering late paintings by the Abstract-Expressionist Mark Rothko are paired with silvery-grey seascapes by the Japanese photographer Hiroshi Sugimoto. The juxtaposition is superficially successful, in that the sea-versus-sky divisions of Sugimoto’s images echo the bands of Rothko’s canvases, which are dominated by dark colours.
But Rothko’s expressive, stormy brushwork feels much more exciting than Sugimoto’s numb, bleached-out vistas, which are the visual equivalent of mood suppressants. Still, sometimes a dose of tranquillity amid the turmoil of Frieze is just what the doctor ordered.
The Telegraph London
The best anti-Frieze in London
Colin Gleadell looks six of the best exhibitions with shows opening that aren’t part of Frieze art fair.
Not all of London’s top galleries are taking part in this week’s art fair jamboree in the capital. For a variety of reasons, some are staying at home and mounting significant exhibitions. Here are six of the best that open to the public tomorrow, all within walking distance in Mayfair.
Frieze won’t accept the Haunch of Venison gallery because it is owned by an auctioneer, Christie’s, but the gallery will continue to apply on the basis of its excellent exhibition programme. In its New Bond Street galleries is a solo show for Joana Vasconcelos, who will represent Portugal at the next Venice Biennale and whose recent exhibition at the Château de Versailles was a sensation. A series of eye-catching sculptural installations that address issues of womanhood and nationality are composed of everyday objects such as tiles and textiles. Full Steam Ahead is a 2m construction in the shape of a water lily made from steam irons in which the petals open and close, emitting steam. Prices range from £8,000 to £400,000.
A surprising absence from the Frieze Masters line-up is Richard Green, with his enviable range of art from Old Masters to modern. But with his new gallery next to Sotheby’s proving a big draw, Green opted to play away last month at the Paris Biennale des Antiquaires and was rewarded with a handful of million-pound sales. For Frieze week, he has dipped into his collection for a broad survey of Britain’s leading 20th-century modernists, Henry Moore, Ben Nicholson and Barbara Hepworth. Shelter drawings, family groups and reclining figures by Moore are juxtaposed with abstracts and carved reliefs by Nicholson, and bronze, metal and carved alabaster sculptures by Hepworth. Only half the works on view are offered for sale, priced from £125,000 to £2 million.
The last time Berkeley Street dealer Simon Lee showed at Frieze, he spent too much time in a taxi between the fair and his gallery trying to service clients at each. So this year, in addition to a gallery exhibition of Picasso-inspired paintings by Austrian artist, Heimo Zobernig, he has taken over a floor in a nearby underground car park for an installation by widely collected young British artist Toby Ziegler. In a nod to the aspirations of Frieze Masters to bridge the old and the new, Ziegler has rendered the subjects in Brueghel the Elder’s painting The Cripples as giant aluminium, three-dimensional, cubistic figures, looped around supporting timber frames instead of crutches. Prices for Ziegler’s Cripples are up to £50,000 each.
A star in the firmament of late-19th-century artists sometimes dubbed as British Impressionists, Sir George Clausen’s highest prices (around £500,000) have been for his 1880s scenes of rural peasant life, flecked in sunlight. For Frieze week, the Fine Art Society in New Bond Street, another surprising absentee from Frieze Masters, is presenting a Clausen retrospective in which his later landscape and still-life paintings are reassessed. Priced from £20,000 to £100,000.
Blain/Southern is the latest incarnation of a partnership that began 10 years ago, was bought by Christie’s, but has been independent for the past two years, not quite long enough to apply for the main Frieze fair. In that time, founders, Harry Blain and Graham Southern, have been rebuilding their stable of artists, and launch their new gallery in Hanover Square with a show for artist/punksters Tim Noble and Sue Webster, who last showed in London with the Gagosian Gallery five years ago. Entitled Nihilistic Optimistic, the exhibition comprises five new self‑portrait shadow sculptures composed from arranged debris and projection lamps, together with a splendidly teetering, unlit tower of junk, My Beautiful Mistake, priced between £60,000 and £300,000. The pair has also released a limited edition vinyl record priced at £200. Don’t buy it for the music, though, because there isn’t any.
Shizaru is a new gallery in Mount Street founded by Benjamin Khalili, the son of the Islamic art collector Nasser Khalili. So far, it has been feeling its way into the contemporary art market, but makes a major breakthrough this week with a vast exhibition curated by the renowned American collector Beth Rudin DeWoody, who sits on the board of the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York.
Bad for You is what it says it is – an exhibition about the relationship between art and human vices through the eyes of 67 American artists, from Andy Warhol to in-vogue photographer of uninhibited youth, Ryan McGinley. Prices range from £1,200 to £625,000.
Frieze Masters art fair reflects fashion for all things old
Frieze – a byword for modern and cool – is to be joined this year by a fair selling Old Masters and ancient artefacts
- Charlotte Higgins, chief arts writer
- The Guardian, Friday 5 October 2012 12.20 EDT
Last year’s Frieze art fair in Regent’s Park, central London. This year it will be joined by Frieze masters. Photograph: Sarah Lee for the Guardian
Since 2003, the autumnal trees and clipped grass of Regent’s Park in London have been the scene of the annual Frieze art fair, the most important contemporary art fair in Britain and temple to all that is hyper-modern and cool. But this year it will be joined by something quite different – a new fair, Frieze Masters, that will be selling everything from ancient Egyptian statuettes and Old Masters to artwork made up to the year 2000.
If the emergence of Frieze art fair heralded, or confirmed, the hegemony of the modern in fashionable taste, then now we are being told something different: old is cool again.
The “Frieze effect”, as it is called (though you might argue about how far it is symptom, or cause, of the fashion for the modern) has not simply been about the predilections of the oligarchs, hedge-funders and Qatari magnates who have been hoovering up contemporary art. The taste for the new also filtered into style magazines, TV design shows, the way we furnish our homes. “It was the Wallpaper* magazine generation and the Blair generation,” says the Frieze co-founder Matthew Slotover, who argues that fashion in art is inextricably connected to trends in wider taste.
“There was a feeling in the late 1990s and early 2000s that we need to be younger, more international looking. In the 1980s and early 90s, people aspired to houses that looked like mini-stately homes, with swagged curtains and antiques.” But, he adds: “Now both that 1980s look and the austere, minimalist look seem a little backward-looking.”
The idea that the arch-marketeers of the brand-new should now be urging the monied to buy medieval stonecarving and Tiepolos may seem a little startling, but Frieze Masters has not emerged from nowhere.
Slotover and his business partner Amanda Sharp, along with the fair director Victoria Siddall, have been impelled by what they are seeing around them: by what artists are saying and doing, by what kind of shows they see curators mounting. The worlds of contemporary and historic art – often institutionally sealed off from each other both in the academic and the commercial worlds – are opening up towards one another.
“It feels like a zeitgeist thing,” said Siddall. She ticked off a list of exhibitions where the old and the new had mingled. At last year’s Venice Biennale, Tintorettos were shown in the official main exhibition, generally regarded as the contemporary artworld’s most important state-of-art-now statement. Works by Poussin were paired with canvases by Cy Twombly, who died last year, for a show at Dulwich Picture Gallery. Ed Ruscha, the hyper-cool, pop-inflected Californian painter, has curated a show from the magnificent collections of the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna; at the same institution Jeff Koons had given a talk about medieval wood-carving.
In the UK, the Turner prizewinner Grayson Perry last year became the first contemporary artist to curate a show at the British Museum. This summer, brand-new works by Chris Ofili and Mark Wallinger were shown in the Sainsbury wing of the National Gallery – a space more accustomed to Leonardos than edgy installation art. The current Bronze exhibition at the Royal Academy in London – with Tony Cragg and Koons shown along with ancient Etruscan sculpture – is yet another example of the tendency.
According to Siddall, “to have all these events more or less at the same time feels like we are being offered a new way of looking at art. It’s something of course that artists have always done – to look at their own work in relation to that of the past – but the rest of us are catching up.”
According to Rupert Thomas, editor of the World of Interiors magazine, which covers art and antique fairs as well as taste in decoration, said: “Non-contemporary art, if you like, is what artists have been buying for years. Jeff Koons has been buying up old work, Corot and the like, for a fraction of the price of what his own work sells for. Frieze is picking up on what its own artists have been doing for a long time. They are brilliant at finding the right current, picking up on what works commercially.”
The message of Frieze Masters is not about a move away from the contemporary, but about seeing it in the light of history; the historic art, meanwhile, is given a cool edge by association with Frieze. It is significant that the exhibitors at Frieze Masters are obliged to show their work against a choice of four backgrounds: white, or three shades of grey. No red damask or swagged curtains allowed.
Xavier Bray, an Old Master curator at the Dulwich Picture Gallery, has just been hanging a show that pairs portrait heads by Lucian Freud and the 16th-century Bolognese artist Annibale Carracci for a new show at the Ordovas gallery. He has practical views on what he hopes Frieze Masters can do: “jumpstarting”, he hopes, the market for Old Masters, and helping draw attention back to the historic work that has recently taken second place to the excitement of the new. “We want to attract the hedgefunders to buy Old Masters and of course, eventually give them to us and regenerate our collections,” he said. People have, he said, “forgotten how to look at Old Masters” – which are seen as “not as edgy, not as exciting” as contemporary work.
While Bray finds himself working with contemporary art, recent years have also seen a burgeoning of contemporary curators appointed to museums with historic collections – the Louvre, the Hermitage and the Kunsthistorisches Museum. Jasper Sharp works at the last, and invited Ruscha to work with the Viennese collection. As with Perry’s exhibition at the British Museum, the exhibition is about an intuitive, non-academic but fiercely intelligent eye revealing art in a way that no academically trained art historian would do. “The Brueghels he hung looked as if they had been painted 10 minutes ago,” Sharp said. “Sure, with some of these projects there’s a little tokenism: it has sometimes felt as though historic collections have needed a little stardust sprinkled over them.” But, he added: “Artists are the most articulate advocates of historical art. They can bring it alive.”
Frieze art fair – review
As frenetic and irreverent as ever, this year’s Frieze also launched its first ‘historical’ art fair, featuring everything from medieval gargoyles to, er, David Hockney…
Miranda Sawyer admires a William Eggleston at Frieze Masters: ‘They cost “185 US”, says the gallery owner, which means $185,000.’ Photograph: Katherine Rose for the Observer
I’m standing on a wooden balcony. It forms a square: slightly rickety, not too wide, not too high. Standing here is a bit like hanging in a tree house, except that where the tree should be there’s a space. A space for art to take place.
Here’s some now. Below us, a big man in red shoes, a red hat with floppy ears and a butcher’s apron is performing an autopsy. The corpse lies on a metal trolley. It appears to be naked – you can see the sparse hairs on its chest, its spud-like genitalia – but it’s wearing brown shoes and serious specs.
The man in the apron – artist Bedwyr Williams – addresses the corpse.
“Curator. Cadaver. Cake,” he announces solemnly, and wields his knife.
Williams has a problem with curators and has decided to address it by cutting up a curator cake. He talks as he does so (“They celebrate their eyes with unusual spectacles because their eyes is their business…”), gradually slicing the cake to reveal its brain and other organs. It’s funny, engaging, chaotic. He has a great way with words. And at the end, everyone gets a cup of tea and whichever bit of corpse they want to eat. Tim Marlow, curator and broadcaster, chows down on the penis. It looks tasty.
Tea and cake – whether art cake or just the ordinary kind – is always nice, and a welcome relief within the strange hall-malls of Frieze. It’s not just that looking at art is tiring, but Frieze itself somehow sucks up your energy and replaces it with an anxious jitteriness. Am I missing something? What’s going on there? Should I wait in this corner where an artistic murder mystery appears to be developing or should I try to get into a talk? Even when you slump, on groovy benches covered in laughing cows, you find yourself consulting your map, planning your next foray. Frieze is a fair in all senses: it exists to sell work, but it’s also a collection of entertainments. A festival; like Edinburgh, like Glastonbury.
This year, the 10th Frieze, is accompanied by the now familiar big gallery openings. London’s art orgasms are timed to chime with Frieze. There are great shows at the Serpentine (Thomas Schütte), the South London Gallery (Rashid Johnson), Tates Modern and Britain (William Klein and Daido Moriyama; the Turner prize and pre-Raphaelites), as well as interesting events happening all over the capital. The Rain Room at the Barbican. Lindsay Seers’s installation at the Tin Tabernacle in Kilburn. Sunday Fair, for smaller galleries that can’t afford Frieze’s prices. Arrrggh! Too. Much. Culture.
But my job here is Frieze, and its new companion, Frieze Masters, which promises non-contemporary art displayed in a contemporary manner. Meaning: no stripy wallpaper, no scary doormen and not much context. Instead, the art – from ancient Egyptian sculptures to medieval friezes, from old masters to (cough) ethnic art – is shown Frieze-styley: within white or grey boxes, easily entered, easily left.
It’s an enjoyable show: smaller and easier to negotiate than its big sister. Though it seems weird to see Warhol and Basquiat, Avedon and Hockney among the Rubenses, the Picassos. There’s even a series of Thomas Schütte photographs on display as you walk in. I thought this was the oldies’ section? I ask, and apparently the cut-off point for Frieze Masters is 2000, so Masters is essentially all art except that made in the past 12 years. Everything and everyone, from teenagedom onwards, is a potential master, it seems.
There are odd juxtapositions: one gallery shows Annie Leibovitz photos next to Watteau sketches, which looks… I think the technical word is shite. Better are the galleries that have the courage of their convictions. At Cheim & Read/Victoria Miro there are some gorgeous William Eggleston photographs, previously unprinted, carefully blown up into amazing large-scale pieces. Editions of two, one kept by Eggleston. They cost “185 US”, says the gallery owner, which means $185,000. Cheap when compared to a million-plus Turner.
The Museum of Everything is showing the cute, closed sculptures of William Edmondson, the manual labourer who became the first African-American artist to be given a one-man show at New York’s Moma. Opposite, at Alison Jacques, are some lovely paintings from Dorothea Tanning, who died in January this year at the age of 101. And I’m a fan of the three gargoyles at Sam Fogg, a gallery that specialises in medieval art. Almost all gargoyles were taken down from churches in the 19th century and replaced; these were once part of Notre Dame cathedral in Strasbourg. They’re displayed at an angle so they spring out at you, clawing camply at the air with a single paw apiece. Miaow!
Back in Frieze I wander and wonder. Sadie Coles has an arresting all-star display, including a familiar but still great Sarah Lucas piece called Mumum, which shows stuffed tights, like milky tits, packed together as a hanging chair. Nearby, the Lisson’s stall is equally showy. I like Ryan Gander‘s parade of squashy faux-designer objets. And I especially like the commentary on them from author Ned Beauman, in which he discusses the future of designer accessories: logo-laden pill boxes, overpriced OAP gifts.
I hear Beauman’s opinion courtesy of an audio guide, an artwork from young Belgian artist Cécile B Evans. You are guided to pieces to hear talks by Lionel Blue, Mary Beard, Patrick Moore, Grace Dent. I talk to Evans, who is lovely, and she tells me that she approached around 120 people to take part, and “I’ve never been rejected so many times”. Even luminaries such as Malcolm Gladwell and Adam Curtis demurred because “they didn’t feel qualified, they were scared”. It’s astonishing how intimidating art can be to people. They feel there is a “right” response, a respect that is due, a knowledge that’s needed before any opinion can be given.
Yet art doesn’t have to be anything. It can be a joke, a sentiment, a memory trigger, a cake. The art is often contained in the viewer’s response. It’s hard to free ourselves from the idea that art must be viewed reverently, in quiet contemplation of its beauty. Frieze, with its madding crowds, its fizz and daftness, its clutter, goes some way to liberating us from our fear. But I wish it would do more; let the humanity in, alongside all those paying humans. It has the hordes, why not give them some fun? As well as cake, of course.
Brothel-creeper patterned walls, a lawn breathing incense and a provocative mix of sculptures greet the long queues of visitors to this year’s Frieze Art Fair. ‘This would absolutely never be allowed in a public park in the US,’ says a well-groomed male couple in response to a white bust of a muscley naked lady by Alan Kane and Simon Periton.
Their reaction flies in the face of what Grayson Perry, in conversation with Martin Parr, said at talk sponsored by Italian lifestyle brand Yoox: ‘Shock is the standard response to art now because people want to be titillated. But it’s hard as people are inured to it.’ Tell that to Mitt Romney’s supporters.
But maybe Perry is right. Inside the tent, it seemed there were fewer genitals, less gore and shock horror than in previous years. The fair felt more grown up as it entered its tenth year. Could this be due to the arrival of Frieze Masters, a sister event at the north end of Regent’s Park, which features everything from ancient Mesopotamian treasures, Giacometti and Richard Avedon prints?
Nicholas Logsdail, founder of the Lisson Gallery, which was exhibiting in both shows says: ‘Masters is quieter than I had hoped, but I have seen more serious collectors in here than in the contemporary fair. It’s the first year, so we will see.’
Over at the contemporary tent – a positive bun-fight compared to the serene Masters show – crowds formed around a chalkboard map of the world by Rivane Neuenschwander on to which people were invited to pin fabric slogans taken from the Occupy movements. Featuring words like ‘debt’, ‘future’ and ‘nature’, printed onto fabric labels, the work – shown by Tanya Bonakdar Gallery – is to be sold as it appears at the end of the fair.
Tanya Bonakdar says: ‘It’s been the best year for me. It feels different and I think its due to Frieze Masters which has brought some serious collectors in to town.’
There was further crowd participation at Grizedale Arts, a farm-cum-arts-organisation from the Lake District, where people in white uniforms were throwing tomatoes at each other. ‘It’s the re-creation of an arcane village sport,’ explains curator Alistair Hudson, whose mission is ‘to show that art can be useful in society.’
To this end, Grizedale set up a model cricket pavilion designed by Chinese artists Yangjiang Group, and hosted a farmers market with a difference. Along with the sale of homemade bread, pickled eggs, kimchi and jam, over the weekend, various chefs appeared to cook unusual fare, the highlight being Sam Clark of Moro and his Vermin Dinner (including the likes of parasitic fungi and squirrel). ‘It’s the only place in the fair where you actually see cash changing hands,’ says Hudson.
Cashless transactions were continuing apace at Brazilian gallery Vermelho, where director Akio Aoki explained: ‘In Brazil, there’s a shortage of art. It’s almost impossible to get post-2008 works by Brazilian greats like Ernesto Neto and Beatriz Milhazes. And where collectors were spending £5000, they are now spending £50,000.’ He is hotly anticipating the opening in December of the White Cube in Sao Paulo where new works by Tracey Emin will go on show.
The Frieze effect sends ripples all across the city that encourage the big galleries to put on blockbuster shows, and smaller spaces to roll out their best artists. At the Zabludowicz Collection, located in a beautifully restored Methodist chapel, British artist Matthew Darbyshire created a fictional dystopian village featuring room sets decorated with furniture from Next, ironic corporate hoardings used by developers to cover repair-work on historic buildings and bad-taste civic architecture. Within the fair, at Herald St Gallery, he created vitrines featuring Avon aftershave bottles. The smell of the aftershave still lingers in his studio.
Over at Sunday, a show featuring works from 20 galleries less than 7 years old, sales and visitor numbers were up. ‘We could have sold Jack Strange‘s work six times over,’ says Rebecca May Marston, director of Limoncello gallery – one of the event’s founding galleries.
Despite its air of chaos and its down-at-heel location, people couldn’t get enough. This was the same everywhere you went; Lisson Gallery held an evening banquet and 700 people turned up. Three hundred more queued outside. At Tim Noble and Sue Webster‘s after party at Tramp, it was one in, one out. A performance evening at David Roberts Art Foundation saw queues round the block.
Perhaps Perry, talking about why Internet art will never work, sums it up best: ‘I want to see different textures, different scales. I don’t want to see all my sculpture through a bit of flat glass. We are human animals. We need our tribal gatherings like Frieze.’
October 12th, 2012
Toby Ziegler‘s The Cripples, image via Art Observed
Back in 2003 in Frieze’s first year, no major international art fair had ever been hosted in London before. Frieze Art Fair, organized by Matthew Slotover and Amanda Sharp, has helped take London from being a city without a focused art scene to its current state at the center of the European art market. Now in its tenth year, Frieze Art Fair in London’s Regent’s Park has seen around 60,000 visitors, with 264 dealers from 35 countries hoping to sell work (valuing an estimated £230m) created by more than 2,400 artists within 175 of the world’s leading galleries.
An Aaron Young motorcycle burn out work at Massimo de Carlo in Milan, photo via Art Observed
Jason Rhoades, Shelf (Mutton Chops) with Unpainted Donkey (detail), 2003 © The Estate of Jason Rhoades Courtesy of Hauser & Wirth and David Zwirner, New York, Stefan Altenburger Photography Zürich
David Zwirner Gallery’s booth, with Donald Judd works, photo via Art Observed
This year, the activity has expanded outside the main tent. The biggest addition to Frieze – nearly overshadowing the main fair – is the introduction of a sibling-fair happening simultaneously: just a 10-minute walk to the opposite end of Regent’s Park, Frieze Masters is a second (less boisterous and eccentric – more intimate, hushed and exquisite) tent with 101 stands, 22 of which are solo presentations by singular artists, with art ranging from the late 13th century to 2000.
Notable works at Frieze Masters included “A Vanitas,” a human skull sitting on top of a tome, sculpted from 17th century Italian marble priced at £350,000 at Daniel Katz and Poussin’s “Apollo and Daphne” (ca. 1620), rediscovered by Louvre curator Pierre Rosenberg in the 1990s, priced at $1.75 million.
Frieze Masters via Art Observed
Frieze Masters via Art Observed
Buyers at the Frieze Masters have tended to be liberal in spending but conservative in choices, quick to buy (Rupert Wace, dealing in ancient Egyptian and classical art, who was selling megalithic axeheads sold four works in the first 36 minutes of the VIP hour), but leaning towards name brands and easily recognizable value. For lesser-known artists, the outcome has been on the disappointing end.
Nicolas Poussin, “Apollo and Daphne” courtesy Robiland + Voena Gallery
Hauser & Wirth (among others) had booths at both fairs. At Frieze Masters, the gallery dedicated an entire room to museum-quality works on paper by Eva Hesse. It also exhibited works by Alighiero Boetti, Yves Klein, and Atsuko Tanaka of the Gutai Group. At Frieze it presented a radical overview of sculpture by three artists: a sculptures in silicone by Paul McCarthy, Jason Rhoades’s massive neon pieces and a series of smaller, intimate reliefs from the 70s and 80s by Hans Josephsohn.
Nan Goldin, Skinhead Dancing, London Courtesy Matthew Marks Gallery
Matthew Marks Gallery presented a special installation of Nan Goldin photographs, as well as a group of five Fischli/Weiss flower photographs, new paintings by Gary Hume, and an installation of Ken Price drawings and sculptures, among other works by artists the gallery represents.
London is also full of off site exhibitions to keep fairgoers busy: Toby Ziegler‘s “The Cripples” located 14 floors below street level in a concrete parking structure features herds of dimly lit horse legs, and in the Malborough Contemporary down the street is Angela Ferreira‘s “Stone Free,” an installation in a variety of media, comparing the Cullinan Diamond Mine in South Africa with the Chislehurst Caves in South East London.
Claire Fontaine at Galerie Chantal Crousel via Art Observed
Nicholas Serota, director of the Tate Gallery, commented that “Frieze continues to be a fair in which we can all make discoveries of emerging and re-emerging artists.” The Tate collection has benefited from these discoveries, receiving 4 works as gifts from The Outset/Frieze Art Fair Fund, whose budget this year was a record-high £150,000 ($240,000).
At the Frieze Fair image via ArtObserved
The works include Hideko Fukushima‘s Ko 8, 1963; Nicholas Hlobo‘s Balindile, 2012; Caragh Thuring‘s Arthur Kennedy, 2012; and Jack Whitten‘s Epsilon Group II, 1977. Since 2003, the Tate has acquired 86 works from the fund – a project in which an international panel of curators annually selects pieces by emerging artists participating in Frieze London to contribute to the gallery’s national collection.
A Jean Dubuffet sculpture at Waddington Custot Galleries, image via Art Observed
There is a marked difference this year in more academic thoughtful curation over attention-getting pieces. Matthias Merkel Hess’ glazed porcelain oil cans (Bucketry, 2011-12) sold well at ACME; Jean Luc Moulène’s glass sculptures were in high demand at the Thomas Dane Gallery. Fairgoers may remember Christian Jankowski‘s ”superyacht” from last year, which was an artwork and a commodity – it cost €65m to buy as boat, and €75m to buy as an artwork, authenticated by the artist himself. This year in its place “Frieze Projects”showcased experimental performative works. The Yangjiang Group and Grizedale Arts built ‘Coliseum of the Consumed’, a structure of food kiosks and performance art, stating that “art should be useful”. The Telegraph spoke to one of the stall owners who was selling juniper juice in plastic baggies and had raised £40 for Youth Group UK doing so.
Anri Sala, Clocked Perspective, 2012 Courtesy Marian Goodman Gallery, New York; Hauser & Wirth, Zurich/London
The Sculpture Park at Frieze London 2012 features Anri Sala‘s Clocked Perspective seen for the first time this summer at Documenta (13), and a group of Hans Josephsohn‘s reclining figures and torso. Art Observed will feature a follow up photoset of the Frieze 2012 sculpture park in a later post.
Gillian Wearing, Self Portrait at Twenty Seven Years Old, 2012 Courtesy Maureen Paley Gallery
An Anselm Reyle work at Kujke Gallery, Seoul: Tina Kim Gallery, image via Art Observed
The main fair, image via Art Observed
A Carsten Holler sculpture at Gagosian Gallery, image via Art Observed
A sculptural work, image via Art Observed
A Chris Ofili work at Contemporary Fine Arts, Berlin via Art Observed
A Sanja Ivekovic work, image via Art Observed
A work by Tomas Saraceno at Tanya Bonakdar at Frieze, image via Art Observed
A Darren Lago (a reference to a Mondrian in Lego) at Annely Juda, image via Art Observed
A Doug Aitken work at 303 Gallery, image via Art Observed
A Rachel Garrard work (left) and a Jessica Rath scultpure at Jack Hanley Gallery
An Eric Wesley work at Bortolami, image via Art Observed
A Gavin Turk neon work at Almine Rech Gallery, image via Art Observed
An Angela de la Cruz sculpture at Galerie Krinzinger Vienna, image via Art Observed
A Grayson Perry tapestry at Victoria Miro, image via Art Observed
A Jason Martin sculpture at Lisson Gallery, image via Art Observed
A John Chamberlain sculpture at Gagosian Gallery, image via Art Observed
A Jonas Wood work at David Kordansky Gallery, image via Art Observed
A Katharina Fritsch sculpture at Matthew Marks Gallery, image via Art Observed
A Marcel Eichner painting at Contemporary Fine Arts, image via Art Observed
– E. Baker
› London’s Frieze Art Fair & Frieze Masters 2012
Alan Kane and Simon Periton, Eight Fculptures
Dan Flavin, Four Red Horizontals (To Sonja)
Diane Arbus at Timothy Taylor
Diane Arbus, Tattooed Female Impersonator Applying Make-up in Mirror
, 1959 and Female Impersonator in a Round Mirror
Donald Judd, Untitled (Bernstein 80-19)
Giulio Paolini, Idem V
Lee Ufan, Relatum (Formerly System)
Philip Guston, Untitled
Walking through Regent’s Park between the Fairs
Francis Upritchard, Archer Plate
and Gooose Vessel
Florian Meisenberg, Untitled
Marcus Coates, British Moths
Marc Hundley, They Can’t Hear a Word We’ve Said When We Pretend That We’re Dead
Ross Knight, Form of Togetherness
Hundley and Knight at the Team Gallery stand
Scott King, A Balloon For Britain
Amalia Pica, Catachresis No. 32 (Neck of the Bottled, Elbow of the Pipe)
London’s Frieze Art Fair & Frieze Masters 2012
This year, for the first time, Frieze Masters is running alongside Frieze Art Fair. With a focus on historical art, this new fair expands the organization’s focus and hopes to create new connections between contemporary and historical art.Undoubtedly a highlight of Frieze Masters is the David Zwirner space. Two of my favorites, Dan Flavin and Donald Judd, are shown alongside Giulio Paolini, culminating in a colorful minimalist dream. London gallery Timothy Taylor has an eclectic mix of works by Diane Arbus, Sean Scully, and Philip Guston. Another notable piece was by Korean artist and philosopher Lee Ufan at the Blum & Poe stand. Titled Relatum (Formerly System), 1969/2012, the work consists of six steel plates elegantly placed in corners, bringing to mind the sculptures of Richard Serra.Walking through Regent’s Park from Frieze Masters to the main event, I came across Eight Fculptures by Alan Kane and Simon Periton in the sculpture park. A collaborative work, the artists re-imagine and subvert historical monuments and sculptures. Other highlights from the fair include London gallery Kate MacGarry, who showed works by New Zealand artist, Francis Upritchard. MacGarry also showed British Moths by Marcus Coates, an artist whose work is often connected to the idea of animal spirits. This piece comprises 24 small headshots of the artist covered in shaving foam, against a black background—his face appearing malformed and sinister.Team Gallery presented a two-person exhibition, showing advertising-inspired paper works by OC family member Marc Hundley and new sculptures by Ross Knight. Both artists employ found materials in their work: in Hundley’s case images and text from the past, while Knight re-contextualizes industrial elements like plastics and foam. The result is an exhibition that is both uncannily familiar and strange at once. I also loved British artist Scott King’s A Balloon for Britain at Herald St Gallery, a work that continues his exploration into the tension between pop culture and politics, questioning and undermining the idea of political symbol. The balloons are shown suspended over black and white images of suburban and working-class Britain, colorful and hopeful against the washed-out background.
Through October 14th, 2012FRIEZE ART FAIR