Go inside the worlds of art, fashion, design, and lifestyle.
Yesterday saw the opening of the United Kingdom’s most distinguished contemporary art fair, Frieze, for its 11th year, in London’s regal Regent’s Park. The fair, which runs every October (this year October 17-20), showcases works from 152 of the world’s leading contemporary art galleries with 2,000 artists from 30 countries. Alongside the individual galleries’ booths, there is a programme of talks, films, music, specially commissioned artists’ projects, and a selection of pop up restaurants, for a vital refuel, in-between.
Frieze this year is housed in a vast structure, designed by architects Carmody Groarke, which is the realisation of much re-planning of the fair, allowing for visitors to move around the booths with further ease and clarity of direction. That’s the idea, anyway. Frieze will always be a labyrinth of eccentrically decorated white walls, which, after an entire day, will still surprise any onlooker with previously unseen works. It would be a wild understatement to say that there is a lot to see. There are works by established artists, newcomers and theorists, there is the unmissable, and there is the downright weird and wonderful. Frieze must be approached with the most open of minds.
This year, Alexander McQueen is the Associate Sponsor of Frieze London, which adds an exciting edge, a unity between the worlds of high art and haute couture. This is not only a wonderful support of the arts but also draws a neat connection between the pageantry of Fashion Week and the idiosyncrasy of Frieze. There are presentations in London’s Alexander McQueen stores arranged by Sadie Coles which are also worth a visit.
Frieze is one of those rare art world events where is it acceptable to say things such as: “Would I want this in my house?” or “Surely that would ruin the carpet,” because that is, after all, the real purpose of the fair. The galleries are here to sell, and the people are here to buy. There are even different levels of VIP – the highest level being given endless copies of the £25 catalogue. One curator even described the whole event as a “circus,” as the fair and the contemporary gallerists of England’s capital open up their doors for the descent of the collectors. It’s a real spectacle. At times, the clientele can even become more fascinating than the art itself, so for those who missed out on a ticket, a visit to Regent’s Park for people watching is highly recommended (as long as you remember to visit the Sculpture Park at the same time). Frieze is one of the most important events on the calendar of every curator, dealer, collector, and journalist and this year, as every, it is not to be missed.