10 October 2017 § Leave a comment
October is the very best time of year to see art in the capital. The city is abuzz with the latest blockbuster shows – 2017 brings Jasper Johns as well as Dali/Duchamp to the Royal Academy, Jean-Michel Basquiat at the Barbican and Rachel Whiteread is showing at the Tate. The commercial galleries have pulled out their biggest names – there are Jean Dubuffet at Pace, Jake & Dinos Chapman at Blain Southern and Anselm Kiefer & Robert Longo at Thaddeus Ropac. Meanwhile all the big names auction houses stage their autumn contemporary sales.
Frieze of course also comes to London, not only with the contemporary focused Frieze Art Fair, but the thriving Frieze Masters event just up the Regents Park footpath. The great and the good of the art world come together with a smattering of celebrity names to see the latest that the art world has to offer.
Our annual visit to Frieze is always highly anticipated. Not only to admire some great art but to also to discern new trends, see what the big names have on offer admire the most spectacular works – after all this is the biggest fair in the greatest city in the contemporary art world.
Yet still, and perhaps because of the anticipation, there is again a tinge of anti-climax. Are we expecting too much or could Frieze do better? Their gallery selection process doesn’t help – preferencing worldwide galleries means we seem to get mediocre work from perhaps Peru or Burkino Fasso at the expense of many excellent local galleries (is this not a London art fair after all?).
Gone are the bigger artists names and the spectacular and expensive works that graced earlier shows and we now seem to get more mid level and affordable (?) pieces – even from the big name galleries. One is left with the niggling impression that much of the best work is hidden away and that most of the deals are done back at their base.
The curated ‘Sex Work’ exhibition spread through the show failed to stir us and was rather tame. Still, this is the very best contemporary art fair in Britain, there is plenty of good art to be found and new names to be discovered. There is always something to surprise, people to meet and in the end, where else could you for example pick up a free Passport to Antartica?
Amongst our selection of what we noticed at this years fair were: Olafur Eliasson whose colour-shifting balls drew a large crowd whilst Eddie Peake was eye-catching as usual. We loved Ryan Mosley’s newest works, rather more colourful than usual and Mathew Ronay’s curious pastel-coloured and tactile sculptures. On the other hand Jeff Koon’s Glitterball Jesus and Hauser & Wirth’s Bronze Age pseudo museum display failed to inspire.
So, will we go back next year? Of course we will – and we’re looking forward to it already!
akickupthearts were guests of Frieze London
For more information visit www.frieze.com
18 October 2012 § Leave a comment
Another uninspiring Frieze his year. I suppose that once the art world has – like every year – built it up to be the London event of the year there is only one result: some degree of disappointment. Despite this Frieze of course remains the best UK contemporary art fair and a must visit to try at catch a whiff of the zeitgeist of the contemporary art market. Here are a few of the things that caught our eye this year. No particular reason. No particular order. No analyses of who sold what. And most definitely no ‘who was seen where’ nonsense.
A melting Paul McCarthy White Snow Head at Hauser & Wirth.
A Gavin Turk neon door.
Julian Opie‘s rather neat sculptures – and a mosaic.
One of a few large and impressive Wolfgang Tillmans images.
Something made of some substance made by somebody South American (I think?)
And outside, in the rain a pretty Yayoi Kusama from Victoria Miro.
12 October 2010 § Leave a comment
This October, in what is undoubtedly the most important week in the London Contemporary Art calendar, Christie’s is taking advantage of the international interest generated by Frieze to create their own ‘Fair’ – Multiplied – showcasing Contemporary Art in Editions. Around forty dealers ranging from major dealers like White Cube down to relative tiddlers like Black Rat Projects are taking advantage of the relatively low-cost stand space to sell low to moderate-priced works that appeal to new collectors. The works will include not only prints but, for example, editioned photographs and sculptures and will reportedly start at a just a few pounds with the aim of tempting new clients in to the world of buying art.
Over thirty London galleries have temporarily dropped their objection to Christie’s muscling-in on to what is traditionally dealer territory. Christies tell us that “Multiplied will be the perfect place to scope out the vibrant contemporary editions scene, featuring young, emerging talent alongside eminent contemporary artists. With prices from £50 to £10,000, and editions in all shapes and sizes, from prints and photographs, to artist’s books and 3-D multiples, you may just spot ‘the next big thing’. An initiative of the Christie’s Prints and Contemporary departments, Multiplied aims to support contemporary publishing by providing a much needed platform to exhibit editions during this significant week; and to nurture a wider appreciation of editions amongst the art buying public.’
Multiplied is not the only effort the auction houses are using to move away from traditional auctions. Phillips de Pury are co-operating with Saatchi at his Chelsea gallery and feature selling exhibition of works in the top floor gallery – their latest is Korean Eye. Sotheby’s in New York is holding the exhibition Divine Comedy – around eighty widely varied works ranging from Cattelan to Brueghel, some for sale.
In recent years of course the two main auction houses have ventured in to dealership – Christies has bought Haunch of Venison, while Sotheby’s choice was the Old Master dealer Robert Noortman. But there is more – New York Sotheby’s opened a wine retailer in New York and also offers retail diamonds and jewellery in New York, Hong Kong and London. What next – groceries and insurance!?
Exhibition Viewing Times:
15-18 October 2010, 10am-5pm
- Art market news for Frieze week (telegraph.co.uk)
- Inside Art: ‘Divine Comedy’ Exhibition At Sotheby’s (huffingtonpost.com)
- UK’s Frieze fair puts art market recovery to test (reuters.com)
- Frieze Art Fair 2010: Get ready for British art’s biggest week (independent.co.uk)