Frieze London week

[01 Oct 2019]

The first major international art fair of the season, Frieze London opens this week in Regent’s Park. More than 50,000 visitors are expected from 3 to 6 October in London for this 17th edition, mixing the most promising galleries with the most famous dealers, including Tanya Bonakdar, Sadie Coles, Hauser & Wirth, Gagosian, Blum & Poe, Pace and Goodman. This year’s edition will host 160 galleries from 35 countries all over the world, including first time representatives from Brazil, Lebanon, South Korea and Estonia.


What you can expect…

Density, prestige and discoveries… on carefully curated stands. The new themed section, Woven, will bring together eight international artists working in textiles, weaving and tapestry. Curator Cosmin Costinas (Executive Director of Para Site in Hong Kong) has mixed generations and geographies, with artists from Brazil, the Philippines, China, India, the United States and Madagascar, working according to vernacular or ‘underground’ traditions, using textiles and weaving in a direct or indirect way. Another highlight of the fair is the exhibition “Techno-Shamanism: The Sacred and Ineffable” around works by pioneering kinetic art, Vassilakis TAKIS, whose solo exhibition recently opened at the Tate Modern.

Lots of artists will benefit from an ‘augmented’ presence at the fair, either via solo shows or via thematic exhibitions. Many of them are enjoying booming markets with high demand, increasing their chances of commercial success. Among these, expect to see works by Harold Ancart, Mark Bradford, Sheila Hicks, Jannis Kounellis, Jonathan Meese, Kara Walker and Sue Williamson.

For discoveries, the Focus section is reserved for galleries up to 15 years old (33 galleries from 19 countries). For the first time, an international committee of gallery peers comprising Stefan Benchoam (Proyectos Ultravioleta, Guatemala City), Edouard Malingue (Edouard Malingue, Hong Kong), and Angelina Volk (Emalin, London) will advise on the selection of participants for Focus.

In parallel, 130 galleries will be participating in Frieze “Masters” , the Frieze section for Masters of Art History. This highly popular and prestigious section contains works going back to Antiquity but also includes works by the great names of 20th century art – Jean-Michel Basquiat, Max Beckmann, Pierre Bonnard, Frank Bowling, Eugène Delacroix, Albrecht Dürer, Eileen Gray, Keith Haring, Wassily Kandinsky, Piet Mondrian, Nam June Paik, Pablo Picasso, Michelangelo Pistoletto and Andy Warhol. One of the highlights this year is a portrait considered the last painting by Sandro Botticelli (1445-1510) still in private hands. The painting is priced at $30 million on the stand of Trinity Fine Art (Portrait of Michele Marullo).


Masters: female pioneers

This year’s Frieze Masters is offering a focus on women artists considered pioneers of 20th century creation. Several galleries have made a selection of works by these “pioneers” who include Gina PANE, a central figure in “body art”, at kamel mennour gallery, and Rachel WHITEREAD, the first female artist awarded the Turner Prize (in 1993) at Luhring Augustine gallery.

A key figure of 20th century American sculpture, the work of Louise NEVELSON will also be presented with the Gio Marconi gallery offering a selection of her works from the 1950s to the end of the 1980s. Both conceptual and baroque at the same time, Nevelson’s sculptures (which represented the United States at the 31st Venice Biennale in 1962) are made from found wood and relics of all kinds to form abstract architectures, painted in mat black, white or gold. The artist is one of the top 20 most successful female signatures of our era on the auction market, and her most impressive works fetch close to a million dollars.